ARTIST: Blood, Sweat & Tears
TITLE: Child Is the Father to Man
YEAR RELEASED: 1968
CHART ACTION: #47
SINGLES: I Can’t Quit Her
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Morning Glory
LINEUP: Al Kooper, Randy Brecker, Bobby Colomby, Jim Fielder, Dick Halligan, Steve Katz, Fred Lipsius, Jerry Weiss.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Jazz / blues / rock fusion project dreamed up by Kooper released their first album to acclaim, and underground FM radio loved it. It didn’t sell, though.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Al Kooper loved jazz, loved the blues, and loved rock. He also loved the idea of melding rock to a horn section, like jazz, soul and blues. So he put together this hybrid and released this album, which melds jazz, classical into rock and folk without compromising either.
Listening to this now, you kind of wonder why and how this was so revolutionary of a concept, since Chicago and later BS&T did much the same and now, genre mixing isn’t so rare. But this arguably was the first, and one of the best, fusions that kept the rock base.
Kooper was the songwriter and visionary, and this may be the best album he put together. I don’t think it’s a perfect album – there’s a bit too much noodling on some songs (which can happen with jazzy types). But it’s really strong and innovative with the elements all coming together on most tracks.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Soon after this album was released and didn’t sell – some in the band thought they needed a stronger vocalist. Kooper didn’t think so, so he left or was fired from his own vision.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, demo cuts and an outtake.
GRADE: A-: Not a hit, but a trailblazing album.