Appaloosa - Appaloosa (Featuring Al Kooper)
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Genre: Psychedelic-Folk | Label: Columbia / CS 9819 | Original First US Pressing: 1969
From the Boston folk scene, emerged John Parker Compton’s band of Appaloosa, from which would also come Earth Opera (and its continuity Sea Train) and James Taylor. JPC (vocals & ac guitars) had formed an experimental duo with David Batteau and his cello that played a few gigs around Boston and Cambridge as they were still teenagers. The duo evolved with David’s brother Robin taking over with his violin, before expanding to a quartet with the arrival of Eugene Rosov (cello) and David Reiser (electric bass) and opened for Tim Harding and played every Sunday afternoon at the Cambridge Common Music Concerts. Rosov and Batteau were Harvard students, while Reiser sat in with prominent jazzmen in Boston clubs.
The group popped down to NY to get an audition with the legendary Al Kooper, playing directly in his office and getting instantly a recording deal. The prominent Kooper (producer and musician with The Blues Project, Blood Sweat & Tears, Bloomfield and by then a solo artiste as well and too many sessions to list) was to produce their sole album.
This album was labelled as folk baroque (as was popular at the time), a term also applying to Donovan, Gordon Lightfoot, Tom Rush, Nick Drake, Bobbie Gentry, Tim Buckley, Phil Ochs, the Bee Gees, and Tim Hardin, and meant folk mixed with classical/symphonic music. Sadly the album got almost no notice, staying four weeks in the US billboard, peaking at 128, as these folk baroque albums were flooding the airwaves at the time. It would be Appaloosa’s only album, the band splitting up when Compton, Batteau, and some friends drove out to California. John and Robin worked as a duo on Columbia for the Compton & Batteau in California album, with John doing his first solo album shortly afterward. To this day JPC is still active in the folk circles and reformed the group in 05, but nothing yet has come out of that.