50 Years Today, Blood, Sweat and Tears – Child is the Father to the Man

Today, February 21st, 2018 is the 50th anniversary of the release date of the classical Columbia Records recording, Child is the Father to the Man by Blood, Sweat & Tears.

It has always been one of my top listens. I love the flow of the album, beginning with the “Overture”, then continuing with original songs by Al Kooper and Steve Katz. The album always calls me in refreshing, haunting fashion.

I have a framed LP album cover signed by Al Kooper and Steve Katz. I recommend both of their music biographies. Al Kooper’s Backstage Passes & Backstabbing Bastards and Steve Katz’s Blood, Sweat and My Rock ‘N’ Roll Years. Each musician provides a unique perspective on the first B, S, & T recording session and what that time was like for them.

 

Child is Father to the Man is a pastiche that borrows styles from Greenwich Village contemporary folk to San Francisco acid rock and mixes them into a new American musical form. The songs, “Without Her” by Harry Nilsson and “Morning Glory” by Tim Buckley evidence those trends.

My personal favorite track changes from time to time. Right now it’s “Just One Smile” by Randy Newman a very early song in his repertoire.

Do yourself a favor, wake up to your mind and give a listen to one of rock’s real masterpieces, Child is Father to the Man on this 50th anniversary celebration day. The recording is still fresh and vibrant all these decades later.

Blood, Sweat & Tears

  • Randy Brecker – trumpet, flugelhorn
  • Bobby Colomby – drums, percussion; backing vocals (tracks 4, 10)
  • Jim Fielder – bass guitar, fretless bass guitar
  • Dick Halligan – trombone
  • Steve Katz – guitars; lead vocals (tracks 3, 8); backing vocals (tracks 3); lute (track 6)
  • Al Kooper – organ, piano; lead vocals (tracks 2, 4-7, 9-12); ondioline (track 8)
  • Fred Lipsius – piano, alto saxophone
  • Jerry Weiss – trumpet, flugelhorn; backing vocals (track 4)

Laura Nyro Interpretations

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. My appreciation for the beauty of original songwriters sometimes arrives through the stylistic interpretation of other artists.

A singer and songwriter that I  treasure is Laura Nyro. I have written about her artistic impact several times on this music blog. This morning I happened upon a soulful music blog post, “Remembering Laura Nyro” by Richard Williams. It put me in touch with jazz pianist and composer Billy Childs.

Billy Childs

Billy Childs received a Grammy award for Best Arrangement Instrumental and Vocals for the choice, “New York Tendaberry”. The track features cellist Yo-Yo Ma, classical soprano Renee Fleming and Billy on piano.

Map To The Treasure, Reimagining Laura Nyro is a polished work. I like that Billy Childs and Larry Klein were painstaking in their choices of Laura Nyro’s songs. The album delves into classic hits and deeper tracks. Its a smart contrast that enhances the listener’s knowledge of Laura Nyro’s genius.

The Christine Spero Group

I discovered The Christine Spero Group by hyperlink very close after reading Richard William’s blog post. I was reviewing Steve Katz’s tour dates when I noticed that Steve Katz would be joining Christine Spero at My Father’s Place (Page One Restaurant) on Glen Cove, Long Island to perform the music of Laura Nyro on Friday April 10, 2015.

I thought about the Blood, Sweat and Tears album and their interpretation of Laura Nyro’s “And When I Die”. I had my synchronicity.

“Christine Spero and I shared a bill at the new Towne Crier in Beacon NY. I knew that Christine was doing a tribute to my old friend Laura Nyro, but I wasn’t prepared for just how amazing Christine’s performance turned out to be. She was able to channel Laura with all the feeling and intelligence that the music warranted, but, at the same time, made Laura’s music her own. A delightful evening all around – one that I hope will be repeated often.”  – Steve Katz

Steve Katz, Danny Kalb and The Blues Project

Last week I received an invite from Steve Katz on Facebook to join The Blues Project Facebook Page. This piqued my interest as I have a gap in my knowledge to be filled when it comes to their musical legacy. I am enjoying getting back in step with this seminal band from the late 60s. It’s cool to have a founding member create a Facebook Page and share out their personal scrapbook with us.

The last time I saw Steve Katz was several years ago at Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, Ct. Sikorsky held a concert on the company front lawn and Blood, Sweat and Tears/The Young Rascals (Gene Cornish, Dino Danelli) performed for us. Steve Katz drove down in his van to play and sing, “Sometime in Winter” with BS & T and then drove right home. It turns out that Steve Katz and his wife, Alison Palmer have a ceramics shop, Alison Palmer Studio in South Kent, Connecticut.

Steve is now working on his memoirs and performing solo concerts. Here is the announcement of an upcoming concert Steve Katz will be doing with Blues Project co-founding member, Danny Kalb. The event is scheduled for Friday, December 14, in Framingham, Massachusetts. Thinking strongly about attending 🙂

I plan to make it a point for my wife and I to visit, Steve Katz, the Alison Palmer Studio and the Kent arts/music scene soon. I love discovering new avenues of art and music in my Connecticut backyard 😉

Blood, Sweat & Tears (1968)