Friday, October 23, 2009

Neil Young at the Fillmore, 1970

Originally posted on November 28, 2007

Who would have thought back in 1970 that Neil Young would still be going strong, stronger than ever, and also be one of the few musicians who have been willing to take a political stand in this era? Now you may not agree with what he is singing these days, and that's your business, still you cannot help but admire the career of a man who is willing to go out on a limb and change his basic musical orientation from time to time, as well as exercise his right to freedom of speech.

After Buffalo Springfield broke up, a wonderful group in its own right with Stills and Young taking important roles, Neil Young formed his group Crazy Horse and began making some very influential music (we won’t go into his associations with Crosby, Stills and Nash here. Another time for that.) Reprise Records recently unearthed an unreleased set that Neil did at the Fillmore East in 1970 and it sounds fabulous. Crazy Horse does long versions of “Down By the River” and “Cowgirl in the Sand,” as you might expect, but they also do some more obscure material. They were surely a jam band then, along with many others, and Neil had/has his own way of playing lead. You may find this one a real trip down nostalgia’s byways. Or if you don’t really know that period very well (like born in the ‘80s or so, something like that), this is good as anything to start with for his early work.

I must get back to my Cadence Magazine reviews. By the way, they could use a few more subscribers. If you want to learn more about jazz and improv, they are a great place to go. A subscription doesn’t cost a million, and you’ll get lots of insights on the scene.

Website: They also make and distribute CDs in the jazz mould. All recommended, and not just because I write for them.

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