Jerry Garcia and Howard Wales Hooteroll?

Originally released in 1972, this collaboration between jazz organist Howard Wales and deceased Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia finds the two supported by a crew of future Garcia support staff (including bassist John Kahn). Musically, this is far away from what Garcia’s full-time endeavour was capable of in the studio, but not that different from the Dead’s exploratory range in the live setting. The eight songs offered here are instrumental in nature, heading towards jazz rock territory for the most part but also containing some beautiful melodic compositions as well, as in the ballad like "Da Bird Song,” which offers up some nice slide playing. For the most part however, Garcia is happy to noodle off into wah-wah excess, like on the up-tempo "South Side Strut,” a track that sounds like it could be an unheard Stax records outtake and not the cerebral wanking of a bunch of California hippies. (Evolver)