Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu
Rock icon Al Kooper’s voice was dry as dust as he addressed The Egg’s almost-full Swyer Theatre. “Y’know, it’s too bad you couldn’t go out on a Saturday night and hear some good music.”
Over the laughter of the crowd, Jimmy Vivino shot back, “I wish I’d known I had to fly all the way across the country to play some!”
Mind you, that’s Vivino’s life since he became the music director for Conan O’Brien’s current talk show: Make assloads of money five days a week by filling time during the commercial breaks, and then fly someplace on the weekend and play music he wants to play! In this case, Vivino was linking up with his old running partner and paying tribute to one of Kooper’s former running partners – the late guitar genius Mike Bloomfield.
For Kooper’s part, this was not just a one-night thing. He’s in the middle of a six-month period building a four-disc boxed set of Bloomfield’s work, spanning his time with Bob Dylan and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, the short-lived genius of Bloomfield’s own group the Electric Flag, and the various recordings Bloomfield made with Kooper and others – not the least of which was the seminal 1968 jam date Super Session. “I’ve got Mike on the brain,” Kooper told us. “This is, like, my night off from work.”
“Now you know what it’s like to be me ALL THE TIME,” Vivino laughed.