Click here for home page

Click here

Contact Us | Customer Information | Privacy Policy | Audio Help

Main Menu
Submit a review
Album Reviews
Book Reviews
DVD Reviews
Sign up for newsletter
Get Your EMail Address
Submit your website
KEEF HARTLEY Reissues Esoteric (2008)

Keef Hartley

Let us now give thanks to John Mayall. Were it not for the father of British blues' unsentimental handling of talent, we would not have the benefit of Keef Hartley's recorded legacy to enjoy again. The drummer joined an esteemed alumni including Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor and Andy Fraser in 1969 when, duly filtered through Mayall quality control, he hit the ground running with this formidable blues 'n jazz rock outfit.

Hartley inherited his former boss's focus on outstanding musicianship and this is reflected throughout Esoteric's reissue programme spanning the band's work for Deram, from 1969's confident debut, Halfbreed *** (replete with a jocular referencing to his dismissal) to 1971's full-on live release Little Big Band ***. The latter's title not only 'got' the fact Hartley had finally realised his dream to take a big jazz band on the road, but that his love affair with the lives and iconography of the North American Indian was unabated.

The sax and Sioux are not noted for their mutuality but Hartley ensured that all his album artwork reflected his passion and curiously this constancy works, notably on mid-period stand-out The Time Is Near ****. Its most complete and rounded work, this took the band closer to to the burgeoning 'progressive' trend of the day and showcased notably the talents of writer/guitarist Miller Anderson who upon insisting at auditions that he could not sing, was promptly made lead vocalist. Hartley was right to - Anderson's powerful and expressive voice complements perfectly the full throated roar of the brass back line.

Well-crafted in origination then, lovingly restored and re-presented now with droll notes from the man himself, these releases serve Hartley's legacy admirably, and are valedictory of his self-belief. Nice one, John.

Review by Peter Muir

Print this page in printer friendly format

Print this page in printer-friendly format

Tell a friend about this page

Tell a friend about this page

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

get ready to rock is a division of hotdigitsnewmedia group

Featured Artists
Artist Archive
Featured Labels
Label Archive
Do you want to appear here?