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Harvey Brooks

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With Bloomfield in The Electric Flag, 1968

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Biography

Harvey Brooks (born July 4, 1944, New York City as Harvey Goldstein) is an American bassist. He has played in many styles of music, including blues, jazz and popular music, and was an early notable folk rock bass guitarist.

Columbia Records producer Tom Wilson picked Brooks (then still known as Harvey Goldstein) to play in Bob Dylan’s backing band on the sessions that produced “Like a Rolling Stone” and the album Highway 61 Revisited. Brooks, along with guitarist Michael Bloomfield and organist Al Kooper, provided Wilson and Dylan the harder, in-your-face electric sound they were looking for.

In 1965, Brooks toured with Dylan’s backing band that included Robbie Robertson, Al Kooper and Levon Helm. Brooks went on to play and record with Eric Andersen, Richie Havens, Jim & Jean, David Blue and various blues-rock fusion projects involving Bloomfield and Kooper. Brooks played on Cass Elliot’s debut solo album, Dream A Little Dream (1968), and on some of The Doors’ sessions, including four tracks released on their album Soft Parade.

In 1968, Brooks backed Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper and Steve Stills on the seminal Super Session release. Brooks’ composition “Harvey’s Tune” appears on this album. Later that same year, Brooks, Bloomfield, Barry Goldberg and Buddy Miles formed The Electric Flag.

In 1969, Brooks, working as a producer at Columbia, met Miles Davis’ producer, Teo Macero, who introduced Brooks to Davis. Brooks worked with Davis from 1969 through 1972, contributing to Davis’ Bitches Brew and Big Fun albums.

From the 1970s into the mid-1990s, Brooks worked with John Martyn, The Fabulous Rhinestones, Seals & Crofts, Fontella Bass, John Sebastian, Loudon Wainwright III, John Cale and Paul Burlison.

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