Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders

GarciaLive Volume Nine:
Keystone Berkeley (8/11/74), 2017

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Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders:

GarciaLive Volume Nine,
Keystone Berkeley, 8/11/74

GarciaLive Volume Nine presents Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders' August 11th, 1974 performance at Keystone in Berkeley, CA. Joining Garcia & Saunders this evening were John Kahn on bass, Martin Fierro on saxophone & flute and the Grateful Deadís Bill Kreutzmann on drums. As the site of over 200 performances by Garcia in various configurations, the Keystone Berkeley stage likely felt more like an extension of the Saundersí family garage where the group would often practice. It was a space without pressure or pretense ó one in which they could freely experiment with arrangements, new repertoire and, most of all, just jam.

Saundersí influence on Garciaís musical development is plainly heard on GarciaLive Volume Nine. As Garcia once noted in an interview, "[Saunders] filled me in on all those years of things I didnít do. Iíd never played any standards; Iíd never played in dance bands. I never had any approach to the world of regular, straight music. He knew all the standards, and he taught me how bebop works. He taught me music.Ē While the eveningís setlist focuses primarily on standards, the approach is anything but regular or straight. A free-spirited version of The Four Topsís R&B classic ďAinít No Woman (Like The One Iíve Got)Ē, one of the eveningís easy highlights, showcases Garcia & Saunders' ability to reimagine standards through inventive arrangements and fiery virtuosity permeated with soul. Other standouts from this performance include a surging ď(Iím A) RoadrunnerĒ and an extended take on Jimmy Cliffís ďThe Harder They ComeĒ which clocks in at nearly 20 minutes.


Disc 1 ó Set 1:
1.) Thatís What Love Will Make You Do
2.) La La
3.) It Ainít No Use
4.) Mystery Train

Disc 2 ó Set 2:
1.) The Harder They Come
2.) Ainít No Woman (Like The One Iíve Got)
3.) Itís Too Late
4.) (Iím A) Road Runner
5.) The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down