Key West Chamber Events

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Although this poster sports an incredible line-up of bands, it is somewhat of a lack-luster piece for this “Poster From The Past”.
The central image is of a man face and upper body. He appears to be holding a large bird head hand puppet. This poster reminds me of a wood block cut print…. but it isn’t. Of the half-a-dozen posters that this Artist did for Bill Graham, some feel that this is probably most interesting. Zzzzzzzzz….. if you ask me!. Looks t’me as if there is some kinda early zombie thing go’in on here! Colors are cool just the same, but I personally feel that a show with such Grand line-up deserved a much better poster! But that’s just my opinion. What do you all think?

And so, it was 47 years ago on this day back in 1967, that Cream, The Electric Flag, Gary Burton, and Prime Movers began their six nights of music at the Fillmore Auditorium here in San Francisco. Lights by Dan Bruhns “Lights at The Fillmore”. This rock poster is BG number #80 in the old Fillmore poster series, and was created by artist Jim Blashfield. It was printed two times. As a foot note, The Electric Flag was a No-Show for this concert, and The Prime Movers filled in for them.

Share it if you like the Zombie!
Offered up for Approval by Professor Poster


 

Cream
Artist Biography by Richie Unterberger

Cream_Clapton_Bruce_Baker_1960sAlthough Cream were only together for a little more than two years, their influence was immense, both during their late-’60s peak and in the years following their breakup. Cream were the first top group to truly exploit the power trio format, in the process laying the foundation for much blues-rock and hard rock of the 1960s and 1970s. It was with Cream, too, that guitarist Eric Clapton truly became an international superstar. Critical revisionists have tagged the band as overrated, citing the musicians’ emphasis upon flash, virtuosity, and showmanship at the expense of taste and focus. This was sometimes true of their live shows in particular, but in reality the best of their studio recordings were excellent fusions of blues, pop, and psychedelia, with concise original material outnumbering the bloated blues jams and overlong solos.

Cream could be viewed as the first rock supergroup to become superstars, although none of the three members were that well-known when the band formed in mid-1966. Eric Clapton had the biggest reputation, having established himself as a guitar hero first with the Yardbirds, and then in a more blues-intensive environment with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. (In the States, however, he was all but unknown, having left the Yardbirds before “For Your Love” made the American Top Ten.) Bassist/singer Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker had both been in the Graham Bond Organisation, an underrated British R&B combo that drew extensively upon the jazz backgrounds of the musicians. Bruce had also been, very briefly, a member of the Bluesbreakers along with Clapton, and also briefly a member of Manfred Mann when he became especially eager to pay the rent.

All three of the musicians yearned to break free of the confines of the standard rock/R&B/blues group, in a unit that would allow them greater instrumental and improvisational freedom, somewhat in the mold of a jazz outfit. Eric Clapton‘s stunning guitar solos would get much of the adulation, yet Brucewas at least as responsible for shaping the group’s sound, singing most of the material in his rich voice. He also wrote their best original compositions, sometimes in collaboration with outside lyricistPete Brown.

Fresh Cream

At first Cream‘s focus was electrified and amped-up traditional blues, which dominated their first album, Fresh Cream, which made the British Top Ten in early 1967. Originals like “N.S.U.” and “I Feel Free” gave notice thatCream were capable of moving beyond the blues, and they truly found their voice on Disraeli Gears in late 1967, which consisted mostly of group-penned songs. Here they fashioned invigorating, sometimes beguiling hard-driving psychedelic pop, which included plenty of memorable melodies and effective harmonies along with the expected crunching riffs. “Strange Brew,” “Dance the Night Away,” “Tales of Brave Ulysses,” and “S.W.L.A.B.R.” are all among their best tracks, and the album broke the band big-time in the States, reaching the Top Five. It also generated their first big U.S. hit single, “Sunshine of Your Love,” which was based around one of the most popular hard rock riffs of the ’60s.

Wheels of Fire

With the double album Wheels of Fire, Cream topped the American charts in 1968, establishing themselves alongsidethe Beatles and Hendrix as one of the biggest rock acts in the world. The record itself was a more erratic affair thanDisraeli Gears, perhaps dogged by the decision to present separate discs of studio and live material; the concert tracks in particular did much to establish their reputation, for good or ill, for stretching songs way past the ten-minute mark on-stage. The majestically doomy “White Room” gave Creamanother huge American single, and the group was firmly established as one of the biggest live draws of any kind. Their decision to disband in late 1968 — at a time when they were seemingly on top of the world — came as a shock to most of the rock audience.

