Man, I haven’t heard this Grammy winning “jazz-rock” album in what seems like three lifetimes. Released in December of 1968, the band’s self-titled sophomore effort carried with it three singles with And When I Die, Happy, and Spinning Wheel (which I just heard on AM radio this very morning), and was a commercially successful monster (quadruple platinum… that’s a shit-ton of records). Though the musicianship behind leader Al Kooper is, without question, on point (Kooper, you’ll remember, was part of the Super Sessions record, together with Mike Bloomfield and Steven Stills, released July of the same year) the album as a whole requires a certain mindset that isn’t necessarily anywhere close to default. A fun and insanely well-pieced collection, I’m happy to put BS&T back on the shelf for the foreseeable future.
Since we haven’t done one of these in a while, in fact we’ve only done it one other time, Simply Samples is back with a Super Session of Bizarre proportions. Fan of hip hop? How about Pharcyde’s 1992 debut, Bizarre Ride II? Okay, then what about the 1968 super classic, Super Session by Bloomfield, Kooper and Stills? Notice any striking similarities between BKS’s cover of Donovan’s Season of the Witch and the Pharcyde’s Ya Mama? No?! Well, then have a listen.
Here is the opening to Season. Take particular notice to Al Kooper’s organic organ.
Now, here is that same bit sampled by the Pharcyde in their hilariously crass, Ya Mama. This is the instrumental version for clearer, albeit not near as funny, comparison.
And there you have it. A match made in music heaven spanning two completely different genres over the course of 24 years. Below are the full versions of both songs for your Sunday listening pleasure. If you don’t own either Super Session or Bizarre Ride II, I strongly urge you to seek them out immediately. Once you get that burnin’ yearnin’, there’s not turnin’ back, jack!
Season of the Witch by Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper and Steve Stills:
Ya Mama by The Pharcyde: