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Promotional photo (L to R) Rick Canoff, Fred Glickstein, Tom Webb, Jerry Smith (bottom), Ron Karpman (top), Frank Posa and Jerry Goodman
|Origin||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Genres||Garage rock, jazz-rock|
|Labels||Columbia, Sony, Gab, One Way, BGO|
Blood Sweat and Tears
The Flock was a Chicago-based progressive rock band, that released two albums on Columbia records in 1969 (The Flock) and 1970 (Dinosaur Swamps). The Flock did not achieve the commercial success of other Columbia jazz-rock groups of the era such as Chicago and Blood Sweat & Tears, but were recognized for featuring a violin prominently in their recordings. The violinist, Jerry Goodman, went on to become a member of Mahavishnu Orchestra and a solo artist.
The members at the time of their 1969 studio recording were Fred Glickstein (guitar, lead vocals), Jerry Goodman (violin), Jerry Smith (bass), Ron Karpman (drums), Rick Canoff (saxophone), Tom (T.S. Henry) Webb (saxophone) and Frank Posa (trumpet).
The promising first album was further into jazz fusion than either Chicago or BS&T, influenced by the Miles Davis' Bitches Brew album in which Webb participated, but whose performance was not recorded. The first album was produced by John McClure with liner notes written from the audience at Whiskey A Go Go by blues legend John Mayall, on July 9, 1969. The band went back into the studio and recorded a second album entitled "Dinosaur Swamps" featuring the hit "Big Bird". They began work on a third studio album, but Columbia Records' Clive Davis raided The Flock, recruiting Goodman for the Mahavishnu Orchestra project. Apparently jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty was guitarist-bandleader John McLaughlin's first choice, but the U.S. government denied Ponty a work-permit visa.
The Flock reunited briefly in 1975 for an album Inside Out, and in 2004 a CD was released of a 1973 live concert called Live in Europe, which features Michael Zydowsky on violin in place of Goodman and includes original members Fred Glickstein, Jerry Smith, and Ron Karpman.
In late 1976, Fred Glickstein and Ron Karpman recruited bassist/cellist Thom Blecka from Chicago (formerly of T.S. Henry Webb Group featuring Frank Posa, Corky Siegel w/Sam Lay, Albert King, Johnny Ross, and The Babysitters) and formed a power trio called FLOCK 3. The new outfit played some older Flock compositions but emphasized new material co-written by Glickstein & Karpman, with some arrangements contributed by Blecka. The rock-oriented fusion trio played a few local gigs opening for Cheap Trick and The Cryan' Shames. They were occasionally joined onstage by Flock alumnus T.S. Henry Webb (sax/vocals) and also friends Dennis Tiger (blues harp/vocals) and Jeff Gates (keyboards). The band's live performances were never captured on tape and studio recording attempts fell by the wayside due to personnel conflicts.
The Flock had three early singles on Destination Records and one on the USA Records, local Chicago labels recorded in 1966 and 1967. Goodman, the violinist, was not in this line-up but worked as a roadie with the band. All four singles, "Can't You See", "Are You The Kind", "Take Me Back" and "What Would You Do If The Sun Died?" are available on CD.
There is film footage of the big-band version of the Flock (the Dinosaur Swamps version of the group) playing the song "Big Bird (Fly)" on the 1971 Dutch documentary Stamping Ground. Goodman is prominently featured in the video among members of the group.
1. http://www.popflock.com/video?id=Zfgb-C-L8k4 [The Flock begins at about the 51:40 mark]