BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
It’s somewhat intriguing, the mystery and legend surrounding this pseudo-outfit that called itself Heavy Jelly. According to the liner notes of what purports to be the first official release of this legendary eight song LP, the name was initially a spoof and then later a handle passed down from several one-off amalgamations. It finally ended up in the hands of Jackie Lomax and a few close colleagues — bassist Alex Dmochwski, guitarist John Morshead and drummer Barry Jenkins — and became the handle for a band that served as a temporary refuge for Lomax in-between his brief stint with Apple and his later signing with Warner Bros. here in the States.
As intriguing as the legend appears, the album itself is rather unexceptional. Aside from Lomax’s distinctive vocals and the presence of Pete Ham and Tom Evans singing back-up on the album’s final track (“Take Me Down to the Water”), nothing here measures up to the superb level of Lomax’s brilliant Apple debut, the aptly titled Is This What You Want. Most of the material falls into a basic blues and R&B template, and aside from the relatively upbeat groove of “You Better Let Me Know” and the funk-fueled “Born For Something,” there’s little here that bears a repeat listen. Still, Heavy Jelly is a genuine curiosity and for many, that will be reason enough for acquisition. Consider this a collectable for collecting purposes exclusively.
DOWNLOAD: “You Better Let Me Know,” “Born For Something”