Joy of Cooking (from the album Joy of Cooking)
Joy of Cooking choose to expand music over a Folk-base of sound that added elements of Jazz, Scat Singing, Blues, gospel shaking the mix as a rock’n’roll concoction served up on a self-released album in 1970, followed with a few early 1970 recordings and still releasing music under the band’s name. The Berkley-based California band benefitted from the free love of all forms of music that was in the San Francisco Bay air in the late 1960’s and early 70’s. Coming out of a Folk revival bands were using acoustics as a sponge for electric instruments to bleed into, and a jumping board for stretching campfire jams into a full-on blaze of danceable beats.Jam bands were a future term, the phrase was a hold over from the ‘let’s jam’ Jazz days. Joy of Cooking certainly were forerunners of jamming though on album, and in live performance, they didn’t get bogged down in the jam, they cooked.
The group married two tunes on Joy of Cooking. The Berkeley California band put the Blues of Furry Lewis (Brownsville) with the traditional Folk (Mockingbird). The song, and the vocals, for Joy of Cooking were locked harmonies backed with a three-piece rhythm section. The band wasfronted by two women, Terry Garthwaite (guitar), Toni Brown (piano). A river rhythm leads “Too Late But Not Forgotten” on a solid support beat for the tale of a woman left with young baby and old memories. One voice sets the stage as two vocals play tag to find out a little more about what is happening in the bright lights with “Did You Go Downtown”. Terry and Toni stretch their vocals out on the tunes in a combination of salvation (“Children’s House”), and call and response Folk jamborees (“Hush”).
Toni Brown’s piano leads into the Jazz inflected territory in “Down My Dream”, who share arrangement as well as composer credits on the album, adding in turn on the steel guitar, kalimba, with vocal mate Terry Garthwaite taking the lead on her tune that toasts with “Red Wine at Noon”. Joy of Cooking have released their early album, including Joy of Cooking. The songs came out in a time when women voices were rising up those of being the victim. Toni Brown goes beyond surface scruff in her songs, teeling the story of a time when sexes shared emotions, as well as being equal decision makers in the comings and goings of a relationship.