In 1971 the greatest improvisational rock outfit of all time, The Allman Brothers, famously set up shop at the Fillmore East in New York City. What ensued was two wild nights of southern rock, blues, jam rock and jazz eventuating in what critics widely agree is the greatest live album in rock history.
Two months prior the band was tuning up for these gigs at the Fillmore West which has today been released as a 4 CD set capturing the legendary band in top experimental form.
The fabled Allman Brothers performances from the Fillmore West 1971 release today featuring previously unheard covers and a 45 minute Mountain Jam.
In 1971 there was no other rock band on the planet, save the Grateful Dead offering a synthesis of rock, blues, jazz and country quite like the Allman Brothers. And these two bands are, to this day, in a league of their own.
The highlight here is discs 3 and 4 which is their incredible Jan 31st show ending with 45 minute rendition of Mountain Jam. The sound is, for the most part, very impressive although it does occasionally waver towards the bootleg side of things. However, if you’re listening to any 70s live albums this is pretty natural across the board.
Fans will enjoy the unnatural telekinesis of the original line up: Duane Allman (guitar), Gregg Allman (vocals, keyboard), Sarasota County resident Dickey Betts (guitar), Jaimoe (drums), Berry Oakley (bass, vocals) and Butch Trucks (drums).
The new set offers performances of songs that would only appear on later editions of Fillmore East, such as Midnight Rider and Don’t Keep Me Wondering, as well as new offerings like a rendition of Dreams and Muddy Waters’ Hoochie Coochie Man from the Jan 31st show.
The hallmark for improv lovers, however, is a bonus track of Mountain Jam from a 1970 New Orleans show clocking in at 45 minutes.
If you’re interested in the Allman Brothers at their tightest, most experimental heights, Fillmore West ’71 is a must have.
Pour a whiskey and check out the album below: