185 Clingman Ave. Asheville, NC 28801
– ALL AGES
– STANDING ROOM ONLY
– FEATURING STEVE KIMOCK, ALPHONSO JOHNSON, PETE LAVEZZOLI, BOBBY LEE RODGERS
JAZZ IS DEAD celebrates it’s 25th Anniversary with an all-star ensemble performing a limited run of shows to honor the 50th Anniversary of The Grateful Dead’s ‘WAKE OF THE FLOOD.’
The acclaimed All-Star instrumental ensemble, famous for interpretations of classic Grateful Dead songs with jazz influences, returns in 2023 to celebrate its 25th Anniversary. Co-founder Alphonso Johnson will be joined by Steve Kimock, Pete Lavezzoli & Bobby Lee Rodgers, performing Grateful Dead’s ‘Wake of The Flood’ marking it’s 50th Anniversary, in addition to other beloved selections. Jazz Is Dead XXV ‘reunites’ two greats! Steve Kimock & Alphonso Johnson, who together in heavyweight post-Garcia Grateful Dead offshoot The Other Ones together with Bob Weir, commanded the instrumental prowess of that band.
Formed in 1998 by bassist Alphonso Johnson (Weather Report, Santana, Bobby & The Midnites, The Other Ones), drummer Billy Cobham (Miles Davis, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Bobby & The Midnites), keyboardist T Lavitz (Dixie Dregs) & guitarist Jimmy Herring (Aquarium Rescue Unit, Widespread Panic), with drummers Rod Morgenstern (Dixie Dregs) & Jeff Sipe (Leftover Salmon) replacing Cobham in 1999, and guitarist Jeff Pevar (CSN, David Crosby CPR, Phil Lesh & Friends) replacing Herring in 2000, recorded 3 acclaimed albums, the second of which ‘Laughing Water’ in 1999 was in fact an instrumental ‘Wake of The Flood’ reinterpretation – so there is precedent. That album also featured Derek Trucks, Donna Jean Godchaux & Vassar Clements.
On Laughing Water, the fusion ensemble Jazz Is Dead one-ups the band that it sets out to honor. Laughing Water is a superior remake of the Grateful Dead’s rather ordinary rock album Wake of the Flood. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a Deadhead to appreciate this album. Laughing Water not only fuses jam-rock with jazz, but it possesses a country-bluesy Americana flavor. The songs on Laughing Water are long and improvisational, but they seldom grow boring. From a purely technical standpoint, each musician in Jazz Is Dead is a superior player to his counterpart in the Grateful Dead. But unlike many pop-jazz remakes of rock albums, Laughing Water manages to capture the rock ‘n roll animus of the original. The communal carefree spirit of tie-died counter culturalism lives on in this music. Not only should Deadheads come away happy, but fusion freaks and aficionados of improvisational rock should, too. – Ed Kopp, All About Jazz 1999