Guitarist Jeff Richman, drummer Dave Weckl, bassist Jimmy Haslip, and a few more of their friends got together at the Baked Potato in Hollywood, CA, one evening in 1999 and performed an audacious jazz fusion set that resulted in Live At The Baked Potato. This release is totally raw, purely improvised, and is the first of a two-part series that captures the spontaneity of these great musicians, doing what they do best -- jamming! Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, Abraham Laboriel on bass, Steve Tavaglione on soprano saxophone, and Jeff Richman on guitar kick the set into high gear with an 11-minute version of Peter Gabriel's "Mercy Street." Steve Tavaglione wails the melody on soprano sax which segues into an awesome guitar solo from Richman. Laboriel walks all over the track with basslines steeped in rhythms similar to Noel Redding's spectacular playing as a member of Jimi Hendrix's band. Drummer Dave Weckl is on fire on "Splatch" with sparks of electricity flying in all directions from his drum kit but leaves its existing framework in tact. His excellent timing, varied rhythms, and syncopated backbeats add to the excitement of Peter Wolf's keyboards and Richman's guitar and makes this one of the more powerful songs on the CD. Live at the Baked Potato ambitiously captures these exciting musicians creating jazz fusion during the Hollywood club's most exciting era.
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AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein