When the word "Groovy" was developed as a word in the English language it was specifically meant to describe the vibes given off by the sensational new fusion group Jazz is Dead. Don't let the group's name throw you for a loop; the group embarks on a quest to explore music done by the Grateful Dead done in a whole new jazzy fusion fashion. Hence the name, Jazz is Dead. With these four distinguished musicians I expected nothing but the best from Jazz is Dead; and they delivered. I am not much a fan of the Grateful Dead; however I will definitely go back and listen to some of their music after experiencing this great reconstruction of their classic tunes.
Lavitz is an award winning keyboardist and co-founder of the legendary and six-time Grammy-nominated band Dixie Dregs, has forged a distinguished career in both jazz fusion and rock music. Veteran drummer Billy Cobham, has shared his career with the best of them from Miles Davis, the Brecker Brothers, John Abercrombi, the Grateful Dead, Peter Gabriel to the Gil Evans Orchestra. Billy Cobham has an untouchable sense of timing and rhythm that only years of experience and a well-rounded musical background can develop. With the comeback of the Hammond B-3, (The mothersound of fusion!) Lavitz lays down some real keen chord changes on this CD that move you smoothly through one funky musical transitions after another. Jimmy Herring attended Berklee College of Music in Boston & The Guitar Institute of Technology in Los Angeles, also joining Col. Bruce Hampton & Aquarium Rescue Unit in 1990 brings some hard-rockin' fun and some most exhilarating guitar solos to the mix. Wrapping up the group is bassist Alphonso Johnson. Johnson has accumulated so many performing, recording, producing, and composing credits during his illustrious career, they read like a "Who's Who" of jazz and fusion. Some of his touring, performing and recording credits include: Bobby & the Midnights (with Grateful Dead's Bob Weir), George Duke, En Vogue, Wayne Shorter, Sergio Mendes, Tony Williams, Joe Williams, Flora Purim, Quincy Jones, Lee Ritenour, Phil Collins, The Whispers, John McLaughlin, Jeffrey Osborne, and Sarah Vaughan.
Jazz is Dead delivers a stunning performance that all fans of fusion must experience to appreciate. We found this new release refreshing and triumphant in its quest to explore new avenues of music. Please check it out for yourself when it hits the streets on June 14th, 1998. Let me say it again, this CD is "Groovy"!