It peaked at 65 on the Billboard pop albums chart , but is regarded as highly influential by rock and blues music historians. Like the band's eponymous record debut, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band , this album features traditional blues covers and the guitar work of Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop. Unlike the debut album, Bishop also contributed guitar solos; drummer Sam Lay had left the band due to illness and was replaced by the more jazz-oriented Billy Davenport. One result was the inclusion of two all-instrumental extended jams at the instigation of Bloomfield following the group's successful appearance at The Fillmore in San Francisco during March alongside Jefferson Airplane. Bloomfield had become enamored of work by John Coltrane in that area, especially his incorporation of ideas from Indian raga music. In , original Butterfield Blues Band member Mark Naftalin keyboards , who recorded on the album and is pictured on the cover of East-West , released a CD on his own 'Winner' label entitled East-West Live , comprising three extended live performance versions of the tune "East-West". Noted music critic and prolific author Dave Marsh contributed a substantial essay in the liner notes regarding the historic importance of the song, both the original recording and the live versions. Marsh, interviewing Naftalin, notes that the tune was inspired by an all-night LSD trip that "East-West"'s primary songwriter Mike Bloomfield experienced in the fall of , during which the late guitarist "said he'd had a revelation into the workings of Indian music. Marsh's expansive liner notes observe that the song "East-West" "was an exploration of music that moved modally, rather than through chord changes. As Naftalin explains, "The song was based, like Indian music , on a drone.
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