"Zephyr" (Cleopatra; 1969/2014)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Zephyr's self-titled debut from 1969 is remarkable for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is that it makes the recording debut of none other than the legendary Tommy Bolin.

From the same era in which Deep Purple and Black Sabbath were making big noise in the heavy music genres, Zephyr's sound is closer to that of Purple than Black, and blues-ier than both. Featuring a female vocalist whose style brings to mind that of Janis Joplin's Zephyr's self-titled CD is track after track of loud guitar, bluesy riffs and early 70s rock'n'roll sound that's as fascinating for historical purposes as it is for pure listening entertainment.

It's hard to imagine now but those who first heard this recording back upon its original release must have been blown away by Bolin's fretwork. His dynamic style and bold sound are the highlights of this CD, and act as the perfect balance for Candy Givens' high-pitched wails.

The 2014 edition is remixed and remastered under the supervision of founding member David Givens and includes four live bonus tracks of rare live material and studio improvisations that may not be of the same highest quality of the remixed original, but are certainly interesting enough to listen through.

Fans of Tommy Bolin and blues-heavy rock will want to add this CD to their collection.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2015 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 14 Aug 2022 15:50:08 -0400 .