Starting in the early 1970s, Jerry Garcia jammed informally in San Francisco nightclubs with various musicians when he wasn't busy with the Grateful Dead. One of his frequent partners was keyboardist Howard Wales, and the two issued an album of jazzy instrumentals, Hooteroll?, in 1971 (Garcia's first recording not under the aegis of the Dead). A mere 27 years later, Grateful Dead Records released this live album recorded around the same time. Wales and Garcia are joined by bassist John Kahn and drummer Bill Vitt (both of whom would work extensively in Garcia's non-Dead aggregations) for 65 minutes of free-form playing. Occasionally, especially when Garcia is playing, it sounds like the Dead in the middle of one of its extended improvisations, except, of course, that the music never returns to a familiar tune.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann