All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Extended Analysis

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

9

Grateful Dead: Grateful Dead: Dave's Picks Volume 10 Thelma, Los Angeles CA 12/12/1969

Doug Collette By

Sign in to view read count
One of the great virtues (and there are many) of the Grateful Dead's archiving projects is that research regularly unearths 'lost' recordings about which little or nothing may be known but that, when brought to the light of day, fill in crucial links in this iconic group's history that further illuminate their evolution.

Dave's Picks Volume 10, like the so-called 'Houseboat Tapes' that comprise Dick's Picks #35 (Grateful Dead, 2005), is just such a title, with its first reel in place (from, as essayist Gary Lambert recounts, an LA venue of otherwise hazy distinction) now capturing a complete show by the band almost exactly at a turning point in its career as they moved from the largely improvisational music- arguably perfected earlier in this same year as documented on The Complete Fillmore West Recordings (Grateful Dead, 2005)) into the more structured likes of original material such as "Cumberland Blues" and "Black Peter."

The former catches the ear immediately in the way guitarists Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir, along with bassist Phil Lesh, sing full-throated harmony: not usually so prominent in arrangements, vocals came to the fore through association with Crosby Stills & Nash to be utilized extensively on the next Grateful Dead studio album Workingman's Dead (Warner Brothers, 1970). The latter represents a narrative in song the likes of which Garcia's writing partner Robert Hunter would eventually perfect through his artful use of vivid images and poetic turns of phrase that matched the melodies supplied by his collaborator.

All the tunes from the forthcoming studio album save one ("New Speedway Boogie") appear across the span of these three discs, juxtaposed with what would come to be permanent inclusions in the band's repertoire over the remainder of its thirty-year career. John Phillips' "Me and My Uncle" is a story of its own told over a brisk clip much like that which the Dead apply to Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried," but the latter appears smack dab in the middle of a suite of tunes featuring original vocalist and keyboardist Ron "Pigpen" McKernan: thirty minutes of "Turn On Your Lovelight" bookends "Good Lovin'" and "I'm A King Bee" (its wailing harp reminding of the man's blues roots), during much of which the band winds out in such a way as to suggest they're warming up for the extended, abandoned jamming to come.

Segues through "Alligator," "Drums," "Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks" and the de rigeur conclusion of "Feedback" plus "And We Bid You Goodnight" capture the Grateful Dead in the expansive mode they had featured on their groundbreaking concert album earlier in the year Live Dead (Warner Bros, 1969). It's a mark of Owsley "Bear" Stanley's original recording expertise, coupled with engineer extraordinaire Jeffrey Norman's mastering that, at moments of near silence on "High Time" or the ensemble romp near the end of this show, the sound is pure and clear.

As such it's emblematic of the intent of a group that, as much as it would surrender to serendipity on and off stage, could think and act with an authoritative purpose that now evinces itself in titles (and ongoing series) like this.

Track Listing: CD1: Cold Rain And Snow; Me And My Uncle; Easy Wind; Cumberland Blues; Black Peter; Next Time You See Me; China Cat Sunflower; I Know You Rider. CD 2: Turn On Your Lovelight; Hard To Handle; Casey Jones; Mama Tried; High Time; Dire Wolf; Good Lovin’; I’m A King Bee. 

CD 3: Uncle John’s Band; He Was A Friend Of Mine; Alligator>Drums>Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks)>Feedback>And We Bid You Goodnight.

Personnel: Jerry Garcia: vocals, guitar; Bob Weir: vocals, guitar; Phil Lesh: vocals, bass; Tom Constanten: keyboards; Ron (Pigpen) McKernan: vocals, harp, keyboards; Bill Kreutzmann: drums, Mickey Hart: drums.

Title: Grateful Dead: Dave's Picks Volume 10 Thelma, Los Angeles CA 12/12/1969 | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Grateful Dead/Rhino

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 Extended Analysis
Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981
by Doug Collette
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Love, Gloom, Cash, Love Extended Analysis
Love, Gloom, Cash, Love
by Patrick Burnette
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Motel Shot: Expanded Edition Extended Analysis
Motel Shot: Expanded Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: July 16, 2017
Read Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story of the Grateful Dead Motion Picture Soundtrack Extended Analysis
Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story of the Grateful Dead...
by Doug Collette
Published: July 14, 2017
Read Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe  Edition Extended Analysis
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th...
by Doug Collette
Published: May 27, 2017
Read Singles: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Deluxe Edition Extended Analysis
Singles: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: May 20, 2017
Read "Grateful Dead: Cornell '77" Extended Analysis Grateful Dead: Cornell '77
by Doug Collette
Published: May 6, 2017
Read "Ella Fitzgerald: 100 Songs For A Centennial" Extended Analysis Ella Fitzgerald: 100 Songs For A Centennial
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "Love, Gloom, Cash, Love" Extended Analysis Love, Gloom, Cash, Love
by Patrick Burnette
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe  Edition" Extended Analysis Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th...
by Doug Collette
Published: May 27, 2017
Read "Chick Corea: The Musician" Extended Analysis Chick Corea: The Musician
by John Kelman
Published: May 2, 2017