Graham Bond

Singles & Rarities, Vol. 1

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While the appearance of rare Graham Bond material is welcome in any context, it must be acknowledged that this bootleg is a pretty patchy collection of odds and ends from his early recording career, much of which has actually been available on official CD reissue. There's little here that hasn't been officially issued at all, the big find being a version of "Wade in the Water" that's identified as originating from a 1963 EMI audition. It's actually not as good as the official versions of the song that Bond recorded later in the '60s, particularly as saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith does not appear on the track, but it's an interesting early relic nonetheless. After that cut opens the CD, the disc presents six sides on which the Graham Bond Quartet backed the fine, underrated British blues-rock singer Duffy Power. These numbers are okay (though not great), but all but one of them (an alternate version of "Farewell Baby") appeared on the legit 2002 Power CD compilation Leapers and Sleepers. And while the three subsequent live June 1963 recordings, which are pure jazz, are interesting, they were issued long ago on the Solid Bond LP compilation -- not an easy thing to find nowadays, admittedly, but something that anyone likely to spring for a Bond bootleg in the first place might already own. Rounding things off are four fair, if unremarkable, R&B instrumentals from a rare mid-'60s EP by Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin, on which Bond's band (billed as the GBs) served as the backup musicians. The packaging on the CD is minimal, further confining its value to completist collectors.