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Laughing Water Enhanced, Live


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Audio CD, Enhanced, Live, July 20, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Without offense to the often-brilliant lyricist Robert Hunter, it's always the singing and the words that ring hollow when another band tries to replicate the Grateful Dead experience. With all those pesky words out of the way, Jazz Is Dead are free to lay down 62 minutes of sweeping funk fusion. Not merely a pale imitator, this ferocious quintet adds to the creative process by injecting its own adventurous spirit into the Dead's music, not to mention an assortment of masterful chops. Here the group tackles 1973's Wake of the Flood, one of the Dead's most nuanced records, and the musicians themselves seem to delight in the music's subtle twists (check out bassist Alphonso Johnson's cascading lines in "Row Jimmy"). Even the forgotten "Let Me Sing Your Blues Away" becomes a joyous, organ-fueled romp thanks to T Lavitz's keyboard work. Guitarist Jimmy Herring handles both the restrained vocal parts and the frenzied leads with aplomb. And besides, any chance to hear one of Bill Monroe's old Blue Grass Boys (fiddler Vassar Clements, who appeared on the original album) soar atop the throbbing bass of a former Weather Report member is worth the price of admission. --Marc Greilsamer

Review

The Grateful Dead's poly-stylistic body of work has allured such jazz heavyweights as Ornette Coleman and David Murray. Most recently, the Dead's music - a melange of folk, blues, rock, country, and collective improvisation - has inspired a group of fusioneers to pick up the torch and call themselves Jazz Is Dead. The group's second album, Laughing Water, instrumentally recreates Jerry Garcia and company's 1973 classic, wake of the flood. It was recorded live during four nights on a spring 1999 American tour. After former Dead singer Donna Jean Godchaux briefly introduces the proceedings with a ghostly, heavily-reverbed vocal line, the band jumps into "Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodleoo." Here, guitarist Jimmy Herring's sharp tone and use of sustain evoke Garcia's elegiac lyricism without imitating the man's style altogether. On "Eyes of the World" and "Weather Report Suite, Part Two," former Dixie Dreg organist T Lavitz plays with a sense of nostalgia for original Dead keyboardist Ron "Pigpen" McKernan. And where Jazz Is Dead's first disc, Blue Light Rain, was powered by drummer Billy Cobham, here Lavitz's Dregs mate Rod Morgenstein takes over percussion duties with rocking, yet finely nuanced, attention to detail. One of the disc's meatiest sections occurs when the band extends "Here Comes Sunshine" into a wild eight-minute jam with Vassar Clements on violin and Allman Brother Derek Trucks on slide guitar. It's here that the Dead's captivating blend of styles emerges in all its joyous American beauty.

--- Larry Nai, JAZZIZ Magazine Copyright © 2000, Milor Entertainment, Inc. -- From Jazziz


