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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jazz Is Dead: Great Sky River

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One of America's hottest jam bands continues to mine the bottomless repertoire of the Grateful Dead. On their third album, Jazz Is Dead breathes new life into classics that Deadheads haven't ever gotten enough of. The intuition between guitarist Jimmy Herring (Aquarium Rescue Unit, Allman Brothers Band, Phil Lesh & Friends), bassist Alphonso Johnson (Miles Davis, Weather Report, Billy Cobham, The Other Ones), and keyboardist T Lavitz and drummer Rod Morgenstein of the Dixie Dregs has become more uncanny over the past few years as they have immersed themselves in the Dead's post-psychedelic canon.

Great Sky River was recorded live ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jazz is Dead: Laughing Water

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On their sophomore release, Laughing Water, Jazz is Dead continues their mission of presenting the catalog of the Grateful Dead in sort of a country-rock context, with occasional classical, gospel, and jazz flavoring. It's unpretentious, infectious jamming by musicians with virtuoso chops to burn. The exuberant “Let Me Sing Your Blues Away" (not a vocal) alternates hard-driving edgy guitar choruses with fleet-fingered, grooving organ. “Row Jimmy" has a laid-back country-rock feel. The next tune, “Stella Blue," begins with an almost-classical fugue, before settling into a country/gospel-flavored ballad. Classical influences rock on “Here Comes the Sun/Sunshine Jam." While the soloing is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jazz is Dead: Laughing Water

On their sophomore release, Jazz is Dead continues their mission of presenting the catalog of the Grateful Dead in sort of a country-rock context, with occasional classical, gospel, and jazz flavoring.  It's unpretentious, infectious jamming by musicians with virtuoso chops to burn.  The exhuberant "Let Me Sing Your Blues Away" (not a vocal) alternates hard-driving edgy guitar choruses with fleet-fingered, grooving organ.   "Row Jimmy" has a laid-back country-rock feel.  The next tune, "Stella Blue," begins with an almost-classical fugue, before settling into a country/gospel-flavored ballad.  Classical influences rock on "Here Comes the Sun/Sunshine Jam."  While the soloing is excellent ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jazz Is Dead: Laughing Water

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Essentially a Grateful Dead repertory ensemble, Jazz Is Dead boasts a fusion dream lineup: T. Lavitz on keyboards, Alphonso Johnson on bass, Rod Morgenstein (or Jeff Sipe) on drums, and rising star Jimmy Herring on guitar. If you like the Grateful Dead and know their songs, you'll probably warm to this disc. If you don't, you might still find it rewarding. The musicianship is top-notch and the recording sounds sharp (it was taken from live shows in Colorado and California). I don't know what it has to do with “jazz," but that's another discussion.The Dead wrote some brilliant ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jazz Is Dead: Laughing Water

On Laughing Water, the fusion ensemble Jazz Is Dead one-ups the band that it sets out to honor. Laughing Water is a superior remake of the Grateful Dead's rather ordinary rock album Wake of the Flood.Jazz is Dead's core musicians Jimmy Herring (guitar), T Lavitz (keys) and Alphonso Johnson (bass) trade melodic licks as they reinterpret the Dead's modal tunes from 1973. Fortunately you don't have to be a Deadhead to appreciate this album. Laughing Water not only fuses jam-rock with jazz, but it possesses a country-bluesy Americana flavor, thanks in part to the presence of bluegrass legend ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jazz Is Dead: Laughing Water ("Wake Of The Flood - revisited")

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Grateful Dead fans or “deadheads” who demand only the finest from those who cover Dead tunes or in this case, a complete rendition of the Dead’s classic “Wake Of The Flood” LP should find much to get excited about here. Jazz is Dead, touted as one of the best “jam bands” on the globe have carved out a nifty if somewhat deeply personalized stylization of this – crossroads – LP from those rock icons of year’s past. Laughing Water was recorded live in Boulder, CO and San Francisco during April 1999.

“Jazz is Dead” features an aggregate of fusion, rock ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jazz Is Dead: Laughing Water

Now that you know the group’s name is an announcement of their respect for the vast collection of Grateful Dead compositions and not a proclaimation of the death of jazz, you are in for more flawless musicianship and wicked jazz-rock fusion. On their second release for Zebra Records, the critically acclaimed jazz-rock fusion quartet Jazz Is Dead interprets the entire 1973 Grateful Dead, WAKE OF THE FLOOD album. LAUGHING WATER, “WAKE OF THE FLOOD REVISITED” features eight tracks filled to the brim with ten songs, including two with vocal intros, two suites and double song tracks!!! This musical masterpiece reveals ...



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