8 Musical Collaborations I Wish Had Happened
And they're not just wild dreams—because each one could have easily taken place
All music lovers imagine recording sessions that could have happened, or almost happened.
Below are eight that sit atop my wish list.
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(1) Blues Legend Son House joins a world-class rock band
My friend, the late Steve Calt, told me about plans he hatched in the late 1960s to feature blues legend Son House as singer in a rock-oriented session, probably alongside Al Wilson of Canned Heat.
Although House is most famous as a blues guitarist—he was mentor to Robert Johnson, which is about as high as you can get on the guitar hierarchy—both Calt and I felt House’s singing was deserving of just as much credit. Listen to his classic tracks, and savor those bellowing vocals, like an Old Testament prophet with a harrowing delivery worthy of a trip to the top of Mount Sinai, but charged with bent blues notes.
Calt complained to me about the pushback he faced trying to make this happen. Blues singers were seen by many purists back then (and probably nowadays, too), as more authentic than rock musicians. The idea of putting House in the same studio as those rowdy youngsters was dismissed out of hand. Al Wilson, for his part, died in September 1970 at age 27. Calt tried to mount another session with different players, but nothing came of it.
Something of this sort seems like a no-brainer. If you’ve heard the rock collaborations Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters recorded in London (released in 1971 and 1972), you get an idea of what could have been achieved. But, for my money, Son House’s voice was even more perfectly suited for this kind of crossover project. I think of him on stage with the Rolling Stones or Cream or The Who, and my imagination runs wild.
(2) Miles Davis hires Stan Getz after Kind of Blue
There was a period of a few years when I saw Stan Getz on a regular basis, sometimes even daily. And though I pestered him endlessly with questions, there was one I never asked, and still regret it. I’d heard a rumor that Miles Davis asked Getz to join his band when John Coltrane departed in the aftermath of Kind of Blue.
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