Newport Jazz Festival 1969 (Graf Zeppelin LZSC-001)
Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, RI – July 6th, 1969
(62:13) Intro., Train Kept A-Rollin’, I Can’t Quit You, Dazed And Confused, You Shook Me, How Many More Times, Communication Breakdown, Long Tall Sally
Newport Jazz Festival 1969 is the first release of a new Led Zeppelin dedicated label Graf Zeppelin. Utilizng and edit of the two audience recordings, their work is identical to what Tarantura released last summer as Jazz But Rock (Tarantura TCD-79).
The second audience recording is used for the basis while the first tape is used for the introduction, the cut after “You Shook Me” and for the second encore “Long Tall Sally.” The editing job is handled very well between the two tapes. Graf Zeppelin sounds a bit louder than the Tarantura.
Zeppelin play their “festival” set, which compared to the prior two tours is scaled back to about an hour with the long improvisation “As Long As I Have You” and the drum solo “Pat’s Delight” dropped. The show begins with a minute of tunes ups and Plant testing the PA by lowing the harmonica before “Train Kept A-Rollin'” explodes on stage.
During “I Can’ Quit You” Plant’s vocals are hard to hear and there are shouts for the PA to be turned up. Plant mentions the controversy after the song, saying, “There was nothing wrong with us at all and we all intended on coming. That’s what we come to America for. So we hope that you will enjoy everything we do, and that we were coming in the first place, so don’t get any hassles about what we were gonna do and what we weren’t.” “Dazed And Confused” is a compact twelve minutes long still close to the first album’s arrangement.
Plant asks the engineers to adjust the PA before “You Shook Me” and it takes them two minutes into the song before any results are audible. “That’s better” Plant says through the harmonica, but the change is more audible on the first tape and not so much on the one used on this release.
The set closer “How Many More Times” is fifteen minutes long and lacks the violin bow interlude. Rather very hot, sexually suggestive guitar solos and orgiastic moans by Plant make up the song’s climax. “I come to Newport / gonna have a ball!” Plant sings during “The Hunter” part.
“Communication Breakdown” is segued directly with a long and chaotic version of Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally.” There are only five recorded versions of Zeppelin playing the classic and this the first.
Newport Jazz Festival 1969 is packaged in a standard jewel case with quality paper for the inserts. The cover design is very dark, however, making the picture dark and reading the information on the back very difficult to read. It is a good way to obtain one of Zeppelin’s early historic shows from their first year playing together.