Keystone 9/1/74
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Keystone 9/1/74
Garcia Live Volume 3: Dec '74
JGB C. Vol 1: Legion of Mary

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Keystone Berkeley 

Keystone Berkeley 9/1/74 - Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia and 
Merl Saunders ~ 9/1/74
 
 
 
 
 
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Pure Jerry - The Jerry Garcia vault series 

Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders Band: -- Keystone Berkeley, September 1, 1974 (3CDs)

Keystone Berkeley, September 1, 1974, the fourth edition of the Pure Jerry series offers a line-up of the Garcia and Saunders band that extended their previous members by adding Martin Fierro on saxophone, flute, and percussion. Fierro played on the Grateful Dead's Wake of the Flood.

Regarding the band name, is it Legion of Mary, Garcia and Saunders, or Saunders and Garcia? Does it matter? Current evidence indicates that Garcia and Saunders band began using the name Legion of Mary from December 1974 through July 1975. The music didn't change, just what they called themselves. The personnel difference between the two line-ups is the drummer; with Paul Humphrey on drums from Summer 1974 through December 1974, and Ron Tutt taking the helm in December 1974. In Blair Jackson's essential book Garcia: An American Life, bassist John Kahn explains how the name Legion of Mary was his idea, named after a religious group, and that the first gig under as Legion of Mary was at the Keystone Berkeley.

This band takes a jazzier approach than most of Jerry's side projects. Long time band mates Merl Saunders and John Kahn are quite adept at jazz and blues material. Add to the mix Martin Fierro, who is heavily influenced by jazzman Earl Bostic. While drummer Paul Humphrey worked with Wes Montgomery, Charles Mingus, Lee Kontiz, and Gene Ammons.  Other musical genres they explore include funk, rhythm and blues, Reggae, and they tackle two Bob Dylan numbers from his 1974 classic Planet Waves, which featured The Band as supporting cast.

Legion of Mary has three capable soloists, Jerry, Martin, and Merl. Further, on this release, there is a guest trumpet player on about one third of the material. For Jerry fans, during the non-instrumental material, this cuts into both the number of guitar solos and their length. Don't despair. Don't! On the bright side you'll hear another aspect of Jerry; most important in terms of playing jazz music, but also a chance to hear his rhythm guitar passages, and setting up other musicians.

Instrumentals songs are abundant on Keystone Berkeley, September 1, 1974. If I counted correct there are six. On disc one there are three; "Favela" and "La La" are both jazzy numbers while "Keepers," penned by Saunders and Kahn, is more funk in nature. During "Favela" the mood is more uplifting than the more experimental "La La." The latter track features Fierro on flute and musically it is somewhat like a Grateful Dead "Space" segment during parts, especially towards the end of the exploration.

The third disc has three instrumental tracks. First up is "Soul Roach," penned by Merl Saunders and Ray Shanklin; an excellent blues track with a bit of jazz leanings, especially when the guest trumpet player takes their extended solo. Back-to-back instrumentals with "People Make The World Go Round," and "Keystone Jam." The latter track is their most experimental on the whole release. It reminds me a bit of Ornette Coleman free jazz. Again, gratis to the trumpet player.

The second disc includes an excellent diversity of cover songs. Arguably the highlight is "Roadrunner," as Fierro really makes his saxophone sing. Truthfully, the whole disc is quite good.

I have a hunch that in addition to the September 1 show there are a few tracks of filler mixed with. That is more than ok by me. Why do I think there is filler? This is quite a long show. They take a lot of announced breaks. The spacing between songs when the mystery trumpet player performs. The cueing up of songs.

Keystone Berkeley, September 1, 1974, is excellent! In addition to the familiar cover material sounding fresh with uplifting bright sax, the abundance of jams are excellent and unique. Highly recommended.
Barry Small
Grade 

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Theatre 1839 of Garcia  track list
Track List

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Disc 1 - 77:04
1. Neighbor, Neighbor 8:46
2. Keepers - 11:51
3. Sitting In Limbo - 12:50
4. Favela - 13:41
5. Tough Mama - 7:14
6. La La - 22;43

Disc 2 - 69:37
1. Someday Baby - 9:52
2. Think - 7:09
3. Roadrunner - 10:15
4. The Harder They Come - 13:21
5. I Second That Emotion - 14:35
6. Going, Going, Gone - 14:25

Disc 3 - 73:36
1. Soul Roach - 10:32
2. Mystery Train - 12:51
3. Wondering Why - 15:53
4. People Make the World Go Round - 3:43
5. Keystone Jam - 15:16
6. It's Too Late - 8:55
7. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down - 6:26

Legend w/Bonus Tracks
Jimmy Cliff Anthology
 
Theatre 1839 of Garcia - Musicians
Musicians:       

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Legion of Mary

Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals
Merl Saunders - Keyboards, vocals
John Kahn - bass
Paul Humphrey - drums, vocals
Martin Fierro - sax, flute,

Mystery Artist - Trumpet

Theatre 1839 of Garcia  - Notes
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Label - JGCD 
Released December 2004
Betty Cantor-Jackson - Recording 
David Lemieux -Research and Tape Compilation
John Cuniberti - Mastering
Tom Flye - Engineer

The release included a napkin with Keystone Berkeley

The "Pure Jerry" series will be selected from the substantial and remarkably diverse library that makes up Jerry's entire independent live archive. 

From the back cover
Keystone Berkeley presents remastered versions of certain Garcia Saunders Band two-track work tapes from the late summer of 1974. Not to be confused or compared with studio recordings, these CD compilations may present sonic characteristics as unique as the performances from which they were taken and are therefore perhaps best enjoyed with that in mind. Fear not -- while the audio standards associated with this music may occasionally wander, our commitment to its production does not, and almost always rewards even the most finicky with a truly transcendent listening experience.

From the Jerry Garcia website.
""Keystone Berkeley" is the sound of a band playing for the pure love of music to a small, very lucky audience. A three-CD set, "Keystone Berkeley" features red-hot and deeply soulful performances, including a first-ever release of Bob Dylan's "Going, Going, Gone," brand-new to the Garcia & Saunders repertoire.

If any room could lay claim to being Jerry's home base, the venue he played most often, it would be the Keystone Berkeley. The Jerry Site documents 191 shows at the small East Bay nightclub between 1972 and 1984. Anyone who was there will tell you the relaxed, informal vibe was like none other. The Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders releases recorded in 1973 are classics.

By September 1974, when "Keystone Berkeley" was recorded, it was a whole other band: the core of Garcia, Saunders and John Kahn had been augmented by Martin Fierro on sax and flute and Paul Humphrey on drums. This was the lab that exploded very soon after into the legendary Legion of Mary (with drummer Bill Vitt replacing Humphrey)."

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