Al Kooper's First New Solo Album in 29 Years
This week, legendary musician/producer Al Kooper unveils Black Coffee, his first new album in nearly three decades. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native is perhaps best known for being in Blood, Sweat and Tears, producing Lynyrd Skynyrd and working with Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. But he also had a successful solo career and last released a true solo album, Act Like Nothing's Wrong, in 1976. After that, he put his solo career on the back burner and instead filled his days working with Dylan, Ray Charles, the Tubes and Nils Lofgren, among others. But about 10 years ago, he realized he wanted to make another solo album. "I had some really good material and my skills had improved and I really wanted to do it," says Kooper, who lives in Boston with his wife, jewelry designer Susan Monosson. "I got offered a record deal at age 60, and I went, ‘Yeah, now I can make the album I've been wanting to make, and here it is.'" It contains nine original songs and five covers, including Green Onions and Get Ready. "This is probably the best bunch of material I've ever had on an album because I had such a long amount of time to pick from. I had 140 songs to go through, primarily that I wrote."