Pure Jerry - The
Jerry Garcia vault series
Garcia Band: -Merriweather Post Pavilion, September 1 and 2, 1989 (4CDs)
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latest Pure Jerry release Merriweather Post Pavilion, September 1, & 2 brings us
the two complete sets the band performed on their rare non
California tour entailing 12 dates through the East Coast and Mid
Melvyn Seals is mixed in well and he really
shines. Jerry is quite lively throughout and exerts a real boldness
and swagger in his
first disc sets the stage for an excellent release. Most fans will
rave about the furious leads during the set closer "Deal."
Though, some of nuances within the songs, as opposed to the jams,
are excellent. In particular, the rhythm
guitar passages during "Stop That Train," and the complementary vocals of Gloria and Jaclyn, notably on "Like A
Road." Do others hear "Touch of Grey" riffs
throughout "Run For the Roses"?
second disc starts out with a good rendition of Jimmy Cliff's
"The Harder They Come." A fairly slow set, especially with
the trio of "Mississippi Moon," "Waiting for a
Miracle," and "Lucky Old Sun." Of them, the latter
track is exceptional. It is a bit of a paradox, as it has perhaps the best
and worst vocals. The interaction between Jerry and the back-up
vocalists is gorgeous, as his rural vocal tone fit the song
Though, Jerry has a
hard time hitting the range he'd like to on ..."lift me up
to paradise." The
band really hit their stride during "Think" providing the
most explosive peaks of the set.
The first set of the September 2 performance is dazzling. While the
band doesn't tackle any traditional Reggae songs, they do throw some
inferences during portions of "I'll Take a Melody,"
"They Love Each Other," and "Knockin' On Heaven's
Door." The first two tracks are treats while the
latter is an awful arrangement.
set also includes the two gems that were first released earlier this
year on the Jerry on Broadway release, "Forever Young,"
and Van Morrison's "And it Stoned Me." Both very
emotionally sung and played.
mood perks up during the set with both "That's What
Love Will Make You Do," and the sets closer, "Moonlight
Midnight," the latter features nice interaction between Jerry
set offers the fewest songs, but you'll want to hear them all. A
great flow to the set blending many of the dynamics of the Jerry
Garcia Band. No question the highlight of the disc is "Don't
Let Go," the best jamming vehicle that this band has. Truly
this rendition is memorable. They really take their time exploring.
However, the finale, led by Jerry's melodic rhythmic attack with some
shredding thrown in is the icing
on the cake.
Merriweather Post Pavilion, September 1, & 2
provides two solid shows of the Jerry Garcia Band. This longstanding
line-up rarely sounded better. This release is a must have for
collectors. It also is a great starting point as it represents a
fairly comprehensive look at the JGB during this period, but of
lesser sonic quality than the mainstream releases Jerry
Garcia Band, How Sweet It
Is, and Shining Star.
Barry Small ©
Grade A -