Goodbye

Cream‘s short lifespan, however, was in hindsight unsurprising given the considerable talents, ambitions, and egos of each of the bandmembers. Clapton in particular was tired of blowing away listeners with sheer power, and wanted to explore more subtle directions. After a farewell tour of the States, the band broke up in November 1968. In 1969, however, they were in a sense bigger than ever; a posthumous album featuring both studio and live material,Goodbye, made number two, highlighted by the haunting Eric ClaptonGeorge Harrison composition “Badge,” which remains one of Cream‘s most beloved tracks.Clapton and Baker would quickly resurface in 1969 as half of another short-lived supergroup, Blind Faith, and Clapton of course went on to one of the longest and most successful careers of anyone in the rock business. Bruce and Baker never attained profiles nearly as high after leaving Cream, but both kept busy in the ensuing decades with various interesting projects in the fields of rock, jazz, and experimental music. Cream reunited for a handful of live shows in 2005 at London’s Royal Albert Hall and New York City’s Madison Square Gardens, but no further reunions were forthcoming, and Brucedied of liver disease in Suffolk, England in October 2014.


flag01Electric Flag

The short-lived but successful, Electric Flag was formed in 1967 by guitarist, Mike Bloomfield after he’d left The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, ostensibly to give original guitarist Elvin Bishop, in Mike’s words, “a little space.” Undoubtedly he had also become uncomfortable with Paul Butterfield’s position as bandleader and was anxious to lead his own band. When Bloomfield left, he brought vocalist Nick Gravenites with him.

The rest of the original group was a collection of seasoned professionals from some of America’s most successful bands. Drummer Buddy Miles had done session work with Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett, bassist Harvey Brooks had been with Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs and Judy Collins. Keyboard player Barry Goldberg had previously played with Steve Miller and Mitch Ryder, Peter Strazza on tenor saxophone had also played for Miller. Trumpeter, Marcus Doubleday had backed The Drifters, Jan and Dean as well as Bobby Vinton. Herbie Rich, a well seasoned session man completed the ensemble on baritone sax .

Oddly, before even playing any live concerts, the group recorded the soundtrack for the 1967 psychedelic exploitation movie, “The Trip”, which afforded them the opportunity to experiment with some of their ideas without much pressure. Their live debut was at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, although they didn’t make it into the documentary film of the event.

Their first album, “A Long Time Comin'” was released in the spring of 1968 with additional members Stemziel (Stemsy) Hunter and Mike Fonfara. It was an erratic collection, predating Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago as an attempt to fuse the big band sound with hard rock. The album’s success is difficult to judge, in light of the facts that Gravenites really wasn’t a top-notch vocalist, and that the band’s instrumental skills outshone their songwriting. It did manage to reach # 31 in the U.S. album charts.

There was enough promise on the album to merit further exploration, but it had hardly been released before the Flag began to droop. Drugs, egos, and poor management started to take their toll. Goldberg left, followed shortly by Bloomfield, the most important component of the group’s vision. Buddy Miles, however, was determined to keep the band together and recorded a second album titled simply, “The Electric Flag”. Despite climbing to number 76, the record failed to mask the internal turmoil that hard drug abuse and internal stresses had created and which led to the band’s disintegration in 1969. They did reunite in a studio project with Mama Cass shortly after, which was completed, then promptly shelved.

Miles went on to form “The Buddy Miles Express” and later joined Jimi Hendrix’s Band Of Gypsies, while Gravenites worked briefly for Big Brother and The Holding Company before becoming a songwriting legend in San Francisco. He would later produce Brewer And Shipley’s US Top Ten hit, “One Toke Over The Line”. Brooks, following years of session work that included the Bloomfield/ Al Kooper / Stephen Stills Super Session, reappeared as a member of Sky.