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Vocal Intro / Miss. Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo 6:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Let Me Sing Your Blues Away 5:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Row Jimmy 7:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Stella Blue 7:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Vocal Intro / Here Comes Sunshine / Sunshine Jam13:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Eyes Of The World / Two Sisters10:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Weather Report Suite, Pt 1 5:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Weather Report Suite, Pt 2 Let It Grow 7:11$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 20, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced, Live
  • Label: Zebra Records
  • ASIN: B00000JLMH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,755 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By "djsicili" on December 17, 1999
Format: Audio CD
A a true music fan, I only reserve five stars for a truley amazing album, Laughing Water is no exception. JID brings new life to these GD tunes. The band is extremley tight and go off on these tunes. Jimi Herring is unreal, his solos tear the roof off each song. Derek Trucks makes an appearance on Row Jimmy and Here Comes Sunshine, his solos are so intense I soil myself everytime I hear them. The final couple of minutes of Row Jimmy where Jimmi and Derek trade solos is probabally the most intense thing I have ever listened to in my life. T Lavitz is amazing on the keys and Alfonso Johnson keeps the bass lines tight and interesting. Jeff Sipe and Rod Morgenstien are sick drummers who add a whole new dimension to these Dead songs. On top of all this the whole album is live which demonstrates just how nasty this band is. Buy this CD, I promise that you will not regret it, and if you get a chance to see them live GO! , they put on a great show.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Craig Pinson on January 24, 2001
Format: Audio CD
If you like jazz, particularly fusion, or if you`re a Deadhead, rabid or casual, this CD is for you. Stunning instrutmental versions of the Dead`s Wake of the Flood album, highlighted by Jimmy Herring`s otherworldly guitar licks, Alphonso Johnson`s bass groove, the keyboards of T.Lavitz and the drums of Rod Morgenstein and Jeff Sipe, create a aural delight.
First off the players, boasting impressive pedigrees, show that these are no hacks doing one off covers. Jimmy Herring`s resume is virtual tour of who`s who in the Jam band world, having been a member of the eclectic Aquarium Rescue Unit with Col.Bruce Hampton, touring with the Allman Brothers Band, and soon to be touring with Phil and Phriends, his playing can at times threaten to change everything you thought you knew about guitar playing. Alphonso Johnson has been involved with Weather Report and Santana, T.Lavitz who was a member of fusion pioneers Dixie Dregs, Widespread Panic and Starship, and Rod Morgenstein, also of the Dregs, and Jeff Sipe, a member of ARU and Leftover Salmon.
There are also guests Vassar Clements violin God, one time Dead back up vocalist Donna Godchaux, guitarist Steve Kimock, who makes an explosive duo with Jimmy, and present ABB member and guitar jedi, Derek Trucks.
Then the music. Taking one of the Dead`s more explorative albums, JID takes it to an even higher level, showing that when take incredible music, add extroadinary musicians, it can create a masterpiece that can warp your mind. This just proves that music is music, and in the right hands even wonderful music can create something equally beautiful.
This should also serve to whet your appetite for their new soon to released project for their upcoming tour, where they will be doing acoustic versions of two more classic CD`s in the Dead canon Workingman`s Dead and American Beauty. What a live set that would be.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bryan F. Jackson on November 19, 2001
Format: Audio CD
It seems when people cover the Dead they always try to sound to true to the original... that's not what I consider creative. But when a group of hardcore jammers like Jazz is Dead play they put a new spin on things. JiD play tunes with their own interpretations... they know it is futile to try and match the magic that Jerry, Phil, Bobby, et al put forth on stage, so they make the music their own. It's awesome. The hightlights include "Row Jimmy" "Eyes of the World" and a killer "Weather Report Suite"
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By ericwatson@wvmail.com on August 15, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Not being a GD fan but rather a fusion fan and admirer of the members' respective bands and legendary status, I found this to be a very good CD that will expose GD fans to a much higher standard of musicianship. Anyone who does not acknowledge the GD's amazingly successful career and touring draw would be someone who cannot judge the facts. I do not want to be perceived as being disrespectful of the Greatful Dead, but this is music of another standard. Having seen this new lineup: (Rod Morganstein (Dixie Dregs/Winger/Rudess-Morganstein Project) and Jeff Sipe aka Apartment Q258 (Aquarium Rescue Unit/Col. Bruce Hampton/Jonas Hellborg) as dueling drummers and replacing Billy Cobham who is regarded as being one of the top drummers of all time and on this release, Jimmy Herring (Aquarium Rescue Unit/Col. Bruce Hampton/Allman Bros), Alphonso Johnson (Weather Report/Widespread Panic/Bruce Hornsby, T. Lavitz (Dixie Dregs cofounder/Jefferson Starship, Nils Lofgren/Mothers Finest and here ya go GD trivialists: the almost GD keyboard player (2nd choice for the seat, they wanted vocals too and chose Vince Welnick (Tubes))in Chicago on 8/14/99, it is only getting better ! This band has become a very aggressive fusion powerhouse. The band's more aggressive sound is basically due to the difference the 2 drummers make, Billy Cobham yields a smoother, more mature feel to the projects in which he plays... not better, just different.
I thought it a little out of place to see the GD "dazed dance" being done to this format, but I was impressed by the GD fans adaptability. I think im my case it is an advantage to not know the original tunes, but I also could understand that some GD fans might feel the memory being blaspheamed and might not understand the interpretations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 21, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Having seen Jazz is Dead live just one week ago, I have to say this is an excellent representation of what they do when they perform. A bit dissapointed that veteran drummer Billy Cobham has left, I am satisfied with the two new guys, Sipe and Morgenstein.
The CD starts off with all time fave,Half-step Mississipi Uptown Toodeloo. It's classic Dead songs like that and Row Jimmy which are revamped to a new life by young hot shot guitarist Derek Trucks, and of course, ARU's mindblowing guitarist, Jimmy Herring. Everyone has to love this guy. They have to. He has been around for a while and has the experience to make his guitar sing and harmonize.
Eyes of the World, another Dead classic, is redone into such an excellent jazz song. When the Dead played it, it was already extremely jazzy, but now with the precision and chops of Alfonso Johnson and Herring, it can exhibit the talent of such a great band as Jazz is Dead.
And of course, Weather Report Suite, Bob Weir's trademark Wake of the Flood masterpiece is executed with such brilliance, it excites any musician, let alone listener while listening.
My only gripe is that this band which is hyped as "America's premiere jam band" does not really jam on this cd. Yet it was recorded live, it seems as the tracks were chopped and remastered for some stupide studio quality sound. Jazz is Dead can jam like some sh*t, but here they are mainly soloing. I just wish they could be recognized what they truly do really well, and that's jam.
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