Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Colwell-Winfield Blues Band - Cold Wind Blues (1968 us, awesome brass psych blues rock, 2001 hard sleeve reissue)

The Colwell-Winfield Blues Band. A nice enough, nondescript name for what would seem to be a nice enough nondescript white blues band, a somewhat fashionable commodity these days. But here is where the listener is suddenly surprised, for, as was evidenced at the Supermarket this weekend, the band comes complete with a pair of saxophone players.

Until the group gets warmed up to the prospect of playing as a group they manage to maintain the audience's interest with a succession of very well done sax solos, done in the jazz vein. The combination of an electric rock-blues band and pair of jazz saxophonists' is extremely well-blended, creating a feeling not of a rock group attempting a jazz piece, but the impression that these guys really were jazz musicians disappointed with the undefined ramblings of the 'new Jazz' musicians and searching for a new outlet, in rock. The influence upon them is obviously Coltrane and Coleman, yet there is occasionally soft and gentle (Shorter)? influence for balance. It's very gratifying to know that there is a group associated with the rock legions that uses a saxophone for what it is, not a member of the 'sock-it-to-me' rhythm section, but a solo lead instrument.

As a blues band, Colwell-Winfield is a fine representation of the musicl works of BB. King, Muddy Waters, Skip James et.al. both in presentation and style, but that is not enough. The problem involved with being a good blues band is one of identity. Too many good blues bands exist today, not enough groups have something else. For this reason (their ability to combine horns with a basic heavy blues background) Colwell-Winfield should be heard. Easily the most impressive number of the night was their overwhelming handling of "Dead End Street" a sometimes slow, sometimes rapid creative structure of sounds.

Starting like another of their saxophone based jazz-influenced numbers the song proceeded to catch everyone up in its magnitude. In much the same manner that the Cream has been known to play, i.e. a desire by each individual to outdo the next, the song soared through guitar solos, sax solos, electric piano phrasings, electric bass, horns, and drum breaks in continuing excellence. And amazingly enough they accomplished it all while remaining together as a unified whole, to the delight of the audience, which finished the twenty minute outburst on its feet applauding and cheering, the group seemed unable or, more likely unwilling to quit. This group should make it very big, very soon. If you can't hear them live (by far the best way) get their 'Cold Wind' album. It is a better than average studio production of an often times inspiring group…why couldn't this have been the 'Boston Sound'? 
by Randy Hawthorne
1. Free Will Fantasy (Mike Winfield) - 4:18
2. Mind To Give Up Living (Got A Mind) (Bill Colwell) - 6:49
3. Dead End Street (Ben Raleigh) - 7:54
4. Cold Wind Blues (Bill Colwell, Bruce Sweeney, Charles "Moose" Sorrento) - 4:45
5. Whole Lot Of Lovin' (Joe Josea, Maxwell Davis) - 3:33
6. Going Down Slow (St. Louis Jimmy) - 4:40
7. Govinda (Collin Tilton) - 6:00
8. Wind Is Singing (Bill Colwell) - 4:10
9. Cold Wind Blues (Version 2) (Bill Colwell, Bruce Sweeney, Charles "Moose" Sorrento) - 4:00
10.Whole Lot Of Lovin' (Version 2) (Joe Josea, Maxwell Davis) - 3:49

The Colwell-Winfield Blues Band
*Bill Colwell - Guitar
*Chuck Purro - Drums
*Jack Shroer - Alto, Tenor, Soprano Saxophones
*Moose Sorrento - Vocals
*Collin Tilton - Tenor Saxophone
*Michael Winfield - Bass