Home Read Albums Of The Week: Jazz Sabbath | Vol. 2

Albums Of The Week: Jazz Sabbath | Vol. 2

You'd be paranoid too if a Birmingham metal band stole all your songs.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In December 1969 Jazz Sabbath, London’s most successful underground jazz trio, were recording their second album at Morgan Sound Studios. With their debut album scheduled to be released in February 1970 and their sophomore album well on its way, Jazz Sabbath’s future was looking bright. Little did they know, their plans were about to unravel fast.

Following a lawsuit by a guest musician, they were forced to suspend the recording of their second album. Hoping this would all be settled by the time their debut album was released, disaster struck again. Band leader Milton Keanes suffered a major heart attack and the album was cancelled by their label manager, who subsequently burned down the warehouse containing all copies of the album for the insurance money. Meanwhile, a band from Birmingham had reworked Jazz Sabbath’s songs into somewhat rushed, so-called ‘Metal’ versions and released them as if they were their own.

So there was Milton; just released from hospital without a debut album and an unfinished second album he, pending the outcome of the lawsuit, wasn’t allowed to even speak of. That other band had since released two albums containing crude reworkings of his jazz songs and were rapidly gaining momentum. Without any physical proof that he wrote the songs, Milton was powerless to do anything. Even more frustrating: this band had named themselves after one of Milton’s songs; only adding insult to injury. With the other band continuously releasing more albums of Milton’s songs, the three members of Jazz Sabbath decided it was time to part ways.

Milton went to America to play in the New York jazz clubs, but he mistakenly took a Greyhound bus to New Orleans. He spent three months wondering why there were so many brass bands and which of the parks was Central Park. He lived in New Orleans for nine years, playing with any band that needed a jazz pianist. During this time he learned to overcome his fear of trumpets and fully embraced New Orleans-style jazz. Ready to settle down, he decided to apply for a green card. When the people at the immigration office learned he had already been living there illegally for nearly a decade, he was sent back to the U.K. immediately, where he resumed his daily routine of sending angry letters to the band from Birmingham.

The discovery of the debut album’s master tapes in 2019 and the following re-release of the album in 2020 has changed everything. With the truth finally out there and the Birmingham band exposed as the musical charlatans they are, Jazz Sabbath finally entered the studio after 52 years and finished recording their second album. The album you are holding in your hands contains the songs you’ve heard before, but in their original form; replenished with 52 years of experience, vigor … and rage.

The man behind this project, Milton Keanes, is actually Adam Wakeman. Adam is a long-time keyboard and guitar player for Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne. The main recording band consists of Adam, Jerry Meehan (Robbie Williams) and Ash Soan (Adele, Cher, etc.). Jazz Sabbath Vol. 2 features 11 guest musicians. The album is the followup to 2020’s self titled album, which also had a special mono Record Store Day edition.”