Tuesday, February 3, 2009
The following review is by
and published on the All Music Guide site which can be found here
Carved firmly in the mold of the superstar jam sessions that fascinated the rock cognoscenti during the late '60s/early '70s, Green Bullfrog was the brainchild of producer Derek Lawrence. Built around longtime occasional collaborator Ritchie Blackmore, the session band also featured the pseudonymous talents of Tony Ashton ("Bevy"), Big Jim Sullivan ("Boss"), Earl Jordan ("Jordan"), Albert Lee ("Pinta"), Charles "Chas" Hodges ("Sleepy"), Matthew Fisher ("Sleepy"), Rod Alexander ("Vicar"), and Blackmore's Deep Purple bandmate Ian Paice ("Speedy"). Contrary to rumor and the inferences of the Ecy Street label reissue, however, neither Roger Glover nor Jon Lord were involved.
With such a stellar lineup, the actual musicianship is impeccable -- or, at least, as impeccable as you'd expect from a one-day studio party. A couple of Lawrence-penned numbers alone can be considered "original" numbers; the remainder of the album comprises blues-rock-inflected covers of sundry rock & roll staples, punctuated by a rough-and-ready version of the Creation's "Makin' Time."
With Blackmore, Sullivan, and Lee involved, it is naturally a guitar-heavy event, and there's certainly some searing playing to be found amid the good-time grooves and loose-limbed energies; the seven-minute title track is a particular tour de force. One has to admit, however, that unless ragtag armies of boogie buddies really are your cup of tea, there's little about Green Bullfrog to truly engage the attention. Just like every other superstar jam session, then
Green Bullfrog was an album resulting from a one-off studio project and recorded between February and May 1970. The album was the idea of producer Derek Lawrence who assembled a group of musicians with whom he had worked in the 1960s. For contractual reasons, the musicians were billed under pseudonyms: Albert Lee = Pinta, Matthew Fisher = Sorry, Ian Paice, of Deep Purple = Speedy, Tony Ashton = Bevy, Rod Alexander = Vicar, Chas Hodges = Sleepy, Earl Jordan = Jordan, Big Jim Sullivan = Boss, Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple = Boots, Despite rumours at the time Jeff Beck, Roger Glover and Jon Lord do not appear on the sessions. A few originals (penned by Lawrence) were played, as well as many blues-inflected covers of rock songs.
A record of this session was released in 1972. It was distributed by Decca records.
GREEN BULLFROG SESSIONS (as on the Green Bullfrog Session CD)
*appeared on original vinyl
01. "Ain't Nobody Home" (Jerry Ragovoy)
02. "Bullfrog" (Lawrence)*
03. "Walk a Mile in my Shoes" (Joe South)*
04. "My Baby Left Me" (Arthur Crudup)*
05. "Makin' Time" (Eddie Phillips)*
06. "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" (Lloyd Price)*
07. "I'm a Free Man" (Klingman)*
08. "Lovin' You is Good for me Baby" (Lawrence/Corlett/Hutton)*
09. "I Want You" (White)*
10. "Louisiana Man" (Doug Kershaw)
11. "Who Do You Love" (Ellas McDaniel)