May 10, 2009

COLD BLOOD - SISYPHUS (SAN FRANCISCO 1970) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve




Sisyphus -- Cold Blood's second release for Bill Graham's San Francisco label -- was a shift to a more aggressive and decidedly funkier sound. Taking their cues as much from James Brown's J.B.'s as from their Bay Area contemporaries and labelmates Tower of Power, Sisyphus is a much more cohesive and concentrated effort compared to their 1969 eponymous debut. The infusion of strong original material certainly did not hurt either -- as five of the disc's six tracks are credited as original band compositions. From the opening edgy/up-tempo instrumental "Shop Talk," the change in Cold Blood's direction is evident. This extended jam showcases the entire ensemble -- sans vocalist Lydia Pense -- including the band's latest addition, Sandy McKee (drums/percussion). The track also features notable assistance from original Santana bandmember Chepito Areas (congas/timbales). The driving rhythms are punctuated by the three-piece brass section, whose contributions are infinitely less obtrusive, especially during the dramatic segue into "Funky on My Back" -- one of Cold Blood's most definitive compositions. Highlighted by Pense's dramatic and sensual vocals, the track recalls the laid-back, soulful style of their first album. Another throwback is the slightly gospel-influenced cover of "Your Good Thing" -- originally performed by Stax diva Mable John -- which also features background vocals from the Pointer Sisters. The second half of Sisyphus consists of up-tempo groovers "Too Many People," "Understanding," and "I Can't Stay," which is not only the hardest-rocking track on the disc, it also features a lead vocal from percussionist McKee. The song actually comes off sounding like an early Santana cut rather than anything else on the album. This probably has to do more with the frenetically inspired fretwork of Larry Fields than the absence of Pense...
Here

6 comments:

Weekend Hippie said...

Great group, I saw them on tour for this lp and Lydia sure could wail! If you like funky horn bands, you'll love Cold Blood.

Many thanks for your great site, and all your hard work!

Anonymous said...

Hi from Cy
Thanks for this and for the first Cold Blood too. Lydia's vocals bring up the occasional goose bump. Where are the likes of bands of the calibre of Cold Blood today?
Cy from Pck.

alphabet said...

I just discovered ur blog, its awesome!! Keep it up

Angelo said...

love it, my favorite Cold Blood is Thriller and their stuff from the closing of the Fillmore West. Do you have Vintage Blood? A recent release of a concert from about 1973, thinking of picking that up.

Dino said...

You obviously know great music. I appreciate your Blog. Thank you. They don't make Music like this anymore!

Anonymous said...

Onya Mate !
I'm off to buy this.