The Free Spirits are credited with releasing the first Jazz Rock album. Originally formed as a jazz group they released an album in 1967 titled Out of Sight and Sound and they certainly were. The late Larry Coryell, guitarist extraordinaire, turned the group towards more rock oriented sounds. The band performed often at The Scene a New York nightclub getting paid $10 a night. Whew! Times were tough.
Back on the psychedelic endeavours of US bands, Steve Hoffman and his group, The Mystic Astrological Crystal Band, the name is a dead giveaway, released a self-titled album of Hoffman originals in 1967, described by some as oriental psychedelia! Steve Hoffman surfaced in West Covina LA and the one and only album by the band was released appropriately on Drop Out Records. Say no more.
The Leathercoated Minds certainly went flat out to bring the joys of the psychedelic muse to Los Angeles with their 1967 album A Trip down the Sunset Strip. The album was produced by J J Cale and Snuff Garrett, and comprises an album mainly of covers of contemproary songs including a psychotic instrumental version of Peter Paul & Mary’s Puff the Magic Dragon. Whatever they were taking served the purpose. The choice of songs on the album is interesting.
- “Eight Miles High” (Gene Clark, Jim McGuinn, David Crosby) – 2:03
- “Sunset and Clark” * – 1:58
- “Psychotic Reaction” (Ken Ellner, Roy Chaney, Craig Atkinson, John Byrne, John Michalski) – 2:23
- “Over Under Sideways Down” (Chris Dreja, Keith Relf, Jim McCarty, Paul Samwell-Smith) – 2:10
- “Sunshine Superman” (Donovan) – 3:12
- “Non-Stop” – 2:30
- “Arriba” – 2:15
- “Kicks” (Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil) – 2:40
- “Mr. Tambourine Man” (Bob Dylan) – 2:08
- “Puff (The Magic Dragon)” (Peter Yarrow, Leonard Lipton) – 2:26
- “Along Comes Mary” (Tandyn Almer) – 2:00
- “Pot Luck” – 2:04