I find this lesser-known, very short “Dark Star” to be practically perfect in every way.
- The band spends the first minute assembling the pieces dramatically, before the emergence of the groove.
- At 1:25, Garcia begins a chiseled, minimalist approach to his solo, which he picks up again once the verse is over.
- The band wraps itself crisply around Garcia’s series of perfect little ideas. The thrilling shift at 2:17 tells me they were really locked in.
- At the four minute mark, Garcia surprises with a gorgeous new phrase that leads to the completion of the performance’s narrative arc.
I edited out the verse, so the jam flows uninterrupted.