158

Herring/Lavitz/Hayward/Gradney: Endangered Species

Todd S. Jenkins By

Sign in to view read count
A new breed of jam band, combining the outward-looking aesthetic of the Grateful Dead with the Southern-fried funk of Little Feat. Herring and Lavitz, members of the Dead-tribute collective Jazz Is Dead, met up with the Feat's rhythm section for an edgy, exciting session that stands with the best of Tone Center's releases so far.

This is a seriously vital combination. By sticking to the organ and piano instead of cheesier synth options, Lavitz ties the two faces of the band together perfectly. Herring's quirky musicianship was tempered in the cauldron of Aquarium Rescue Unit, preparing him well for just about any project that comes up. And while Little Feat has long held the stigma of being a sort of one-trick pony, Hayward and Gradney put the lie to that perception with their surprising versatility here. They're up to any task their bandmates might pawn off on them.

On tracks like "The New Berkley Park" Herring's deft picking keeps us hanging on every note, and the group interaction throughout the album seems unfailingly telepathic. Gradney's big moment comes on "Cats Out Da Bag", whereupon he lays the funk on thick. "Pickled Hearing" was composed by Herring and Lavitz but is tailor-made for the Feat rhythm boys, one of the firmest successes on this disc. Same with Lavitz' mighty "Justice", which quickly scoots into an up-tempo country-kick feel. "Lockwood Folley" leans towards prog with its multitracked acoustic and electric guitars, densely woven melodic figures and Lavitz' orchestral piano. Endangered Species is a fascinating listen from beginning to end, with all the suspense one expects from a good jam band but none of the ennui that comes from overbearing chops. A true bulls-eye.


Track Listing: Headstrong; The New Berkley Park; Slowlo; Pickled Hearing; Lockwood Folley; Justice; Cats Out Da Bag; Camel Lope; The Gospel Truth.

Personnel: Jimmy Herring, guitar; T Lavitz, organ and piano; Richie Hayward, drums; Kenny Gradney, bass.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Tone Center | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Today" CD/LP/Track Review Today
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 10, 2016
Read "Outside In" CD/LP/Track Review Outside In
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 9, 2016
Read "Secular Hymns" CD/LP/Track Review Secular Hymns
by John Eyles
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "Koan" CD/LP/Track Review Koan
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 12, 2016
Read "Mirror, Mirror" CD/LP/Track Review Mirror, Mirror
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Nessuno" CD/LP/Track Review Nessuno
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 30, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!