The 50th anniversary of the shows that contributed to 1969’s “Live Dead” challenged me to see how stupendous a jam-centric mix I could make out of performances from the very late years (that have appeared on my Save Your Face mixes).
So, this is a crème de la crème compilation from September 1993 to March 1995 – an often-amazing 18-month period.
Nothing is included from my all-Space mixes. It’s more of an improvisational dance party, with surprises around every corner. All recordings are still unreleased as of now. If you’re not already a convert to late Dead, give this a try.
2-hour, 10-track mp3 mix zipped up here
Bird Song (October 3, 1994) 13:08
I recently posted a mix that included an instrumental edit of the 1973 Watkins Glenn “Bird Song,” and it’s a transcendent, jazzy event that is hardly distinguishable from “Dark Star,” refracted through the emerging sensibilities that would produce “Eyes of the World.” In October 1994, it’s a very different song, descended from the acoustic 1980 revival, through the intensity of the late Brent period, and now, in late 1994 fully owned by the mature Welnick unit. This performance is complex and intense – beautiful, jazzy, and dancing on the edge of chaos at various points. From the mix, “October ’94.”
Three Night Jam (March 17-19, 1995) 17:55
This edit is comprised of five or six segments plucked from three consecutive nights of “Drums/Space,” and edited into a continuous, far-out suite. At the heart of it is a long, funky, collective jam that Garcia joins a few minutes late, as if he’s just realized that he’s missing out on something special. Other episodes include Adrian Belew-era King Crimson, Brian Eno/Harold Budd soundtracks, and other strange things. 1995. Not a year to categorically ignore. From the mix, "Shortlist: 1995-03-17/18/19 Philadelphia, PA.”
Shakedown Street (October 14, 1994) 16:33
Over the entire history of recorded versions of this song, it’s hard to find very many on which all the parts come together, start to finish, into an unrelenting, funky steamroller, ready for a general-audience dance party mixtape. This one makes the cut. The only flaw is Garcia being creaky and uncertain on the vocals of a couple of verses, but the heft of the music and the excellence of the group backing vocals make this a pretty minor issue. From the mix, “October ’94.”
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