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Release Info: The Graham Bond Organization - Solid Bond
This rather odd double LP is a patchy, yet good assortment of '60s material that Bond did not put out during that decade, and which remains unavailable on any other release. Nine of the 12 tracks date from 1966, with Bond accompanied by Dick Heckstall-Smith on sax and Jon Hiseman on drums (Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker had by this time left to join Cream). Most of those nine songs are not on the two proper albums he issued in the '60s (The Sound of '65 and There's a Bond Between Us), and though a few did appear on those albums and non-LP singles, these recordings are different versions. While not up to the level of the best cuts waxed by the Bruce/Baker lineup, these Hiseman/Heckstall-Smith-backed numbers are still solid jazzy R&B with that aura of faint menace unique to Bond's mid-'60s work. His singing is particularly effective in its drawn-out anguish on "It's Not Goodbye" and "Springtime in the City" has those uneasy descending chord progressions and creepy R&B black-mass organ that were Bond specialties. "Neighbour Neighbour" and "Walkin' in the Park" aren't as good as the versions he did with Bond and Baker on the first two Graham Bond Organization LPs, but they're different enough to merit hearing. The three remaining songs were done in 1963 with Bruce, Baker, Heckstall-Smith, and John McLaughlin, and are long, straight jazz pieces that are much different in nature. Historically they're interesting, particularly in their documentation of the period in which McLaughlin (who solos well, though his free jazz style was a long way off in coming) was in the band. However, Bond's outfit became much more distinguished as an R&B group than they were as an average jazz one, making the 1963 material more of a curiosity than a highlight of his discography.
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