Sunbeam’s 2010 release Tasting The Life: Live 1971 documents a concert from Mighty Baby on February 20, 1971, when they were the opening act for Quintessence, and adds two bonus tracks from an appearance at Glastonbury later that year for good measure. The source tapes are a little rough -- it’s a bit flat, feedback leaks in on occasion, sometimes the keyboard bleeds, and the vocals peak out -- but the group’s elliptical charms are evident via these winding, exploratory jams. These performances aren’t particularly purposeful -- “India” reaches a whopping 22 minutes without going anywhere in particular, but there’s a choogling energy to their boogie that sits in interesting contrast to their jazz- and world-inflected improvisations. The fidelity and indulgence certainly whittles the audience for this down to the dedicated, but those committed fans will find Tasting the Life worth their while.
Tasting the Life: Live 1971 Review
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine