LOU REED – WINTER AT THE ROXY / THE 1976 L.A. BROADCAST
Lou Reed was touring in support of Rock and Roll Heart, one of his less remarkable albums of the ’70s (though any record in which Lou tells us he believes in both “good-time music” and “the Iron Cross” in the same verse of the same tune is not without interest), when he rolled into L.A.’s Roxy and played a set that was recorded for later radio broadcast. While the Roxy show has circulated as a bootleg, Winter at the Roxy gives it a belated above-ground release, though some of the pirate editions of the album had better-sounding audio than this release, which is often tinny and reveals occasional damage to the tapes. (This edition also drops a few tracks, including a lively opening jam.) As for the performance, Reed and his road band (which included Michael Fonfara on keys and Marty Fogel on sax) sound like they’re having a fine time, and with free jazz legend Don Cherry sitting in, the band’s frequent jams give this an exploratory feel that sets it apart from some of Reed’s other live sets of the period.