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Author: Subject: Now Available, A New Tommy Bolin Release, "Whips and Roses"

Zen Peach





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  posted on 4/27/2006 at 11:59 AM
I am an unabashed fan of the late musician Tommy Bolin. So its no surprise that I have eagerly awaited the just released “Whips and Roses.”

For those of you not familiar with Bolin’s work before his drug overdose in 1976, I believe TB to be one of the, if not the, most versatile guitarists that I’ve ever heard. He could rock hard, his jazz/fusion work is legendary but I believe his greatest strength was his acoustic playing and his incredible improvisational playing skills.

Arguably, his most proficient and creative era was in 1974. That year found him playing as Joe Walsh’s replacement in The James Gang, eclectic work on Alphonse Mouzon’s fusion masterpiece “Mind Transplant” and beginning work on his first solo release “Teaser.” Much of “Whips and Roses” comes from the ’74 timeframe and as outtakes from “Teaser.”

Although none are credited on any of the material on “W&R”, accompanying musicians on “Teaser” were a who’s who of music in that day. Stanley Sheldon on bass (Peter Frampton), David Sanborn & Michael Brecker on saxophone, keyboards from David Foster, Prairie Prince, Narada Michael Walden and Phil Collins on drums, Airto Moriera on percussion, just to name a few.

This release starts with the song “Teaser” which here includes an unusual psychedelic intro. Other songs on "W&R"”that came from the Teaser sessions include "Fandango" (which was released on the first Tommy Bolin Archives “From The Vault” as “Crazed Fandango”), an extended jam version of “Wild Dogs”, a very sweet alternate version of the mellow ballad “Savannah Woman”, “Marching Powder” and “Dreamer.”

In addition, there are several tracks that are studio jams perhaps looking for that one riff that would develop into a released song (very similar to how “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” developed in the studio). Clearly there are overtones of “Homeward Strut” which was on “Teaser” that are apparent in “Cookoo” which appears here. “Flyin’ Fingers” is 15+ minutes of frenetic jamming. “Just Don’t Fall Down” is actually an old Energy song (a group that included Bolin & Sheldon) which has previously been called “Hoka Hey.” Why the name change? Anyone’s guess.

The final track a 10+ minute jazz jam with the band DVC took place the night prior to Bolin’s death in a Miami hotel room from multiple drug overdoses. The jam took place in The Seven Seas Lounge of the hotel.

Tommy od’d 12/4/76 following the opening concert the previous night of a nationwide tour of his solo band opening for Jeff Beck. Bolin really was poised to have his solo career take off spring boarding from his work the The James Gang and the notoriety received from a tour replacing Ritchie Blackmore in Deep Purple. Allen Woody, a huge Bolin fan, actually attended Bolin's last concert in Miami.

This release will give you a pretty good representation of what Tommy could do. Some of the tracks are a little sparse and under produced, but then again, they were never intended for actual release.

For those interested in finding out more about Tommy I suggest you pick up Billy Cobham’s “Spectrum” release, Mouzon’s “Mind Transplant” (if you can find it) and Tommy’s “Teaser” and/or “Private Eyes” solo releases. You can also visit www.tbolin .com or realbolin.com.

Ironically, “Whips and Roses” was Tommy’s chosen title for the “Private Eyes” release but it was ultimately changed prior to release by the record label.


[Edited on 4/27/2006 by oldcoot]

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 4/27/2006 at 12:05 PM
Wow, that was interesting stuff, thanx OldCoot. I was privileged as a kid to see Tommy Bolin playing with deep Purple at Radio City Music Hall in NYC. I remember being diasappointed after buying the ticket to hear that Blackmore had left the band. Once the show started, let's just say I wasn't disapoointed long.

I never did hear much of TB's solo work, but your post makes me wanna go check him out.

 

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  posted on 4/27/2006 at 01:17 PM
OC, thanks for keeping Tommy's name out there ...
gonna pick up Whips and Roses today ....

