Leslie West – Mountain (1969)

LeslieWest_Mountain4 out of 5 Stars!

Although Leslie West’s solo debut platter wasn’t released as an actual Mountain album (apart from its title), it could easily have been since it fits snugly into the band’s official catalogue of releases. Only when drummer Corky Laing and keyboardist Steve Knight joined up with Leslie West and bassist/keyboardist Felix Pappalardi (also performing on this album) did Mountain “officially” begin.

Regardless, the music here (especially tracks such as “Long Red,” “Dreams of Milk & Honey,” “This Wheel’s on Fire,” “Blind Man,” “Southbound Train,” and “Storyteller Man,”) should appeal to most Mountain fans. But unlike Mountain (the band), the album is more blues-oriented overall—more akin to Cream, for example—yet features West’s often-stunning fretwork and gruff, soulful voice, Pappalardi’s muscular and melodic bass lines, along with enough attitude and swagger to make it one of my favorites among West’s numerous solo releases.

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