Harvey Mandel – Baby Batter

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This album Harvey Mandel album is entirely instrumental. Harvey Mandel played at the original Woodstock Festival with Canned Heat and on the Rolling Stones “Black and Blue” album among others. His music is a mixture of rock, blues and jazz. He has done sessions playing all of the types of music. He has much in common with such guitarists as Jeff Beck and Roy Buchanan who also play a similar type of music. All three of these guitarists are not good vocalists and are better suited for making instrumental albums. While his playing is not as technical as either Jeff Beck’s or Roy Buchanan’s styles, there is still much to enjoy. Harvey makes excellent use of the wah wah and other effects on this album. His playing is fluid and takes some interesting turns on occasion. Harvey Mandel was one of the first guitarists to utilize the “two-hand tapping” method of playing (Shangrenade album). This method became influential later in the seventies and eighties. My favorite cuts include the title track, “Freedom Ball” and “El Stinger” but every track is great. The band is very cohesive on this album and work well together. Larry Taylor a bandmate of Mandel’s from his days in Canned Heat and John Mayall’s band plays bass throughout this disk. It is hard to believe that Harvey Mandel’s instrumental albums with the exception of the first album were not better sellers at the time they were released. Fans of progressive instrumental guitar music should purchase this album as soon as possible before it goes out of print again.

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