Not sure if it's still available, but I have a Bolin Box-set
that is pretty damn good .....

http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&token=ADFEAEE4781EDB4CAF7120D09732 54C6A772FB07CA63FF8F0C344259D5BB3A06830862FD0DA59D9FEEA420F87DB0FD29BB580FD 3CCA254F6DD60373E8BFEC61D&sql=10:qmf1zfaheh3k

 

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  posted on 4/27/2006 at 02:07 PM
Thanks for the info Coot. I'm a big fan of Tommy's and it really saddens me more today than in previous years that his life was so short. The reason is, the more I've listened to his music over the years, the more depth and complexity I see in it. Versatile doesn't even begin to describe it.

Another favorite of mine, Roy Buchanan, was labeled 'the worlds best unknown guitar player' many years ago, but alot more people I've talked to over the years know Roy, but don't know Tommy. Alot more dismiss him without even listening to him because ' if he was that good, I would have heard of him' LOL.

I'm so grateful to his family for releasing so much stuff over the last few years. Hopefully it will keep his memory alive and expose his great abilities to a whole new generation.


 

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  posted on 4/27/2006 at 02:52 PM
You guys are making me dig into my record (vinyl) collection. I found
Teaser and Private Eyes as well as two albums by Zephyr.

My favorite "unknown" guitarist is Harvey Mandel. Time to dig into
the record collection again.

[Edited on 4/27/2006 by jersey_devil]

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 4/27/2006 at 03:06 PM
Great review, Coot.
Also, nice appreciation, Ozzy.

Teaser is one of my very favorite albums of those years, so this is so cool that Whips and Roses would have all those alternate takes. Like Jeff Beck, Tommy came to fusion from a hard rock perspective--compared to the fusion guitarists who were jazz guys first--and his playing can really punch a song right where it needs it (hit the note).

Coot, since you and Tommy grew up "just" across the Missouri River from each other, did you ever see him or even hear of him back before he got big? My impression is that he went to Colorado early on to be in Zephyr, but he must have been playing clubs around Iowa and Nebraska before that. I was on the Mississippi in Illinois, you know, but I didn't really go to shows, much less clubs, until after high school, so I might have just missed Tommy and not known it.

jersey devil, Harvey Mandel is not unknown to me --I have about 8 of his albums, not counting his stuff with John Mayall etc. Really good listening!

 

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  posted on 4/27/2006 at 03:20 PM
quote:
Great review, Coot.
Also, nice appreciation, Ozzy.

Teaser is one of my very favorite albums of those years, so this is so cool that Whips and Roses would have all those alternate takes. Like Jeff Beck, Tommy came to fusion from a hard rock perspective--compared to the fusion guitarists who were jazz guys first--and his playing can really punch a song right where it needs it (hit the note).

Coot, since you and Tommy grew up "just" across the Missouri River from each other, did you ever see him or even hear of him back before he got big? My impression is that he went to Colorado early on to be in Zephyr, but he must have been playing clubs around Iowa and Nebraska before that. I was on the Mississippi in Illinois, you know, but I didn't really go to shows, much less clubs, until after high school, so I might have just missed Tommy and not known it.

jersey devil, Harvey Mandel is not unknown to me --I have about 8 of his albums, not counting his stuff with John Mayall etc. Really good listening!


Actually Peter, at one time I lived in Sioux City which as you know is Tommy's hometown. At 16, he refused to cut his hair and was kicked out of school. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Boulder and quickly caught on with the musicians that formed Zephyr. Hard to believe that someone who should have still been in high school was playing in a group at that age.

I completely slopped into seeing Tommy play once, and I'm grateful for that to this day. On a semester break from college (lived in Omaha then) a buddy heard that Johnny Winter was playing in Des Moines so three of us piled in the car to go see Johnny. The James Gang, with Tommy, was an opening act so I was very, very lucky to have actually seen him on stage.

I would also highly recommend releases that are available from The Tommy Bolin Archives. "From The Vaults Volume I" also has some nice outtake material of songs that were on Teaser. I would suggest getting them through Amazon or some source like that. Ordering through the archive people themselves can be a very frustrating and incredibly slow experience. Believe it or not, and you can fax orders, if you order by phone you get a recorded message that asks you to leave your credit card information. Uh, I don't think so.....

