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Author: Subject: REVIEWS of the JAMMYS

A Peach Supreme





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  posted on 10/4/2002 at 01:35 PM
New York Post 10/4/2002 Pulse

ALL-NIGHT JAM SWEET

Dan Aquilante

IN all of show business, there is no more aptly named awards events than the Jammys.

The event at the Roseland Ballroom Wednesday was light on presentation, long on extended improvisational jams and when it was all said and done - more than seven hours after it started - there wasn't a person who didn't wish they were already tucked in bed in their jammies.

The event host was Blues Traveler frontman John Popper, who has dropped a good 300 pounds and looked trim and healthy.

He took his duties as an entertainer/host seriously, wearing slept-in bedtime attire and jamming with nearly everyone on the bill - blowing blues harp from the sidelines during performances by the Allman Brothers , Gov't Mule , the B-52's, Trey Anastasio and ex-Dead, now Ratdog, guitarist Bob Weir, among others.

While this was technically an awards show where trophies were given out, the real point was playing live.

The set-up was to put onstage two acts who have never played together and see what happens. The concept worked most of the time.

Where it was best was when the bands were stylistically different from each other.

The best of those encounters had to be when pedal steel guitar master Robert Randolph crunched gears with the traditional vocals of the Blind Boys of Alabama.

The 'Bama jama was extraordinary when they set the lyrics to the gospel classic "Amazing Grace" to the deep blues of "House of the Rising Sun."

The treatment was inventive and had to be the top jam of the night, 'cause jelly don't shake like that.

When the Gov't Mule/Allman/ Derek Trucks combo was set into motion after midnight, the result was soaring Southern rock - but the jam didn't have the same feeling that something new and different was being created.

Bob Weir was very good, reprising a few of the Dead's most popular songs - including "Sugar Magnolia" - and upstate New York jammers moe. were terrific during their turn with Blue Oyster Cult.

Because of the length of this event, it will never be a mainstream staple on the awards circuit, but no one will argue that any of these great noodlers were jamming too long at the Jammys.


[Edited on 10/7/2002 by enigmajean]

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 10/4/2002 at 02:48 PM
Would love to be a fly on the wall for that!
:-)

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 10/7/2002 at 12:11 PM
Sounds like a fantastic show. Here's another review.

Everyone was in a jam and loving it
JAY LUSTIG
10/05/2002 The Star-Ledger Newark, NJ

If you play music - any form of music - you can be in a jam band.

That was one of the lessons of Wednesday night's third annual Jammys award show at Roseland. The show honored jam bands, loosely defined as rock groups that improvise onstage. But it was open to musicians of all kinds.

Giants of the scene (the Allman Brothers Band, Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon of Phish) were there, jamming. So were young Turks such as Robert Randolph & the Family Band and Particle. Then there were the wild cards: septuagenarian gospel group the Blind Boys of Alabama; Fred Schneider and Kate Pierson of the new-wave party band the B-52's; hip-hop record scratcher DJ Logic; jazz guitarist John Scofield; three members of the hard-rock band, Blue Oyster Cult.

In many ways, the show, whose organizers included Relix magazine and the www.jambands.com Web site, was like one long jam. There were exploratory passages and time-killing interludes, but also wild, unforgettable moments. Awards, voted on by fans, were given out throughout the evening, but most of the show was devoted to throwing the talent together and seeing what would happen. No group walked away without jamming with at least one other musician.

Scintillating combinations included the bluesy trio Gov't Mule, augmented by Anastasio and Allman Brothers Band members Gregg Allman and Derek Trucks , for song-of-the-year winner, "Soulshine"; moe and Blue Oyster Cult on BOC's soaring signature song, "Don't Fear the Reaper"; and the Blind Boys of Alabama, with Jersey-based steel guitar wizard Randolph and his Family Band, on a rousing version of the gospel song, "Spirit in the Dark."

Randolph and the Family Band, who won the new-artist Jammy, also teamed with Trucks and pop sensation John Mayer, both on guitar, for a raveup with long, frenzied solos and crowd exhortations ("We're gonna have a good time!").

Rusted Root presented a crisp, driving mini-set, with contributions from Blues Traveler harmonica man John Popper (who also served as the evening's master of ceremonies), DJ Logic and guitarist Melvin Sparks. Scofield joined forces with drummer Stanton Moore (of Galactic), bassist Andy Hess (of the Black Crowes) and saxophonist Skerik (of Les Claypool's Frog Brigade) for a restless instrumental version of the blues standard "My Babe," and his own composition, "Kool."

Phish bassist Gordon and acoustic guitar master Leo Kottke showcased material from their new joint album, "Clone." Unfortunately, they sounded tentative and under-rehearsed, and their intricately arranged duets didn't allow for the kind of improvising this show celebrated.

Sets alternated on two separate stages throughout the evening. During one number - the show-closing, all-star jam on "Turn on Your Lovelight" -musicians played on both of them, simultaneously.

More typically, as the main stage was being prepared for a set, the funk-rock band Tom Tom Club (featuring former Talking Heads members Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz) would play a song or two on the smaller, second stage. The group was joined by many musicians throughout the evening, including horn players from the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

In theory, this was a good idea, as raucous Dirty Dozen riffs would have sounded good careening off Tom Tom Club's beats. But the partnership never really gelled, since the horns were inaudible most of the time. Tom Tom Club was still a source of nonstop energy, though, on songs like "Genius of Love," "Wordy Rappinghood" and "Take Me To the River."

Accepting awards, most of the artists limited themselves to a few simple words of thanks, but there were some exceptions. Anastasio, apparently in a goofy mood, sang one of his acceptance speeches to the tune of the comic "West Side Story" song, "Gee, Officer Krupke!" Holding the lifetime achievement award that was given to the Grateful Dead (the forefathers of all modern jam bands), Weir spent a few moments discussing the musicological roots of improvisation, before saying, "I don't want to sound like some (expletive) professor," and abruptly ending his speech.

Princeton native Popper proved to be a natural as an emcee, expressing sincere appreciation for the artists being honored but also keeping his tone light. He also made a clever wardrobe choice, wearing a pair of jammies (i.e., pajamas) as he presided over the Jammys.

 

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"We are all travelers in this world, from the sweet grass to the packin' house, birth til death, we travel between the eternities."

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/7/2002 at 01:24 PM
For all those interested, Jambands.com has two really good reviews of the entire show...it sounded like the place to be that night...

 

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