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Author: Subject: Was the ABB your first favorite “jam band”?

Peach Master





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  posted on 10/31/2018 at 09:01 AM
So I was browsing the ABB thread on the Phish board (.net) and I seen this statement; I love the Allman Brothers, my first jam band.
So I’m wondering your thoughts. It seems everybody hates “labels” and they surely hate “jam band” but the term has been around for a while now. I myself relate the ABB and community more with the Dead and Panic than Skynyrd. I know that folks here have a wide lens when it comes to music so I thought this may be of interest.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/31/2018 at 09:33 AM
quote:
So I was browsing the ABB thread on the Phish board (.net) and I seen this statement; I love the Allman Brothers, my first jam band.
So I’m wondering your thoughts. It seems everybody hates “labels” and they surely hate “jam band” but the term has been around for a while now. I myself relate the ABB and community more with the Dead and Panic than Skynyrd. I know that folks here have a wide lens when it comes to music so I thought this may be of interest.


I think the ABB had certain songs that could be and were "stretched out" because of their skill set. "Liz Reed" & "Whippin' Post" come to mind. "Mountain Jam" was an early exploration of that genre, but they had some songs that were sheer genius in the 4 minute framework as well, "Midnight Rider" & "Revival" fit that category.

A "Jam" band sets out intentionally with that in mind; to the point that in this listener/players ears, it becomes "Noodling" or directionless.....Kind of like a self proclaimed conversationalist, who just talks because they like the sound of their own voice.....

 

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  posted on 10/31/2018 at 11:53 AM
Willie Nelson called them 'jamminest blues band" - I like that...

 

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  posted on 10/31/2018 at 12:14 PM
Mountain Jam was for sure the first record that I became aware of "jamming" and man did it open up worlds in my own playing and listening. Theme, variations, improv, breakdown of elements, call and response, interplay, trading solos, buildup, then return, music as a living form of communication between the players, and including the listener as a participant - Mtn Jam is structured much like Coltrane's work. Recognized it right away on Coltrane's records - am grateful to the ABB for the intro to Jamming 101.




[Edited on 10/31/2018 by BrerRabbit]

 

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  posted on 10/31/2018 at 01:09 PM
I was 12 or so when I first got into the Allman Brothers, so they definitely popped my cherry. Their studio stuff first caught my ear, and I quickly went down the rabbit hole to their live shows. But what sets them apart from their imitators is that even though they are a "jam" band and play, they rarely get lost in the woods. Take "Mountain Jam" for instance, it's essentially a medley of 7 or 8 songs - it never stays in the same place for more than 3-4 minutes. "Back Where it All Begins" clocks in at ~10 minutes, but it has so many different movements to it, and maybe 2 minutes of vocals. "Dreams" is really the only ABB song I can think of where one solo gets stretched out, and it works beautifully every time thanks to such a simple 2 chord progression that allows for a lot of latitude (which is true of a lot of ABB instrumental sections).

That's why the Allman Bros always felt more like a big band orchestra or jazz sextet to me, where each band member gets a moment to stretch things out. I think Duane's mix of BB King and Albert King type blues jamming, and his extensive studio work, helped informed the band's ability to know how to construct an instrumental section without it becoming excessive. There are other bands since who can do it, and those that do typically have a foot in jazz (Traffic comes to mind) and none as good as the Allmans.

I've actually been jamming some with a friend of mine who is a big Dead Head - I've been showing him some deeper ABB cuts, he's been introducing me to more Dead, which I was never very interested in. I've always thought the Dead have good songs, but their live shows were often too loose. Well, he hasn't been able to dissuade me from that opinion. We've been working on the very pleasant tune "Eyes of the World" and it is the most arbitrarily arranged song I've ever played. Listening to live versions it's clear that Lesh is trying to corral Weir and Garcia who are off in their own world. At times it sounds good, but at others it sounds like 6 people playing 4 different songs. The Allman Bros never noodled over each other, they were always listening to each other.

 

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  posted on 10/31/2018 at 01:20 PM
Although I doubt anyone would call them a jam band, my first exposure to a "band that jammed" was the Doors release of Light My Fire in 1967. AM radio would only play short songs, and the fledgling "underground" FM stations starting to pop up latched onto it in a big way. The Doors and others paved the way for what was to come.

