All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

190

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

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
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 and prog-rock stars such as bassist Alphonso Johnson, drummers Rod Morgenstein and Jeff Sipe, keyboardist T. Lavitz and guitarist Jimmy Herring. Surprises include guest appearances from the legendary fiddler Vassar Clements, vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux, guitarist Steve Kimock and Allman Brothers slide guitarist Derek Trucks .....”Jazz Is Dead” presents spirited versions of Keith Godchaux and Robert Hunter’s “Let Me Sing Your Blues Away” and the Jerry Garcia-Robert Hunter composition titled, “Row Jimmy”. What have here is a delightful melding of fusion, rock and southern rock thanks to the sinewy phrasing of guitarist Jimmy Herring and angular slide guitar of Derek Trucks.

“Jazz is Dead” also do an effective job of conveying the often affable, easy-going disposition of “The Grateful Dead’s live performances which included flowing dreamscapes of extended soloing and rich thematic development. On Garcia & Hunter’s “Stella Blue” we hear T. Lavitz’ fluent approach to the keyboards as Lavitz’ jazz-blues lead statements work wonders in tandem with Herring’s poignant and well stated thematic development on lead guitar.....The cheerful rendition of the Garcia-Hunter composition titled, “Here Comes Sunshine” spins off into a lively group jam featuring the prominent and sprightly violin work of Vassar Clements. On the gorgeous “Eyes Of The World”, Alphonso Johnson’s fluid extended bass solo counterbalances the main melody over a solid backbeat and a simple chord structure which segues into a dashing jazz motif. The Bob Weir-John Barlow song titled, Weather Report Suite is in two parts here as the band evolve this piece into a fiery fusion style romp atop brash and complex Latin rhythms.

Rod Morgenstein and Jeff Sipe are commendable as they man the drum chairs on alternate tracks; however, “Jazz is Dead” is touring this summer featuring both drummers...which, in fact was a mainstay and trademark of The Grateful Dead...... Fine production, audiophile sound quality, clever arrangements and sagacious ensemble work make Laughing Water a laudable effort. This one should “not” disappoint deadheads and serious minded rockers alike, especially taking into account the somewhat stagnant and uneventful rock scene of the 90’s... Recommended!!! * * * *

Website; www.zebradisc.com & www.jazzisdead.com


Title: Laughing Water ("Wake Of The Flood - revisited") | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Zebra Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Great Sky River

Great Sky River

Zebra Records
2001

buy
Laughing Water

Laughing Water

Zebra Records
2000

buy
Laughing Water

Laughing Water

Zebra Records
1999

buy
 

Blue Light Rain

Lipstick Records
1998

buy

Related Articles

Read SuperClusters CD/LP/Track Review
SuperClusters
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Your Queen Is A Reptile CD/LP/Track Review
Your Queen Is A Reptile
by Chris May
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Melodious Drum CD/LP/Track Review
Melodious Drum
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 21, 2018
Read The Speed of Dark CD/LP/Track Review
The Speed of Dark
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Love & Peace CD/LP/Track Review
Love & Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2018
Read La Saboteuse CD/LP/Track Review
La Saboteuse
by Chris May
Published: February 20, 2018
Read "Iberica" CD/LP/Track Review Iberica
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 8, 2017
Read "Incidentals" CD/LP/Track Review Incidentals
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 23, 2017
Read "With You In Mind" CD/LP/Track Review With You In Mind
by Doug Collette
Published: July 26, 2017
Read "Romaria" CD/LP/Track Review Romaria
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 18, 2018
Read "Nellie Bly Project" CD/LP/Track Review Nellie Bly Project
by Paul Rauch
Published: August 11, 2017
Read "Random Acts of Order" CD/LP/Track Review Random Acts of Order
by John Sharpe
Published: November 15, 2017