Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Jerry Garcia + Merl Saunders 1974-09-02

One can probably think long and hard about the Grateful Dead and their connection with jazz. I'm not gonna try to analyze that any further right here and now, except to say that this gig must be one of Garcia's finer moments, even though that's just a stupid statement on par with "Yeah, today the sun shone particularly well!" - but anywho/anyhow:

Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders 9/2/74
Marx Meadow (Golden Gate Park) San Francisco, CA

I Second That Emotion / Expressway (To Your Heart) / Sitting Here In Limbo / Neighbor, Neighbor / La-La / Mystery Train / How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)

What can i really say? A beautiful soundboard recording (atm available at least at and the music is just beautiful! "Expressway" has got Jerry playing in a style I can't recall having really heard before, it's very different from anything he did with GD. And, holy cow, "Sittin' here in Limbo" is simply the sweetest, most beautiful version I've heard so far! (It must be said: I am no expert on the JG solo bands and I haven't really heard super-much of Garcia's solo bands, but hey, this is a blog and what you get is my subjective view on this! ;) ) "Neighbor, neighbor" is a little bit more blues/rock-ish, but the second true highlight this night is "La-La" - what a wonderful tune! This night it's performed thoroughly beautifully, with flutes and everything, everyone in the band hitting every note just right - at points, small points, in a way, it reminds me of GD's "Eyes of the world" and the jazzier renditions of that one, and at times Garcia's guitar playing is very recognizably in that mood.

So far, so jazzy.

Next comes a funky, rocking "Mystery Train" that's sure to kick some life into your dance muscles! After that one Jerry informs us that the time is almost up, but they got time for one more tune. "How Sweet It Is" is a wonderful song - sit back and enjoy!

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