Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Joe Gallant And Illuminati|
Music of the Grateful Dead and Beyond
Genres: Jazz, Pop
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The Delite Rancher | Phoenix, Arizona | 11/29/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've never understood the lack of enthusiasm for Joe Gallant's Grateful Dead inspired projects. Regardless of Gallant's creative and well executed accomplishments, it seems that Deadheads have been well . . . ungrateful. "Music of the Grateful Dead & Beyond" is a case in point. Unless the Deadhead just hates jazz, this CD has everything going for it. First, it is live. The well produced recording captures the enthusiasm and spirit of a great live performance. Second, there is explosive improvisation. Gallant's band jams very well. Third, this recording mostly features inventive arrangements of music the Grateful Dead played. The selections don't just come from "Skeletons from the Closet." Gallant picked a wide sampling of originals and cover songs from Pigpen's 'Hard to Handle' to the 90's 'Corrina.' Fourth, the non-Dead material is strong. Illuminati plays Led Zeppelin's 'The Ocean' and the eleven minute original, 'Vista.' Some listeners (like a music fan) take issue with the group's female singer. I've always enjoyed Jenna Mammina's voice. She is an accomplished singer with a solo career that extends well beyond this group. I believe that the voice of a trained singer can be disorienting to a listener who mostly lends their ears to rock. Besides, nothing about this project is predictable and hats off to Gallant for choosing a singer who doesn't sound like everybody else. Perhaps Illuminati would have met more success had Joe Gallant played fusion, rather than straight jazz with a twist of avant-garde. Under appreciated, "Music of the Grateful Dead & Beyond" has languished and now become out-of-print."
~ ILLUMINATE THE FLYING INNER EYEBALL WITH LIGHTNING BOLTS
t'amant | WA | 02/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"(cover) Joe cites Francis Bacon from a 1625 essay: "The first creature of God in the works of the days was the light of the sense, the last was the light of the reason, and his Sabbath work ever since is the illumination of his spirit". On Joe's journey so far, he has had good fortune in connecting as a musician with the wonderful music of the Grateful Dead (and Led Zeppelin represented here by The Ocean), and collaborating with a couple dozen other fine musicians on this live release, they tear it down free jazz style. A little reminiscent of Miles, Coltrane, Mahavishnu, Corea, Ray Charles and even Zappa (among others), Joe Gallant's loose arrangements allow all of the fine guest musicians room to flow and express their feeling toward the great melodies and motifs in these cool songs. Make note that this is a bit avante garde in style (crazy and cacophonous at times, but fun), so don't expect elevator jazz renditions - YOU WILL BE CHALLENGED with 62+ minutes of shifting approaches (meant to draw in the outer reaches of the originals, many are extended jams like live Dead in a way). Fun to practice to or space out with ... bang your bongos, get out the jazz bass, sax, vibes or crank up the strat (whatever you have to play), this is a fine journey of improv while it lasts (great musicianship throughout), I would have fun in this band. What a deal! I rushed to put this review up since it is selling at a very low price, it hasn't been with me long but I can tell it will be a favorite for the long run - It is unique and energetic fun for Dead fans who also are into jazz (Jazz Is Dead is great too, although a little more fusion/guitar oriented, less big band).
This is volume one of a two volume set so they have a similar sound, the only difference being which set of Dead songs you want to spend time with (and Zeppelin chaser or Beatles). He does add in an original composition as well, which are sometimes better than many of his covers. Both volumes are great and I will try to update these reviews later with more thoughts on the songs special qualities or oddities if it will help. Not quite 5 stars but close, bumped up for its special focus. These are kind of spooky, listening alone might make the shadows in the wall jump. So, enjoy during the full moon in the darkness of deepest winter.
The Delite Rancher | 06/24/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"IF YOU WANT SOME VARIETY THIS IS FOR YOU. THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE DISCS THAT I OWN. I GIVE IT 4 STARS!"