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Michael Bloomfield - Bloomfield A Retrospective album review

Album Review

Posthumous 1983 double album now on two CDs

As guitarist in Paul Butterfield’s Blues Band, Dylan’s 1965 electric transition, the Electric Flag and chart-scaling Super Session sets with Al Kooper, Michael Bloomfield’s searing liquid lyricism seemed destined to join acolytes such as Eric Clapton on top of the world, until heroin claimed his career, then his life in 1981.

Two years later, Columbia released this career-straddling selection now making its CD debut. Enhanced by linking interviews, it starts with I’ve Got My Mojo Workin’ from 1964’s Columbia demo session and Born In Chicago from Butterfield’s set at 1965’s Newport Folk Festival (where Bloomfield also played behind Dylan’s landmark electric debut). Due to licencing problems, it skips further Butterfield recordings to land in the Electric Flag’s pioneering super-soul and those towering Kooper sessions. Disc two focuses on solo ventures, including 1969’s live My Labors, 1970’s It’s Not Killing Me, the Triumvirate album with Dr John, plus previously unreleased recordings.

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