It’s funny what a young mind retains.
As a seventeen year old, I’d avidly read the sleeve notes of all my LPs. I still do. The difference is, some forty-six years later, that I now quickly forget even reading the album cover, never mind the detail it imparted.
However, when I read that Wynder K. Frog was actually the name adopted by and accredited to the band of keyboard player Mick Weaver, I immediately associated him as an integral part of The Frankie Miller Band that produced the brilliant 1975 album, ‘The Rock.‘
Mick formed the jazz / blues influenced band in 1967 and initially played mainly on the London circuit. An early gig saw the band, support the newly formed Traffic. Their paths would cross again a couple of years later, when Steve Winwood left Traffic to form the short-lived Blind Faith and Mick Weaver joined the remaining members to form the laboriously named Mason – Capaldi – Wood – Frog (aka Wooden Frog).
This association lasted all of three months, with no recorded output and only a handful of live shows to show fro their efforts. Mick then reverted to session work with some high profile artists, such as Buddy Guy; Steve Marriott; Roger Chapman; Joe Cocker …. and Frankie Miller, amongst others.
Which is where we came in.
Wynder K. Frog released two albums in the UK, both of which are mainly instrumental covers of established hits. The debut album, ‘Sunshine Superfrog,’ released in 1967, was recorded with Mick surrounding himself with (uncredited) New York session musicians, beefing up his distinctive Hammond organ sound with soulful horns.
The one ‘original’ on the album, is the swirling and ever so funky, ‘I Feel So Bad,’ featured at the top of this post.
The sound was well received in mod / soul / Northern Soul / jazz circles, especially around the London area, where the latter genre was having something of a renaissance.
The follow up album, ‘Out of the Frying Pan‘ was released a year later. Again, it features an eclectic mix of covers, ranging from a stonking version of ‘Green Door,’ which garnered decent airplay at the time of its release, to ‘Willie & The Hand Jive‘ and ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash.’
Mick wrote two of the tracks on this one, ‘Gasoline Alley,’ and this, the wonderfully quintessentially Sixties, ‘Harpsichord Shuffle.’
Shortly after the band broke up, their U.S. label, United Artists, released the ‘Into The Fire’ album featuring six original tracks.
Five 7″ singles were also released in the UK, including this cover of The Spencer Davis Group’s ‘I’m a Man.’
WYNDER K. FROG
Mick Weaver – Keyboards
Neil Hubbard / Mike Liber – Guitar
Chris Mercer – Sax
Bruce Rowland – Drums
Alan Spenner – Bass
Rebop Anthony Kwabaku – Congas
RELEASES BY WYNDER K. FROG
|Turn On Your Lovelight / Zooming||7″ single||Island||1966/ 1967|
|Sunshine Superman / Blues From A Frog||7″ single||Island||1967|
|Green Door / Dancing Frog||7″ single||Island||1967|
|I Am a Man / Shook Shimmy And Shake||7″ single||Island||1967|
|Jumpin’ Jack Flash / Baldy||7″ single||Island||1968|
|Out Of The Frying Pan||LP||Island||1968|
|Into The Fire||LP||United Artists||1970||Released only in USA|