Live Dead (Remastered)
“Jazz-rock” was becoming the rage in 1969, with horn-laden outfits blaring their way into the Top 40 like new little big bands. Brassless (give or take those few bars of trumpet on Anthem of the Sun), the Grateful Dead nonetheless worked their own space-jazz mojo on Live/Dead, a sprawling set recorded at several California gigs. The band moves from a ruminative “Dark Star” (an entire side of the original double LP) to definitive, even transcendent rollin’-and-tumblin’ takes on “The Eleven” and Bobby Bland’s“Turn On Your Love Light.” Make no mistake, this was also rock music — Dead music, owing much to folk and country while paying its dues to, say, Miles Davis’ various rhythm sections. While standing as a high point in the Dead’s catalog, it also pointed the way for the Allman Brothers Band, who would soon be laying down similarly rich, epic-length performances by way of topping their own early work.