 

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  posted on 10/31/2018 at 01:41 PM
Cream then Dead then ABB.
 

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  posted on 10/31/2018 at 01:50 PM
Back in the 60's there were a lot of Jam bands. The first for me was probably Cream followed by the Grateful Dead. The Allman Brothers came after those 2. I really don't get the dislike for the term Jam band. Of course there are some that go 20 minutes and do little, Iron Butterfly, Canned Heat Refried Boogie etc. But certain bands like to stretch it out. My first taste of the ABB jamming was the first concert I saw them at the Fillmore. I had heard there record but that didn't tell the story or show the power and majesty of the band. For me Caravanserai is Santana at his best although many would disagree. Whatever you call it, I like it when bands stretch out and explore unknown territory. Sometime it stinks but sometimes the magic comes and there is nothing like it.
 

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  posted on 10/31/2018 at 02:53 PM
quote:
Back in the 60's there were a lot of Jam bands. The first for me was probably Cream followed by the Grateful Dead. The Allman Brothers came after those 2. I really don't get the dislike for the term Jam band. Of course there are some that go 20 minutes and do little, Iron Butterfly, Canned Heat Refried Boogie etc. But certain bands like to stretch it out. My first taste of the ABB jamming was the first concert I saw them at the Fillmore. I had heard there record but that didn't tell the story or show the power and majesty of the band. For me Caravanserai is Santana at his best although many would disagree. Whatever you call it, I like it when bands stretch out and explore unknown territory. Sometime it stinks but sometimes the magic comes and there is nothing like it.


Completely agree on Caravanserai

 

Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 10/31/2018 at 03:20 PM
For me -
Iron Butterfly - In A Gadda Da Vida
Rare Earth - Get Ready
Traffic - Dear Mr. Fantasy

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/31/2018 at 03:50 PM
I got into live ABB and the Dead at about the same time around 12 years ago. Getting into those two bands has sent me down the rabbit hole of the jam scene.
 

Peach Master



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  posted on 10/31/2018 at 04:36 PM
Probably ABB's Mountain Jam with Duane, but I wonder if you'd call Led Zeppelins Dazed and Confused a "jamband song"? They used to really play out that one-at least when I saw them,early days over 35 minutes. So if that is jamband
then equally Zeppelin. I always thought of ABB as mostly a bluesband who went off at times unlike the Dead,String Cheese,Moe and others.

 

Peach Master



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  posted on 10/31/2018 at 07:01 PM
Nope!...Cream...so ABB a natural extension...
 

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  posted on 11/1/2018 at 10:15 AM
Putting music in categories 9ie jamband, southern rock) is good for marketing and awards shows, but can be confusing. That said, I have no problem with calling ABB a jamband, When people ask me what kind of music I like, I say "improvisational" - I listen to a lot of jazz too.

ABB at Fillmore East was my first real introduction to improvisational music and opened up an entire world for me, including bands like GD, Cream as well as jazz and blues.

 

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  posted on 11/1/2018 at 12:40 PM
I read a few interviews with Greg , and the topic would come up"jam band". He would always correct them by saying the ABB is a band that jams......which is so true. Always liked his take on that.



I was thinking about this awhile back. They were bands who would do extended jams such as classic Deep Purple,Led Zeppelin and maybe a few others who don't fall into the "jam band" genre.


I guess it would be a different kind of extended jam.
Deep Purple- Child in Time
https://youtube.com/watch?v=6jcFTyAPImM

You Fool No One
https://youtube.com/watch?v=5R-voFL4ZL8

Led Zeppelin - No Quarter
https://youtube.com/watch?v=NldbXkBhvVk

Whole Lotta Love
https://youtube.com/watch?v=NrUHvPgxlcw

 

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  posted on 11/1/2018 at 02:14 PM
Grateful Dead was first “jam band” for me. Agree that the ABB are more a band that Jams!!

