Compliments of Garcia
an interesting CD as it does not have any original Jerry Garcia compositions, but
instead is a collection of cover songs. Most of the tracks from this
CD were selected by bassist John Kahn with the exception of Irving
Berlin’s “Russian Lullaby,” which was selected by Jerry
Garcia. The original album was released in 1974 with ten tracks, and
the 2004 remastered expands the number to 20. Also from that session
are three alternative takes available on Outtakes, Jams, and
Alternatives, and two tracks that were used for 1982's album Run
For the Roses.
personnel used includes a combination of session players and
regulars from various Jerry Garcia bands, such as Ron Tutt, Merl
Saunders, John Kahn, David Grisman, Vassar Clements, Richard
Maria Muldaur. Regarding the session musicians, pianist
Michael Omartian is featured abundantly and is incredible, he really
makes this album great. A few guitarists help too.
Larry Carlton is a much sought after session player and was used
extensively by Steely Dan. His fills
on "When the Hunter Gets Captured by the Game" are superb
as is his rhythm playing on Van Morrison's "He Ain't Give You
None." Another guitarist making his appearance count is Arthur
Adams who really complements Jerry and is not shy. There are a whole
host of other musicians used including many horn players.
the original 10 tracks from the bonus material it is hard to say
which is better, a testament to the strength of the bonus material.
The original album is more polished and offers more full
arrangements with horns and extra overdubs, where the bonus tracks
are typically a smaller band. The diversity of the material
performed is wide that includes rock, jazz, swing, bluegrass, blues,
Motown, pop, etc.
starts out with some good old rock 'n roll with a Chuck Berry song that
displays horns and piano as much as guitar. Several Motown tracks
are tackled, notably "That's What Love Will Do For You,"
with a trademark Garcia solo that while short, in a live setting
could go and on.
Two of the
strongest bonus tracks display the strength of guitarist Arthur
Adams. The blues standard "Think" offers a solid instrumental section, and "Lonesome
Town" includes the longest jamming on the album.
of the softer ballad songs are among my favorites "It's Too
Late," and "Tragedy." These both display
singing in a tone not often displayed by Garcia, with superb piano
and melodic guitar backing. Both are very pretty songs. This
personnel line-up also tackled the Jimmy Reed blues cut "It's a
Sin;" a song the Grateful Dead played a handful times including a
commercial version available on Dicks
track "Back Home In Indiana" is a gypsy based acoustic
number in the style of Django Reinhardt and Stephane
song is certainly good, but is no replacement for Django himself.
The acoustic band from 1974 that Garcia and Grisman played in, The
Great American String Band, performed some material in this
song in the style of Django is Irving
Berlin’s “Russian Lullaby.” Perhaps my favorite song on
the album. While "Back Home In Indiana" is a pure Django
imitation, this is has more of a Jerry feel to it and is more
you care to venture into the original renditions of this material we
have some details in our roots
Garcia's album of cover songs, Compliments, is great music and is a generous 76 minutes. by Barry
Garcia box-set: All
Good Things: Jerry Garcia Studio Sessions