AL KOOPER Kooper Session (1970) w/ Shuggie Otis

Kooper Session (1970)
Just One Of Al Kooper’s Finest Hours

I’m a big fan of early Al Kooper. I won’t recount his credits here, but they’re a fun and surprising read. His late 60s “solo” albums – Super Session, Live Adventures of Kooper & Bloomfield, Blood Sweat & Tears’ Child Is Father To The Man, the excellent I Stand Alone and a handful of other Kooper & Kooper related projects – document a guy bursting at the seams with something to say and in a unique position (sometimes working for record companies) to get himself recorded. He shrewdly used a variety of different settings, bands and configurations to maximize his output, usually starring, but just as often sharing – as in this quick follow-up to the surprise success of Super Session, 1970′s Kooper Session. Historically, it features the work of 15 year old guitar sensation Shuggie Otis, but musically, it’s Kooper that’s writing, arranging, singing, jamming & producing, so it’s practically a Kooper solo album – even in name. His arrangements and solos sport an unshakable 60s atmosphere that have aged better than much of his contemporaries’ work, and that’s despite Al’s sometimes hopelessly white vocals. To really appreciate Kooper’s scope, listen to Child Is Father To The Man (his Blood Sweat & Tears debut and finale), Super Session (his studio jam album with Steve Stills and Mike Bloomfield) and his semi-psych debut solo LP, I Stand Alone. Three classics that would be a defining arc for most careers… for Al, those are merely his 1968 releases. Had he been blessed with a less reedy, more organically soulful voice, Al Kooper might be regarded as one of the dozen most important figures in rock. Some argue he is anyway.


Bury My Body
Double or Nothing
One Room Country Shack
Lookin‘ For A Home
12:15 Slow Goonbash Blues
Shuggie’s
Old Time (Dee-Di-Lee-Di-Leet-Deet)
Shuggie’s Shuffle

16 Comments

  • 1
    Anonymous
    October 8, 2007 - 11:50 | Permalink

    Yes, a good one, but, for later Al, his Soul Of A Man double is very good too, as far as later stuph!

    Thanks for sharing this one, and the fixing of #6 GD! ; )

  • 2
    John W.
    October 21, 2007 - 20:46 | Permalink

    i agreed there arent many like kooper he did it all its a shame his catalog is mostly out of print

  • 3
    Capt. Willard
    October 21, 2007 - 21:54 | Permalink

    Yeah… you'd think he had more clout to get that taken care of. He certainly SHOULD have. Thanks for the comments

  • 4
    nanshe
    November 3, 2007 - 06:23 | Permalink

    thanks very much, al kooper is always very hard to find, for me. years of record hunting yielded just the super session albums which are great in their own right!

  • 5
    Anonymous
    November 15, 2007 - 23:04 | Permalink

    How DARE you cause me to reassess my low opinion of Al Kooper!

  • 6
    Anonymous
    June 21, 2009 - 22:43 | Permalink

    I have this strange fascination with Al Kooper. While not everything he's done has always been great, there are some truly brilliant songs he's been affiliated with. And as for his voice, just listen to "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know" on "Child is the Father of Man" and tell me that white boy ain't got some soul. Thanks for posting this one!

    - MoonBear

  • 7
    Capt. Willard
    June 22, 2009 - 00:12 | Permalink

    I feel the same way about Al. Every now and then he makes me cringe, but the guy's talent is undeniable. I agree with you, he's got real soul… but, his voice is just SO white. As for "I Love You More…," a guy could hang a career on that one song alone. He's one of the unheralded greats. Thanks for commenting.

  • 8
    Capt. Willard
    November 10, 2010 - 14:37 | Permalink

    .
    .
    .
    Find it HERE.
    .
    .
    .

  • 9
    Anonymous
    November 10, 2010 - 21:20 | Permalink

    too bad with all of his talent and connections that he just can`t sing.

  • 10
    Capt. Willard
    November 10, 2010 - 21:31 | Permalink

    You're dead wrong. Kooper is an excellent, maybe even a great singer. It's his voice, his whiteness, that's rubbing you the wrong way. His vocal range is severely limited, but his singing can excel.

  • 11
    Frankie
    November 11, 2010 - 23:19 | Permalink

    Willard , as always I thank you so much . This guy Kooper I started to dig about 10 years ago. What a great talent he is . His version of Ray Charles "I Got a Women" is completely different from Rays ,yet its just a great arrangement .

  • 12
    Capt. Willard
    November 11, 2010 - 23:51 | Permalink

    That was his stock and trade in the early days. It's really the reason he formed Blood Sweat & Tears, so he could arrange music for a rock band.

  • 13
    Otiselevator
    April 30, 2012 - 09:09 | Permalink

    I love Al Kooper but I’m surprised no one has commented on what an amazing guitarist Shuggie Otis was at the age of 15. You probably know there’s a great back story here: son of bandleader Johnny Otis, child prodigy, appeared on numerous records by his father, Charles Brown etc. Made a couple of solo albums including Inspiration Information which featured the hit, Strawberry Letter 23, multi instrumentalist, and then….Nothing. He more or less disappeared although he continued to play with his father. I’d love to know what the story was though I can guess the usual substance problems were involved. Anyway, I bought this when it came out so no need to download but thanks for this and all the other amazing re-ups Willard, I am truly in awe of the variety of stuff you have uncovered.

    • 14
      Willard
      April 30, 2012 - 09:39 | Permalink

      Thanks for the background Otis.

  • 15
    Russ
    July 8, 2013 - 21:00 | Permalink

    Sorry to bother you again Capt., but DF has axed this file with Shuggie Otis featured. When you have a chance, I would appreciate a re-up. Many thanks from a solid gold soul fan!

    • 16
      Willard
      July 8, 2013 - 22:17 | Permalink

      No bother, I appreciated the alert. New link up, thanks.

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