 

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  posted on 11/1/2018 at 02:57 PM
I think absnj's post was incredibly accurate. I lived in the Philadelphia area and if I remember correctly WMMR started broadcasting the rock format in early '68. The extended version of "Light My Fire" was definitely part of their early play list. I missed the initial ABB album in '69, I think I just didn't recognize it was the ABB, but got Idlewild South. Quite the revelation. Was originally turned on to the blues and it took a while to morph into the progressive music of the day. In think all of the extended play tunes are what are the beginning of the jam band music.
ABSNJ, I hope you and yours are happy and healthy, I sure do miss seeing you at shows!

 

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  posted on 11/1/2018 at 10:09 PM
quicksilver messenger service
moby grape

 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 11/2/2018 at 01:13 PM
This had to be Cream, particularly the Spoonful performance on the Wheels of Fire album. Listened to this constantly enjoying the dynamics and related musical drama shifting constantly. While other stuff had appeared in long form prior to this, like the Doors Light My Fire, I thought that this was really just an allowance for extended solos with not a lot of at risk taking where crash and burn was a possible consequence around every turn.

 

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  posted on 11/2/2018 at 04:11 PM
They were my first. I Loved the ABB based on their first two records. Then EAP, I wasn't exposed to LAFE right away because I was very young and dependent upon my older sister to pick out the records. Didn't listen to Mountain Jam at all at first. Why would anyone (especially a 12 year old) want to listen to a song that takes up two album sides? I got Filmore East the same time I bought Laid Back. Loved Laid Back I listened to it first. I wondered why anyone would need a 20 minute Whippin Post, did they add some verses or something? Wow! Those two Albums couldn't have been more diiferent but I loved them both and THAT Whippin Post made me want more and more.

For a long time I wondered what that song was that they went into after Whippin' Post that gets cut off. Crap! It was Mountain Jam and I had the whole thing all the time on EAP. My parents couldn't get me out of the basement for two weeks! Here I am now 44 years later telling people about it that actually understand. How cool is that?

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 11/3/2018 at 12:12 AM
Like other folks here, my first favorite jam band was Cream (Live Vols. 1 and 2), then Led Zeppelin (Song Remains the Same, BBC). I loved these records when I was a teenager and played them over and over.
I think it's silly that these guys aren't considered jam bands by some. I got into the Allmans and the the Grateful Dead a bit latter. But I actually got to see them in concert- what a thrill!

Santana (especially on the Live at the Fillmore '68 album) is another jam band I love. Santana did some incredible, far-out jamming the last time I saw them live just 7 months ago on a John Coltrane song called A Love Supreme.

Neil Young and Promise of the Real are another favorite jam band of mine- two years ago they played a version of Down By the River that lasted about 20 minutes. Some nights, they play it for 30 minutes. I love this kind of extended jam on Down By the River - the longer, the better. Noodle Schmoodle! Tell me these guys aren't jamming!

I've heard it said that the Butterfield Blues Band was the first jam band- I think they started the whole "let's invite other people up here on stage to jam" thing at the Fillmore. East-West is one of my favorite jams of all time. Anyone here get to see this band or Mike Bloomfield?


[Edited on 11/3/2018 by peachlovingman]

 

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  posted on 11/3/2018 at 10:45 AM
Gregg often downplayed guitar jams in revisionist history. Too bad we will never read Duane's book.


 

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  posted on 11/3/2018 at 04:23 PM
To peachlovingman, The first show I saw was The Paul Butterfield Blues Band opening for Muddy Waters. I think it was at the Electric factory in Philadelphia, '67 or '68. Supposed to be 21 to get in but wasn't close. Saw them a couple of times including Mike Bloomfield. Bloomfield is still one of my favorite players. Wish I could have seen Al Kooper and Mike together. Al and Mike were a music revelation.
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 11/3/2018 at 09:11 PM
quote:
Neil Young and Promise of the Real are another favorite jam band of mine- two years ago they played a version of Down By the River that lasted about 20 minutes. Some nights, they play it for 30 minutes. I love this kind of extended jam on Down By the River - the longer, the better. Noodle Schmoodle! Tell me these guys aren't jamming!


I guess this depends on what you think of Neil Young's "Guitar playing".....

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 11/4/2018 at 12:56 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lr1YzUDPl-E
 
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