This beautifully packaged 15 track CD is mostly instrumental as the title implies. Track 1, Parthenogenesis is a visionary 20 minute blues suite opening with a modal jews harp and then moving through various sections. The sections of Parthenogenesis could all be separate songs in their own right, in this case though, the way they seamlessly blend together makes for a solid continuous composition. When Bob Hite's voice appears it is mixed way down and somehow seems more tasteful that way. It is similar (somehwhat) with Mayall's Bare Wires and Blues from Laurel Canyon, not so much in style, (although there are similarities and Mayall does plays piano on one of the sections) -- but in the concept of a blues suite. It is followed by Down in the Gutter but Free which opens with a delightful tongue-in-cheek blues shout by Hite accompanied by sizzling guitar, harp, bass and hammond B3. The call and responses between the various instruments nicely intensify during the long instrumental outro. Fito de la Parra's 2 drum solo workouts on this CD are anything but cliche boogie band stuff, he brings a definite central Mexican influence to a R&B timbral blues drum sound. Sometimes refered to as L.A.'s Coltrane, Charles Lloyd appears here on his blues outing 'Don't Care What You Tell Me', Lloyd's potent early 70s rock crossover work is often passed over, with his Wave and Geeta LPs/CDs still out of circulation, its a special treat to hear Lloyd's blues rock collaboration with the Heat appear here. The remainder of the CD is mostly upbeat Jump Blues, Boogie style stuff, track 12 Gorgo Boogie stands out with a rustic and potent duo of Fito de la Parra on Drums and Robert Luca on a toneful guitar that sings delta ghosts on and between the strings and notes. Although the Canned Heat and their fans were often having some good fun with all the lyrics of their original lineup's hits, this CD shows the serious and ongoing instrumental prowess of the band. There is no shortage of fun in this music too, but done by Canned Heat instrumentalists, who on these tracks again prove themselves to be blues-rock heavyweights.
1. Parthenogenesis: Nebulosity/Rollin' & Tumblin'/Five Owls/Bear Wires 2. Marie Laveau 3. Mi Huautla 4. Down in the Gutter But Free 5. Skat 6. Terraplane Blues 7. Hill Stomp 8. Don't Care What You Tell Me 9. Caterpillar Crawl 10. Hucklebuck [Live] 11. JJ Jump [Live] 12. Gorgo Boogie 13. Junior's Shuffle 14. Mambo Tango [Live] 15. Blues After Hours [Live][#]