Living in Between, Tea Leaf Green's third studio album and fourth disc overall, begins very much the way its predecessor, Midnight on the Reservoir, left off. The final track on that album was the spacy instrumental "Sleepwalker," which recalled the Grateful Dead's "space" sound collages. "Garden I" begins with much the same feel, but then it abruptly turns into a forceful, if complex rocker, as if the band was making the point that this album is not going to be like its predecessor. And indeed, it is not. A jam band with a self-proclaimed jones for ‘70s rock, Tea Leaf Green launched its recording career with a self-titled CD that was surprisingly song-based and surprisingly tentative, while Midnight on the Reservoir, which followed, went aggressively in the opposite direction, boasting several "songs" that were basically platforms for extended jamming. Maybe the release of a live album, Friday June 6, 2003: Live at Slim's, San Francisco CA, gave the band an outlet for the improvisations, since Living in Between is again more song-based, although it displays a group with a much more confident approach to playing (or at least more confidence in the studio) than Tea Leaf Green. As the title suggest, the band seems to be finding a way to address both its need to come up with strong, distinct compositions and its desire to just let fly as a jam band.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann