The album Super Session grew out of a single nine hour jam in 1968 by guitarist Mike Bloomfield and multi-instrumentalist Al Kooper and Stephen Stills of CSNY fame. Kooper and Bloomfield had both previously worked in support of Bob Dylan, in concert and appearing on his ground-breaking classic, Highway 61 Revisited.
Kooper, fresh from having assembled and recorded the inaugural incarnation of Blood, Sweat & Tears, booked two days of studio time with Bloomfield in May 1968 in Los Angeles. They recruited keyboardist Barry Goldberg and bassist Harvey Brooks, both members of the band that Bloomfield was in the process of leaving, Electric Flag, and well-known session drummer "Fast" Eddie Hoh. On the first day the quintet recorded the first side of the album, tracks one through five of the CD version; the next day, Bloomfield, who was a heroin addict, abruptly disappeared after suffering an attack of what was euphemistically referred to as "chronic insomnia." Kooper hastily called on Stephen Stills to sit in for Bloomfield on what would become the second side of the album, tracks six through nine, including a lengthy cover version of Donovan's "Season of the Witch."
Some overdubbed horns were later added while the album was being mixed, which were eventually subtracted from the bonus tracks on the CD version. The album, which cost just $13,000 to make, was a top-20 hit which garnered a Gold Record award. Kooper forgave Bloomfield, and the two of them made several concert appearances after the album was released. One of these concerts was made into a live album.
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