Skip to main content

Zephyr: Zephyr

Tommy Bolin’s 1969 entry into the world.

Zephyr was guitarist Tommy Bolin’s first recorded band before he joined the James Gang for two albums and his performance on Billy Cobham’s jazz fusion landmark Spectrum convinced David Coverdale to invite him to replace Ritchie Blackmore in Deep Purple (co-writing and playing on 1975’s Come Taste The Band).

Recording at Wally Heider’s state-of-the-art LA studio but with over-worked engineer Bill Halverson falling asleep at the desk, the band felt their volcanic live power diluted by the mixing. Producer Greg Hampshire has now remixed the original tapes with founding bassist David Givens (whose wife Candy was the band’s Joplin-style vocal powerhouse), finally doing justice to the band’s dynamic blues-rock and Bolin’s stinging pyrotechnics.

After its sold-out box set, the CD version sees the album joined by four jams unearthed during remixing sessions, Bolin’s virtuosity stretching into jazz improvisation, further underlying the enormity of music’s loss.

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!