“Bi-Weekly”: All I Hear is Al Kooper’s Groovy Organ

Is it just me, or does Appaloosa sound like the name of a fairly obscure band?  And yet they were signed to Columbia.   But which Appaloosa, you ask.  That’s where it gets a bit complicated.  Fortunately, Discogs has each one numbered.

Appaloosa #1, for example, is a 90’s trio of drum & bass producers, while Appaloosa #2 is a British/French duo who also work in a contemporary electronic dance vein.  Appaloosa #4 is an Italian group of “math rockers,” while Appaloosa #5 from Champaign, Illinois released their lone country rock album in 1980.  The Appaloosa we’re looking for – the group that recorded exactly one album for almighty Columbia in 1969 – is #3.

Columbia issued one single from this album — and it did not include the song, “Bi-Weekly”:

1970 Brazilian Single release

Appa 45

Album produced by Al Kooper, who plays the groovy organ part that opens and closes the song (and also writes the liner notes below).  Orchestra arranged and conducted by Charlie Calello on this track, with drumming support from Jimmy Alcaimo and oboe work by Romeo Penque, who we last heard playing winds for Charlie Byrd the very same year on Byrd’s Aquarius album.

The Strings of Deception:  Meet the Band

“The strings you hear in this album are exclusively Robin Batteau and Gene Rosov, violin and cello respectively.  There is never any overdubbing of sel-synching of extra strings in this album.  When you hear strings, there are only two strings playing at all times.  The illusion of hearing twenty or thirty is a tribute to their consummate technique and arranging which belie their early years of training.”

“David Reiser is the bass player, and a strange perfectionist he.  At the time of this writing, there is no percussionist in Appaloosa, so David must be two musicians in one.  Listen to him accomplish this musical feat on “Tulu Rogers” and “Pascal’s Paradox.”  By the way, David is 17 and crazy for California, to which he has never been.”

“The songs you hear in this album fell out of the head of a 19-year-old rustic named John Parker Compton.  He sings them in his own special way paying 19-year-old tribute to his favorites:  Tim Hardin, Donovan, John Hammond, and Bobby Vee.”

Appaloosa