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2/14/75 The Generosity

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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 8:25 pm    Post subject: 2/14/75 The Generosity Reply with quote

snow_and_rain wrote:

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Okay. Evidently there's speculation that this may be Merl's "non-Jerry" band Aunt Monk, which he co-led with Martin Fierro, prompting some question as to who's in the rhythm section here. Sounds enough like Kahn to me, but my ears are too tired to pick apart who the drummer sounds the most like. He sounds good, whoever it is. And the guitarist ain't half bad, though, whoever he is. Very Happy Interestingly, Merl plays all electric piano and no Hammond organ at all, which makes me wonder if this was just a one-off gig in a place Merl didn't usually play. This show is also all instrumental.
(sidenote: Joe Jupille's blog has a little bit about Aunt Monk here:

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This show (a Friday night) was also Merl's birthday.

The aud sounds fine, though not crystal clear. Mono, a little raggedy, certainly not as sublime as some of the later Falanga/Menke stage recordings, but this still is a pleasure and sounds very up-front. Bonus point for the lady next to the taper who says, "just keep that low!" and laughs heartily before the band gets going (wonder if she's talking about the mics or the bowl?)

This starts off HOT. Little Bit of Righteousness and Favela are both smokin' (Favela in particular is hotter than others I've heard), amped up all the way, with Jerry in fantastic form, and the band in high gear from the start. Martin is his usual strong self, but Jer & Merl are really clicking and playing off each other exquisitely. Absolutely delicious.

Something goes slightly amiss with the old standard Pennies From Heaven, however. Jerry kinda sloshes through this and, um, let's just say he was probably having a whole lot of fun. He almost sounds like he's hamming it up: after awkwardly plonking through the melody, he pulls out all the stops and turns it up to 11; I dunno how to describe this beyond Jerry's just going for broke with a tune he wasn't particularly comfortable with and overdoing it. Martin and Merl do fine jobs, though they're clearly dipping into their standard jazz bag for this one. Ah well. I don't think I've heard Jerry overcook something like this, but I'm sure he was laughing his ass off when they finished.

No worries, though, because it's back to the dynamite for Motherlode's When I Die and Donny Hathaway's Valdez in the Country, both sporting ridiculous jams despite what you may think of the tunes themselves (I love 'em, but I can easily see why someone might find either of them a little cheesy). After this, the show eases back into a lower gear. They take their shoes off and get soulful for 20+ minutes of People Make the World Go Round, the Stylistics' jazzy smooth soul tune that was covered by a surprising number of jazzers around this time. Every other time Jer 'n Merl played this it functioned more as a quick coda to some much longer song (usually Wondering Why), but here they explore every nook and cranny, never fully spacing out, but leisurely slipping across the basic groove and really stretching this one out. Wonderful, late night stuff.

Two Stevie tunes wrap it up: Boogie On Reggae Woman is done as an instrumental, with Merl playing the melody to start and Jerry playing it on the way out. Sounds great, but not as the same level of glory as the first half of the show. I really enjoy what LOM did with Creepin' and I love this one too, though again it's a little rough compared to the 5/21/75 version. Kind of a slow note to end on, but that's what it does. No announcement (no vocal mics, I presume), so no clear sign that they were done, but this is what we have.

So: some rarities, some staple LOM instrumentals, but a totally unique show. The energy is real high for this, particularly compared to some later LOM shows that move at a dinosaur pace, and this is up there with the best Garcia/Saunders music that I've heard. This show really captures that early 70's jazz/funk vibe of those great live Grant Green albums, if you know those.

Very highly recommended. Thank you again, snow_and_rain!!
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're very welcome. Nice review, btw.
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