Kooper's seventh solo release opens daringly enough, with his own funky version of "This Diamond Ring," which he transforms completely from its Drifters-inspired origins. Most of the album is in a mid-'70s soul-funk vein, with Tower of Power turning up elsewhere and Kooper trying (with considerable success) to sound soulful on songs like "She Don't Ever Lose Her Groove" and "I Forgot to Be Your Lover." The playing throughout is excellent, with guitars by Kooper himself (who also plays sitar, Mellotron, organ, and synthesizer) as well as Little Beaver and Reggie Young, with Joe Walsh sitting in on one song, and horn arrangements by Kooper and veteran soundtrack composer Dominic Frontiere. The real centerpiece is the epic-length "Hollywood Vampire," which can't quite sustain its seven-minute length. The funkier numbers work, but some of the rest, like "In My Own Sweet Way," don't come off so well. This is two-thirds of a pretty fair album, and only lacks consistency.
This is the fourth solo album from rock and roll wunderkind Al Kooper. He congregates two very distinct bands - one in London and the other in Los Angeles - to accompany some of his most emotive compositions to date. This is ironic when considering the title track is a paean to the Big Apple. The UK aggregate consists of musicians from Hookfoot, including Herbie Flowers (bass), Caleb Quay (guitar) and Roger Pope (drums). The band were fresh from several collaborations with Elton John, most notably his third studio effort Tumbleweed Connection.
Raven presents, on a great value Double CD, three landmark albums by legendary multi-instrumentalist, producer and solo artist Al Kooper. Few American musicians have pursued a more diverse or fascinating career than Kooper. As well as having played organ on Bob Dylan's timeless 'Like a Rolling Stone', formed Blood Sweat & Tears and produced Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kooper has issued more than a dozen solo albums and continues to record. Easy Does It (1970), New York City (You're a Woman) (1971) and A Possible Projection of the Future (1972) were his 5th, 6th and 7th albums recorded for Columbia and incorporate soul, pop, country and jazz elements with seamless ease. All showcase Kooper's incredible musicianship at its creative and innovative peak. Also features a stellar cast of session musicians including Herbie Flowers, Joe Beck, Rick Marotta, Carol Kaye, Sneaky Pete Kleinow, Rita Coolidge etc.
Al Kooper is an American songwriter, record producer and musician, known for organizing Blood, Sweat & Tears (although he did not stay with the group long enough to share its popularity), providing studio support for Bob Dylan when he went electric in 1965, and also bringing together guitarists Mike Bloomfield and Stephen Stills to record the Super Session album. He has had a successful solo career since then, written music for film soundtracks, and has also lectured in musical composition.