Home Read Classic Album Review: Ten Years After | Live at the Fillmore East

Classic Album Review: Ten Years After | Live at the Fillmore East

Alvin Lee & his blues-rockers swing like a jazz band in this vintage live recording.

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This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


My uncle was a jazz buff with a stunning record collection. Rare 78s, first-pressing LPs, he had ’em all. But between all his Jack Teagarden and Cal Tjader albums, he also had one rock band: Ten Years After.

I never really got the connection — until I heard this new two-CD set recorded live in New York back in 1970. No, there are no sax solos or scatting divas. But believe it or not, this gang of blues-rockers led by guitar hero Alvin Lee approached live performance in much the same way as a jazz quartet — take an old standard (Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, Sweet Little 16 or Spoonful, for instance), lay down the opening groove for a minute or two, then spin off into 10 minutes of adventurous, improvised soloing. Hell, when you get right down to it, the boogie-rock of tunes like I’m Going Home is really just swing in love beads and long hair. And like an old Charlie Parker side, it still sounds damn good after all these years. My uncle obviously knew more than he was letting on.