Boneyard Media

Kendell Kardt live on WFMT Chicago circa 1975: “Gypsy Dance”


In this live radio recording of “Gypsy Dance,” you can hear Kendell giving a stylistic nod to Van Morrison in his vocal delivery. It turns out that shortly after he moved to San Francisco, he and Rig drummer Rick Shlosser were offered jobs by Morrison – Kendell as leader of his backup unit and Shlosser, of course, as drummer. Part of the deal would be that Kendell could have full access to the band for his own projects. For reasons Kendell in retrospect “can’t really figure,” he opted out (although Shlosser said yes).

It’s easy to hear about this now and to think “oops!”, but talking with Kendell, it’s clear that the gravity of the prospect was hardly lost on him then. Two big factors for him to consider were Morrison’s famously thorny demeanor, which he’d had many chances to observe up close, and his own percolating recording ambitions, which would have had to have been set aside to some extent. Nonetheless, Kendell’s closeness to so many in the entourage enabled him to catch Morrison live a few hundred times. So much so that his admiration for the Irishman, as he puts it, “resulted in an experimental change of style that wasn’t quite resolved and took a while to assimilate.” “Gypsy Dance” comes from this era and would have been included on the ‘72 Columbia LP. For now, though, we’ve got this live radio version which, thankfully, still survives.

Kendell Kardt – “Gypsy Dance”

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