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 most notable for their inclusion of a prominent violin 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 Webb (saxophone) and Frank Posa (trumpet).
After a highly promising first album that was further “outside,” jazz/fusion-wise than either Chicago or BS&T (owing, to a great extent, to the influence of Miles Davis‘ Bitches Brew album, which Webb participated in, but whose performance was not recorded). The first album on Columbia was produced by John McClure with liner notes written in the audience at Whiskey A Go Go by blues legend John Mayall, on July 9, 1969.
The first thing you hear is an electric guitar, but listeners are quickly exposed to the band’s secret weapon — the violin of Jerry Goodman. The instrumental opening track lays out the group’s bold fusion of classical and rock. Subsequent tracks, including the Ray Davies chestnut “Tired of Waiting,” add jazz to the mix with an unconventional horn section of two tenor saxes and a trumpet. Veteran English bluesman John Mayall raves about the Chicago septet in the liner notes. Like the Blind Faith album, this powerful debut is undercut by a too-long jam at the end.
- “Introduction” – 4:50
- “Clown” – 7:42
- “I Am the Tall Tree” – 5:37
- “Tired of Waiting (Ray Davies)” – 4:35
- “Store Bought – Store Thought” – 7:00
- “Truth” – 15:25
All songs by The Flock except as noted.
- Jerry Goodman – Violin, Guitars, Vocals
- Fred Glickstein – Guitars, Lead vocals
- Jerry Smith – Bass guitar, Vocals
- Ron Karpman – Drums
- Rick Canoff – Tenor saxophone, Vocals
- Tom Webb – Tenor saxophone, Harmonica
- Frank Posa – Trumpet