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 4/27/2006 at 04:29 PM
quote:
Actually Peter, at one time I lived in Sioux City which as you know is Tommy's hometown.
I knew the second part but not the first part. I'll add it to my Coot bio manuscript.
quote:
I completely slopped into seeing Tommy play once, and I'm grateful for that to this day. On a semester break from college (lived in Omaha then) a buddy heard that Johnny Winter was playing in Des Moines so three of us piled in the car to go see Johnny. The James Gang, with Tommy, was an opening act so I was very, very lucky to have actually seen him on stage.
Excellent!
quote:
I would also highly recommend releases that are available from The Tommy Bolin Archives. "From The Vaults Volume I" also has some nice outtake material of songs that were on Teaser. I would suggest getting them through Amazon or some source like that. Ordering through the archive people themselves can be a very frustrating and incredibly slow experience. Believe it or not, and you can fax orders, if you order by phone you get a recorded message that asks you to leave your credit card information. Uh, I don't think so.....
Since I started out on the net using my full name for my email and so on, I thought about putting my social security number in my screen name, too. Maybe my Visa number would work better.

I have a friend who is a Tommy Bolin completist, and I often hear a bunch of Tommy when I go over there. Have you seen the video of Tommy playing "Quadrant IV"? I can't remember who else is in the band, but it's not with Billy Cobham. The freaked-out effects are done simply by Tommy's twiddling some knobs on a stand-mounted Echoplex box or something, which is of course a bit disappointing, but the rest of his playing is cool as all get out.

Maybe, though, I ought to be more of a Tommy completist myself. Whips and Roses sounds like a good start.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/27/2006 at 04:39 PM
quote:
quote:
Actually Peter, at one time I lived in Sioux City which as you know is Tommy's hometown.
I knew the second part but not the first part. I'll add it to my Coot bio manuscript.
quote:
I completely slopped into seeing Tommy play once, and I'm grateful for that to this day. On a semester break from college (lived in Omaha then) a buddy heard that Johnny Winter was playing in Des Moines so three of us piled in the car to go see Johnny. The James Gang, with Tommy, was an opening act so I was very, very lucky to have actually seen him on stage.
Excellent!
quote:
I would also highly recommend releases that are available from The Tommy Bolin Archives. "From The Vaults Volume I" also has some nice outtake material of songs that were on Teaser. I would suggest getting them through Amazon or some source like that. Ordering through the archive people themselves can be a very frustrating and incredibly slow experience. Believe it or not, and you can fax orders, if you order by phone you get a recorded message that asks you to leave your credit card information. Uh, I don't think so.....
Since I started out on the net using my full name for my email and so on, I thought about putting my social security number in my screen name, too. Maybe my Visa number would work better.

I have a friend who is a Tommy Bolin completist, and I often hear a bunch of Tommy when I go over there. Have you seen the video of Tommy playing "Quadrant IV"? I can't remember who else is in the band, but it's not with Billy Cobham. The freaked-out effects are done simply by Tommy's twiddling some knobs on a stand-mounted Echoplex box or something, which is of course a bit disappointing, but the rest of his playing is cool as all get out.

Maybe, though, I ought to be more of a Tommy completist myself. Whips and Roses sounds like a good start.


Very intereresting! No, I have not but I'd wager that I could hook you and your buddy up with some Bolin audio that he doesn't have.

As they say....pm on the way!

 

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  posted on 4/27/2006 at 04:55 PM
Thanks For the update

 

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  posted on 4/27/2006 at 04:59 PM
Here is a cool pic of Bolin,Hughes and Plant

ROCK GODS



 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/27/2006 at 06:46 PM
Tommy Bolin....LOVE that Cat !!!!!!

 

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  posted on 4/28/2006 at 06:41 AM

 

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  posted on 4/28/2006 at 07:14 AM
I've been a Bolin fan since he joined Purple; Private Eyes is a desert island disc for me. Sweet Burgundy...
 

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  posted on 4/28/2006 at 12:54 PM
Man this is great, I became a bolin fan throught a good friend of mine years ago. I clik and pasted some posts off here and sent to him. He is going nuts. Shake the devil, Post toastie, That sure was some great stuff back then. Thanks for getting us a update on a long lost guitar great. Why does he take them away from us so young??????

[Edited on 4/28/2006 by rottinpeach]

 

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