terça-feira, 1 de abril de 2008

Tramp - Put A Record On (Rare 2nd Album UK Blues 1974)


There was certainly a good blues pedigree behind this band with musicians like Mick Fleetwood (of Fleetwood Mac), Bob Brunning and Bob Hall (both of Brunning-Hall Sunflower Blues Band), Jo-Ann Kelly, Dave Kelly and Danny Kirwan (who was also in Fleetwood Mac and later made solo albums) involved, but the end results, two rather unimaginative bar-room blues albums, were frankly disappointing. On account of who played on them, both albums are expensive so the CD reissue, which comes with an information booklet, is welcome from this point of view.

Recording sessions involving musicians who do not regularly work together can be notoriously unproductive, the shelves of second hand record shops are littered with dusty remnants of what might have been a great session.
Happily 'Tramp' is a very fine exception to this rule, perhaps because although there is plenty of creative and spontaneous playing on these tracks, the songs themselves, written by Bob Hall and Dennis Cotton, are economical, witty and tightly constructed; there are no twelve minute guitar solos on this record. Every musician contributed hugely to the overall strength of performance that is obvious throughout the set.

Dave and Jo-Anne Kelly are renowned for their ability as blues singers, and they tackled each song whole-heartedly, often adding new ideas whilst actually recording. Bob Hall is surely the finest boogie pianist in Britain, and has never played better than on these sessions. Bob Brunning is also a highly experienced bass player who has worked and recorded with many blues giants, forming a unit with Bob Hall which has become much in demand by impressed visiting American performers, many of whom have invited them back to the States to form a permanent band! Mick Fleetwood has been the mainstay of Fleetwood Mac for a long time, and when one listens to this exciting playing on this album, one can see why - listen to his inspired and absolutely spontaneous drum lead in during the entirely unrehearsed piano break in 'Too Late For That Now' which leads incidentally to one of the most exciting solos heard in a long while.

Danny Kirwan plays crisply and economically, showing his ability, unusual among rock guitarists - to know when not to play, nevertheless turning in some pleasing solos. Dave Brooks proves just how easily he recently stole the show on some of the '73 American Blues Legends performances, and last but not least, percussionist Ian Morton adds a lot of excitement to the proceedings. Here then is a fresh and exciting album representing of more than worthwhile gathering together of some well known musical 'Tramps'.
Perhaps I had my hopes too high for "Put a record on" after hearing the classic first Tramp album (which was selftitled from 1969) but I don't think the addition of Dave Brooks on sax and Ian Morton on percussion was a good idea as I found those parts intrusive and most of the material on this album is given a forced funk type sound which is just not as appealing as the raw, more improvisational approach used (and that worked so well) on the first Tramp album. Having said that, it is not horrible as the peppy opener "Too late for that now" is a highlight of the material here but that is followed by a draggy funk called "Now I aint a junkie anymore".

"What you gonna do" was co written by Brunning and it is one of the better funk pieces enclosed here. However, the slight reggae feel on "Like you used to do" is rather silly sounding and just doesn't work. "You gotta move" is a punchy rapid swing though let it be known that this track was oddly omitted from the CD version of PARO (when released on CD on it's own, it is included on the "2 on 1" Tramp CD called "British blues giants"). The title track starts off side two and maybe I would've thought better of it had I heard this version first but having heard the definitive Brunning Sunflower Blues Band version (from the "Brunning Hall Sunflower Blues band" album from 1971) of this song first, this (& it's various outtake versions that have since appeared on Jo Ann Kelly outtake compilation CD releases) sounds as if it was attempted to be played in a commercial vein for no good reason (other than the obvious one of wanting a hit single and that was not what Tramp was originally about, or so I thought).

"Funky monkey" is a busy sax/guitar funk which is probably the most rocking tune on this album but again, it must be said that it's nowhere near as effectively rocking as the rocking material on the first Tramp album. "Beggar by your side" could've been a good slow burning blues had it included a more empty arrangement but the sax and chirpy guitar riffs really annoy here."Paternity orders" is a piano ragtime attempt but the hard strumming acoustic guitar part hardly even seems worth it as it gets buried under the rest of the production for the most part and the closing "It's over" is a fitting stroll in the classic 50's "Blueberry hill" mold. On it's own, this album probably is not a bad funk platter but as a reunion record, it's disappointing to say the least.

...and TRAMP are:
MICK FLEETWOOD - DrumsFounder member of Fleetwood Mac. He played on all their hit records and is currently spending most of his time touring the U.S.A. He is an old friend of Bob Brunning who he played with in Fleetwood Mac.
DANNY KIRWAN - GuitarReplaced Peter Green as the lead guitarist in Fleetwood Mac and previously had his own band 'Boilerhouse'. He is currently forming a new band and is touring the U.S.A. He appeared on Volume One of Tramp, replacing Peter Green as he was unavailable.
DAVE BROOKS - SaxTenor Player for Manfred Mann, currently freelancing and doing session work.
DAVE KELLY - VocalLead guitarist and vocalist with the John Dummer Band, he has made several albums with John Dummer and also two under his own name.
JO ANNE KELLY - VocalSister of Dave Kelly, she was once dubbed by Melody Maker as Queen of British Blues Singers and has made two albums under her own name. She has toured the U.S.A. and is returning for a further visit.
BOB BRUNNING - BassBass player with Fleetwood Mac and Savoy Brown. He left to continue his career as a teacher, he is working with Tramp and is also a member of a band he got together with Bob Hall, The Sunflower Blues Band.
BOB HALL - PianoTogether with Bob Brunning, he has recorded and toured with a number of American Blues men. He co-wrote all the songs on the album and has made over thirty LP's with various bands including
Savoy Brown.
- Percussion
01. Too Late For That Now (Bob Hall) 4:53
02. Now I Ain't A Junkie Anymore (Dennis Cotton / Bob Hall / Dave Kelly) 3:07
03. What You Gonna Do (Bob Brunning / Dennis Cotton / Bob Hall) 3:02
04. Like You Used To Do (Dennis Cotton / Bob Hall) 4:04
05. You've Gotta Move (Bob Hall / Dave Kelly) 2:38
06. Put A Record On (Dennis Cotton / Bob Hall) 3:17
07. Funky Monkey (Dennis Cotton / Bob Hall / Dave Kelly) 5:43
08. Beggar By Your Side (Dennis Cotton / Bob Hall) 3:38
09. Maternity Orders (Keep On Rolling In) (Dennis Cotton / Bob Hall) 2:24
10. It's Over (Bob Hall) 2:31
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