Bloomfield, weary of the road, suffering from insomnia, and uncomfortable in the role of guitar superstar, returned to San Francisco to score movies, produce other artists, and play studio sessions. One of those sessions was a day of jamming in the studio with keyboardist Al Kooper, who had previously worked with Bloomfield on the 1965 Dylan sessions. “Super Session”, the resultant release, with Bloomfield on side one and guitarist Stephen Stills on side two, once again thrust Bloomfield into the spotlight. Kooper’s production and the improvisational nature of the recording session captured the quintessential Bloomfield sound: the fast flurries of notes, the incredible string bending, the precise attack, and his masterful use of tension and release.

Although “Super Session” was the most successful recording of his career, Bloomfield considered it to be a scam, more of an excuse to sell records than a pursuit of musical goals. After a follow-up ‘live’ album, he retired to San Francisco and lowered his visibility.

In the seventies Bloomfield played gigs in the San Francisco area and infrequently toured as Bloomfield And Friends, a group which usually included Mark Naftalin and Nick Gravenites. Bloomfield also occasionally helped out friends by lending his name to recording projects and business propositions, such as the ill-fated Electric Flag reunion in 1974. In the mid-seventies Bloomfield recorded a number of albums with a more traditional blues focus for smaller record labels. He also recorded an instructional album of various blues styles for Guitar Player magazine.

By the late seventies Bloomfield’s continuing drug and health problems caused erratic behavior and missed gigs, alienating a number of his old associates. In the summer of 1980 he toured Italy with classical guitarist Woody Harris and cellist Maggie Edmondson. On November 15, 1980, he joined Bob Dylan on stage at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco and jammed on “Like A Rolling Stone”, the song they had recorded together 15 years earlier. Sadly, Michael Bloomfield was found dead in his car of a drug overdose in San Francisco, California on February 15th, 1981.

On July 28th and 29th, 2007, a one-time reunion of The Electric Flag, anchored by original members Gravenites, Goldberg and Hunter, took place at a show at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival. The original members were backed by members of the Tower of Power and The Blues Project. They played one hour set featuring material from the first album, as well as several Blues covers.

Drummer Buddy Miles passed away on February 26th, 2008 at the age of 60.


A-841693-1320239348.jpegGary Burton
Artist Biography by Scott Yanow

One of the two great vibraphonists to emerge in the 1960s (along with Bobby Hutcherson), Gary Burton‘s remarkable four-mallet technique (best displayed on an unaccompanied version of “No More Blues” from 1971) can make him sound like two or three players at once. He recorded in a wide variety of settings and always sounds distinctive. Self-taught on vibes, Burton made his recording debut with country guitarist Hank Garland when he was 17, started recording regularly for RCA in 1961, and toured with George Shearing‘s quintet in 1963. He Like Mindsgained some fame while with Stan Getz‘s piano-less quartet during 1964-1966, and then put together his own groups. In 1967, with guitarist Larry Coryell, he led one of the early “fusion” bands; Coryellwould later be succeeded by Sam Brown, Mick Goodrick, John Scofield, Jerry Hahn, and Pat Metheny. Burton recorded duet sets with Chick Corea (they also toured extensively), Ralph Towner,Steve Swallow, and Paul Bley, and collaborated on an album apiece with Stéphane Grappelli andKeith Jarrett. Among his sidemen in the late ’70s and ’80s were Makoto Ozone, Tiger Okoshi, andTommy Smith. Very active as an educator at Berklee since joining its faculty in 1971, Burton (who teamed up with Eddie Daniels in the early ’90s for an interesting Benny Goodman/Lionel Hamptontribute tour and recording) remained a prominent stylist. He recorded during different periods of his career extensively for RCA, Atlantic, ECM, GRP, and Concord, releasing Like Minds through the latter in 1998. Two years later, Libertango, his tribute to tango master Astor Piazzolla, arrived. The very personal composition For Hamp, Red, Bags, and Cal was issued in 2001 and in 2002 he explored classical music with the duet album Virtuosi, recorded with pianist Makoto Ozone. The year 2004 found Burton back on more familiar ground with the release of Generations, a bop-influenced album featuring a quartet of younger musicians. Burton paired with the same group for 2005’s Next Generation. In 2009, Burton released Quartet Live featuring guitarist Pat Metheny and bassist Steve Swallow on Concord. In 2012, he released another duet recording with Corea entitled Hot House. In August of 2013, the vibraphonist released Guided Tour by the New Gary Burton Quartet on Mack Avenue Records. His new bandmates included drummer Antonio Sanchez, bassist Scott Colley, and guitarist Julian Lage.