Q - 1/01, p.1223 out of 5 stars
- "...Genre-busting....Using scalpel-sharp brass and strings, Al Kooper made no bones about trying to shift rock up the cultural ladder and almost succeeded on 'My Days Are Numbered' and 'I Can't Quit Her'..."
Blood, Sweat & Tears: Steve Katz (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, lute); Al Kooper (vocals, piano, organ, ondioline); Bobby Colomby (vocals, drums, percussion); Fred Lipsius (alto saxophone, piano); Jerry Weiss, Randy Brecker (trumpet, flugelhorn); Dick Halligan (trombone); Jim Fielder (bass).
Additional personnel: Ztak Evets (guitar); Gene Orloff, Leon Kruczek, Paul Gershman, Harry Lookofsky, Julie Held, Manny Green, Anahid Ajemian, Harry Katzman (violin); Manny Vardi, Harold Colletta (viola); Charles McCracken, Alan Schulman (cello); John Simon (piano, organ); Doug James (shaker); Valerie Simpson, Melba Moorman, Leslie Gurgle (background vocals).
Includes liner notes by Al Kooper.
Anyone who only knows BS&T from their early-'70s incarnation as a middle-of-the-road hit machine needs to hear this 1968 album. It's a masterpiece, the best thing the multi-talented Al Kooper has ever done, including his work with the Blues Project and the Rolling Stones, and that famous organ on Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone." Kooper aimed for a band that could do it all, and for an album that would combine the best elements of rock, jazz, folk, classical, soul, R&B, and anything else he could think of, into one powerfully eclectic whole.
Astonishingly, he achieved both ends, and it's one of rock's great missed opportunities that internal dissension within the band led to Kooper's dismissal. Fortunately, this document remains, and decades later Kooper's originals such as "I Can't Quit Her" and "House in the Country," and his innovative arrangements of songs by Tim Buckley, Harry Nilsson, and Randy Newman, still sound as impressive and forward-thinking as ever.