Friday, October 31, 2008

In Search Of .. Mar Y Sol

In the early 70's, the Live album was a major release event, second only to the live event it chronicles. After the huge success of Woodstock, the event and its subsequent 3-LP soundtrack album, and the film that documented the event, albums of similar nature began sprouting like so much magic mushrooms.

One such was Mar Y Sol.

Mar Y Sol (meaning "Sea and Sun") was a Woodstock-like music festival that took place in Puerto Rico in 1972. Originally planned to be held in 1971, with different producers as Fiesta Del Sol ("Party by the sea"), the festival fell under the auspices of promoter Alex Cooley (previously of the Atlanta International Pop Festivals and the Music Midtown Festival), amidst attempts from the Puerto Rican government to stop the festival, which was scheduled for the first to the third of April. The fact that the new dates for the festival was a very religious weekend in Puerto Rico, the government was even more determined to stop Mar Y Sol from happening. The news were everywhere and even reached some bands, who decided not to participate in the festival, even though their names were already included on the promotional posters. New bands were added to the roster at the last minute.

Mar Y Sol was marred by numerous problems and considered a disaster. Several accidental deaths occurred, including a murder, even rapes were reported. There was even a warrant issued for the arrest of Alex Cooley, who escaped the island even before the festival was over.

In spite of all the misfires, problems and failures, Mar Y Sol had its few shining musical moments. The lineup consisted of big name artists of that time such as Emerson, Lake & Palmer, The Allman Brothers Band, Dr. John, Long John Baldry, B.B. King, Herbie Mann, as well as then lesser known, but up-and-coming name artists like the J.Geils Band, The Mahavishnu Orchestra with John McLaughlin, Jonathan Edwards, Osibisa, Nitzinger and Cactus.

Here's the complete tracklist:

Looking For A Love - The J.Geils Band
The Noonward Race - The Mahavishnu Orchestra with John McLaughlin
Wang Dang Doodle - Dr.John
Why I Sing The Blues - B.B.King
Do You Know - Osibisa
Bedroom Mazurka - Cactus
Ain't Wastin' Time No More - The Allman Brothers Band
Take A Pebble/Lucky Man - Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Texas Blues/Jelly Roll - Nitzinger
Sometimes In The Morning - Jonathan Edwards
Train of Glory - Jonathan Edwards
Bring My Baby - Long John Baldry
Respect Yourself - Herbie Mann

As with the rest of the In Search Of entries, this double album is an item worth your while. Not so much for the haphazard event where it was presented, but for the music itself.


Blogger KP4UN said...

Here's a link to the Mar y Sol Festival website, which includes free downloads of bootlegs of exceptional performances from The Allman Brothers, Alice Cooper, B.B. King, Nitzinger

10:22 AM  

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