Friday, 1 March 2019

Zoot Money - The Best Of Zoot Money's Big Roll Band

  

Formed in 1961, Zoot Money's Big Roll Band was led by George "Zoot" Money on his bluesy Hammond organ. The group also featured the long time before The Police, youthful Andy Summers (spelt as "Somers" back then). They dished out ebullient, punchy British r'n'b and gained a cult following and fellow musicians' respect for their barnstorming live sets. They were very much part of the mid-late sixties British blues rock movement that included The Yardbirds, The Animals, John Mayall's Blues Breakers, The Kinks, Fleetwood Mac, Chris Farlowe, Them, Georgie Fame, Rod Stewart and Eric Clapton among many others. Money had a deep, smoky Georgie Fame-style voice too. In contrast to many of their contemporaries, they also addd saxophones to their sound. You now know where Dexy's Midnight Runners got that 1979-80 sound from, just check out "Big Time Operator". The sound Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes delivered in the late seventies is very influenced by this as well (listen to "It Should've Been Me").

For many, it is felt that the group's incendiary live sets just could not transfer to the studio and to a great extent, this is true, as the group achieved little serious commercial success, yet they went down a storm live. However, the material on this substantial compilation sounds great (it does include a few live cuts too, though). It is well remastered - big, deep, warm and bassy and pounds out of your speakers. As the sixties progressed in a haze of incense, man and psychedelia, epic guitar runs and drum solos took over, Zoot Money and his band became increasingly incongruous, which was a shame as they were a seriously storming live band.

TRACK LISTING

1. The Uncle Willie
2. Let's Run For Cover
3. Stop The Wedding
4. You Know You'll Cry
5. Please Stay
6. Big Time Operator
7. Stubborn Kind Of Fellow
8. Zoot's Sermon
9. Nick Knack
10. I'll Go Crazy
11. It Should've Been Me
12. The Cat
13. Bright Lights Big City
14. Back Door Blues
15. Sweet Little Rock 'n' Roller
16. Chauffer (Live)
17. Let The Good Times Roll (Live)
18. James Brown Medley (Live)
19. Barefootin' (Live)                                            

There are too many tracks here to detail each one, but highlights are the stonking "Big Time Operator", "The Uncle Willie", their cover of Marvin Gaye's "Stubborn Kind Of Fellow" and Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Rock 'n' Roller". The instrumental "Zoot's Sermon" is deliciously funky, organ-wise, too, as is the jazzy "The Cat".  Then there is the blues of "Bright Lights Big City" and "Back Door Blues". In fact, you can just put any of this album on, at any point, and enjoy it all.

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