(4 / 5)
A smashing four-disc remastered and expanded boxed set of the classic prog’ jazz-rock album from 1970 from this respected outfit.
The set features an additional three Cds of recordings dating back to the band’s origins in 1965, through to their final recordings in 1971/’72.
The band formed in ‘65 at the University of Sussex in Brighton when Lynton Naiff (keyboards), Grant Serpell (drums), and Nick Nicholas (double bass) formed the US Jazz Trio to perform at University events and local gigs.
When Serpell graduated a year later, he was replaced by Mo Foster who had earlier been playing bass guitar in his school band, but had now switched to drums.
In 1968, Naiff, Serpell and Foster recruited Mike Jopp on guitar and vocalist Linda Hoyle to form Affinity.
The band made their live debut in October 1968 and soon appeared on the BBC radio show Jazz Club. Legendary saxophonist and club owner Ronnie Scott heard a recording of this performance and subsequently agreed to manage them, and give them regular bookings at his world-famous jazz club.
Affinity soon began to attract a lot of favourable media attention and signed to the newly formed Vertigo label in 1969.
Their eponymous debut album, produced by John Anthony, appeared in 1970. The record featured standout cuts such as “Three Sisters”, “Night Flight” and imaginative covers of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” and Alan Hull’s “I Am And So Are You”.
“Affinity” received positive reviews, with the Sunday Times praising the playing of organist Lynton Naiff and vocalist Linda Hoyle.
Wit this Esoteric Recordings release, there is the original seven album tracks, plus eight bonus tracks on disc # one (A & B sides of singles):
United States Of Mind
Yes Man (Recorded at Phillips Studios, London – December 1970)
If You Live (Recorded for BBC Radio Jazz Club – August 1968)
You Met Your Match (Recorded at Pan Studios, London in 1968)
I Am The Walrus (Recorded for Sez Lez August 1969)
Little Lonely Man (Recorded for BBC Radio 1 in 1970)
All Along The Watchtower/ It’s About That Time (Bootleg recording – The Torrington early 1971).
- This four disc set was compiled by Mo Foster and includes an illustrated booklet, with Mo’s liner notes.
By Christopher Weston
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’