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Paul Butterfield Blues Band - “East-West” (1966)

#18 Paul Butterfield Blues Band- “East-West” (Elektra Records)  

Released August 1966, Recorded July 1966 

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band's 1966 album East-West is a rock and blues history landmark. It is celebrated for its groundbreaking fusion of genres, including blues, rock, jazz, and Indian classical music. Recorded and released by Elektra Records, the album features the dual guitar talents of Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop, with Paul Butterfield on harmonica and vocals, Jerome Arnold on bass, Mark Naftalin on keyboards, and Billy Davenport on drums. The title track, a 13-minute instrumental, blends modal jazz improvisation with Indian raga influences, anticipating the jam band movement and psychedelic rock of the late 1960s. Critically acclaimed, East-West remains a classic, frequently cited for its innovation and lasting impact on music. The band's live performances of "East-West" were renowned for their intensity and improvisation, setting the stage for future jam bands. The band continued influencing musicians after the album's release, although they disbanded in the early 1970s. Paul Butterfield remained active in music until he died in 1987 at age 44.

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