JAZZ IS DEAD Returns to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of GRATEFUL DEAD with original pianist TOM CONSTANTEN
Alphonso Johnson - Bass (Further)
JAZZ IS DEAD Returns to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of GRATEFUL DEAD with an All-Star Band and Original GRATEFUL DEAD pianist TOM CONSTANTEN
Led by highly stylized, virtuoso guitar player JERRY GARCIA, San Francisco’s GRATEFUL DEAD formed in 1965. Their music was a unique amalgam of bluegrass, folk, blues, motown & rock and roll, evolving to later include elements of jazz - the latter particularly, as regarded their penchant for free-form improvisation. In their time, GRATEFUL DEAD were the highest grossing concert attraction in the history of the touring talent industry, an unexpected statistic, when measured against ‘mediocre’ record sales. There are two reasons to explain this: First, GRATEFUL DEAD performed more than anyone else - three major tours (approx. 100 shows) a year since the advent of ‘arena rock’ circa 1972. Whereas THE ROLLING STONES or U2 for example, easily out grossed THE DEAD in any calendar year, the latter two (as with any major attraction) chose to tour every three to five years on average. Beside the physical demands of the road, no arena/ stadium sized attraction would dare tour in consecutive years, fearing depletion of market demand from overexposure. Second, GRATEFUL DEAD played long shows (3 to 6 hours), consisting of two sets with an intermission - working from an active repertoire of over 100 original compositions and cover material ... reprised differently from show to show, in off times bizarre & unexpected medleys - segue ways interwoven with lengthy, jazz-like, ‘psychedlic’ improvisations & dynamic drum solos. Over the course of a thirty or forty city tour, no two shows would be alike. On top of all of this, the band allowed ... even encouraged the fans to tape record the performances - unheard of in a record industry whose chief fear was ‘bootlegging’. Yet, instead of 'bootlegging' (selling the clandestinely recorded tapes for profit), the fans codified the phenomenon ... recounted orally from fan to fan, musically from tape to tape.