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 Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Ariha Brass Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review Ariha Brass Quartet
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 22, 2016
Read "Ballast" CD/LP/Track Review Ballast
by Dave Wayne
Published: June 6, 2016
Read "Koan" CD/LP/Track Review Koan
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 12, 2016
Read "King of the Blues" CD/LP/Track Review King of the Blues
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 27, 2016
Read "Detour" CD/LP/Track Review Detour
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 26, 2016
Read "Vyamanikal" CD/LP/Track Review Vyamanikal
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 24, 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!