One of the greatest guitar albums of all time and a real '60s classic, with Elvin Bishop and Mike Bloomfield trading licks on the mind-bending title cut in particular.
If the Butterfield Blues Band's groundbreaking debut earned the respect of the group's elder influences, this one won over (and guided) the blues boys' psychedelic peers. Highlighted by the 13-minute-plus title track (an Eastern-influenced jam cowritten by guitarist Mike Bloomfield), East-West
stretches the boundaries of the blues. It would prod many lesser groups to explore, with generally dreary results, interminable free-flight explorations. But while East-West
and a cover of jazzman Cannonball Adderly's "Work Song" ventured in new directions, Paul Butterfield and company remained rooted in solid Chicago blues. East West presents the best of both worlds. --Steve Stolder