Relive The Magic Of Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders On The Anniversary Of Merl’s Death [Live Audio]

first_imgAside from the other various members of the Grateful Dead, there is perhaps no musician has been more acclaimed for his work with Jerry Garcia than the late, great Merl Saunders.  Saunders was one of the most soulful keyboardists/organists in the music world in the early ’70’s,  commanding the Hammond B3 organ in ways that virtually nobody had before.Saunders began a partnership with Garcia in 1971 while collaborating at at San Francisco nightclub The Matrix. The two would go on to collaborate extensively over the years, with Saunders sitting in with the dead as well as serving as Garcia’s de facto solo career jump-off point when the two formed the Saunders/Garcia Band, which eventually became the Legion of Mary. The group recording a handful of albums and playing a litany of memorable shows together (including three officially released as part of the GarciaLive series) before Saunder’s exited the fold and the outfit evolved into the Jerry Garcia Band. However, Saunders and Garcia’s musical partnership would continue far past the dissolution of their early bands. Saunders continued to work with Jerry through his death in 1995, even taking lead in reintroducing him to his guitar after emerging from his diabetic coma in the summer of 1986.According to 199 Jerry biography Garcia by Blair Jackson, “Garcia said that working with Merl also taught him a great deal about musical structure: ‘He filled me in on all those years of things I didn’t do. I’d never played any standards; I’d never played in dance bands. I never had any approach to the world of regular, straight music. He knows all the standards, and he taught me how bebop works. He taught me music. Between the combination of Howard [Wales] and Merl, that’s where I really learned music. Before it was sort of, ‘OK, where do I plug in?’ I picked up the adult version of a music attitude from those guys.’As we remember Merl Saunders today on the anniversary of his death in 2008 at the age of 74, revel in the magic of Saunders/Garcia collaborations with this selection of live performances:Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders – Keystone Korner, San Francisco, CA, 1972 w/ guest appearance from Tom Fogerty) via YouTube user Whoaduderighteous:Set 1: It’s No Use Expressway One Kind Favor Sick and Tired (with Tom Fogerty on Vocals) Down Around Biloxi That’s All Right, Mama The Night They Drove Ole’ Dixie DownSet II: It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train To Cry After Midnight “anyone here got a green triumph…” Money Honey Are You Lonely For Me ~*Wild JammingKeep the Merl/Jerry jams going, you can stream the 7/5/73 Garcia/Saunders show and the 12/14-15/74 Legion of Mary shows below via Spotify:last_img

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