Al Kooper

Rekooperation

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The best of all of Al Kooper's studio albums, Rekooperation is a mostly instrumental album, on which the artist (playing organ and piano, and occasional guitar) and a band including Jimmy Vivino, Harvey Brooks, and Fred Walcott, among others, roar and pound their way through a baker's dozen of R&B, rock & roll, and soul classics. Everything from chestnuts like "Soul Twist," "Honky Tonk," "Johnny B. Goode," "Clean Up Woman," and " "Don't Be Cruel" to originals such as "Downtime" and "Alvino Johnson's Shuffle," without a notable gap in quality between them, are included -- and the one vocal number, "I Wanna Little Girl," contains one of the finest singing performances that Kooper has ever turned in on record (but is also played so well, that it would work as an instrumental too). In many ways, this recording is a distant cousin to Blood, Sweat & Tears' Child Is Father to the Man, and was his first attempt at leading a band since that 1968 venture, which was sort of fitting since it led to Soul of a Man, Kooper's live-in-concert career retrospective album, the next time out.

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