Tommy Bolin – Teaser Deluxe CD

SMSCD2 : July 2011

tommy bolin teaser deluxe reviewOK, apart from that SHOCKER of a cover, I am suprised how good ‘Deluxe’ is. I guess part of the problem for me is that I’m so familiar with all of the songs, that it would take some pretty inspired playing to win me over, but win me over it does. While songs like ‘The Grind, Dreamer’ and ‘People People’ remain close to the originals, it’s the funkier moments that really shine. The funky middle section of ‘Teaser’ is given more room to breathe and I like the looser feel of ‘Homeward Strut’. The extended solo on ‘Wild Dogs’ is a welcome surprise, but standout track for me is ‘Lotus’. Apart from the vocal treatment which almost render them unrecognisable (lost in a sea of reverb), the extended back section is sublime. I always hated the rapid fade on the original, it was teasingly (haha) cut short, not so on ‘Deluxe’. The groove is so infectious and seems to bring out the best in all players involved. Whereas Bolin solos in a more traditional (albeit fantastic) ‘rock’ manner in Wild Dogs, the looser reggae beat of Lotus allows him more room for inventiveness and he weaves in and out of the grroove with some blistering runs alternated by more subtle passages. My only gripe (apart from the cover) is that the production is a bit treble heavy in places.
I think this is one of the better, more consistent releases from the Bolin camp, it really showcases how good the original album was and it’s a joy to hear these new alternate takes. It’s up there with the CTTB rerelease and the Mk 4 rehearsals.
Listening to the fresh, energetic playing here and comparing it to his live work a year later shows how how rapid and dramatic his fall from grace was. Dave Streeten

Thankfully the EQ is really great, my disappointment is that it IS NOT a Teaser remix, and in fact only People People and Marching Powder are the master takes (from the original), but at least they have taken off the badly dropped in second overdubbed lead that was on the latter track used on Whips – It must have been amazing being in the studio when that Marching Powder was recorded, Walden belting the crap out of the kit, Jan Hammer twiddling away and NJ Bell trying to keep up with I think the most fluid playing that Tommy ever did. Fan-bloody-tastic! Timothy Campbell

Similar to both volumes of Whips and Roses that were released in 2006, Teaser Deluxe is comprised of outtakes from the same sessions that gave way to Tommy Bolin’s underrated yet classic 1975 solo effort, Teaser. Once more, producer Greg Hampton is the man behind the controls, and has again come up with a collection of vintage Bolin that simply kicks ass sonically. As with Whips and Roses, the renditions on Teaser Deluxe are a lot looser and freer than what wound up on Teaser, as heard on the renditions of “Homeward Strut,” “Teaser,” and “Marching Powder”. Plus, you’ll find a pair of songs that are included as much longer, jam versions – “Wild Dogs” and “Lotus” (which includes some great six-string work from Bolin). Also included are two different versions of a tune that was recorded during the Teaser sessions, but wasn’t included — a fiery instrumental titled “Crazed Fandango.” Until a remastered version of the original Teaser album gets released (which, nearly 30 years after its original release, doesn’t seem likely), Teaser Deluxe is certainly the next best thing. Greg Prato.
Teaser Deluxe is available at the DTB Online Store. And yes the cover is dreadful.

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