[21 June 2010]
After five years of touring the English countryside and playing some of the finest mid-60’s R&B and blue-eyed soul to loyal crowds of Mods without ever receiving the wider recognition the band deserved, the Action went “underground” to later resurface, minus singer Reggie King, as the psychedelic progressives of Mighty Baby.
Mighty Baby was heralded by late-60’s UK scenesters for onstage improvisational journeys into jazzy, eastern-influenced rock and loose country-boogie jams, and Tasting the Life captures the group in full flight as they open for Quintessence at Malvern’s Winter Gardens on February 20th, 1971. While the original show’s centerpiece is an imaginative, 22-minute, free-flowing meditation on John Coltrane’s “India”, the album’s highlight is the bonus track “Blanket In my Muesli”. Recorded at Glastonbury Fayre that summer, this 16-minute, heavy-lidded, psychedelic adventure in controlled self-indulgence showcases the quintet’s liquid approach to playing, with Martin Stone’s ingenious guitar work leading the way. A certain amount of stamina is required of the listener but the rewards outweigh the effort.