Title - 'Zephyr' (Cleopatra Records)
Artist - Zephyr
Now, I have to admit I knew next to nothing about this band - and that's me being generous to myself! But, I love the blues, jazz-influenced rock and roll, and I especially adore a ballsy female lead vocalist! I mean, come on now, who doesn't?!
That said, this 1969 record is more about the fact that it was guitar hero Tommy Bolin's first real band experience. Sure it was fronted by the Janis Joplineqsue powerhouse vocalist Candy Givens, but this newly remixed and remastered reissue from Purple Pyramid Records is a real gem for all Bolin fans.
Having been remixed and remastered under the watchful eye of founding member David Givens, this delicious album has finally been restored to the bands original vision. Funnily enough, as Givens himself has since put it, "For the first time you can hear what we heard before everything went wrong!"
Up first is the incredible show opener 'Sail On,' that not only instantly lets you into the vocal world of Givens, but the flashy guitar work of Tommy Bolin that the band is actually best remembered for. The Givens harmonica and Bolin guitar-driven 'Sun's A Risin' is next and is a showstopper for sure and is backed by the driven 'Raindrops' and then the keyboard work and Givens' driven harmonica on 'Boom-Ba-Boom.'
The jazzy blues of 'Cross The river' is next, with the softly versed 'St. James Infirmary,' the trance blues fury of 'Huna Buna,' before the original album comes to a close with the Givens-led 'Hard Chargin' Woman.'
But wait, there's more as this newly remixed and remastered album comes complete with four (4) glorious bonus tracks: Guitar Solo / 'Cross The River' (Reed's Ranch, Colorado Springs, CO - July 3rd, 1969); Jam (San Bernardino, CA, 1971), 'Uptown (To Harlem)' (Boulder, CO, 1971); and finally 'Sail On' (Tulagi's, Boulder, CO, 1973).
Oh, and in case you were not aware, a limited edition 2000 unit pressing of the reissue in a 3CD deluxe box set was released in May of this year along with a special 180 gram colored vinyl pressing to follow later this year.
Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk