Little Feat

Rocky Mountain Jam

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Take the word "jam" to heart here: Rocky Mountain Jam is a mere six tracks long and none of them weigh in at under six minutes, with three of them stretching past ten -- and of those, the "Spanish Moon/Skin It Back" medley rolls on to 15 minutes and "Dixie Chicken" stretches out to a whopping 21 minutes. At this length, the songs are almost afterthoughts, since the real meat is in the endless, elastic playing -- and while this set, captured live in Boulder, CO, offers no overt surprises in either song selection or approach, it offers plenty of music for hardcore Feat fanatics to get lost in. It's all about the interplay, to hear how these guys feed off of each other, and they're in particularly fine form on Rocky Mountain Jam, digging deep polyrhythmic grooves and stretching out into dense yet supple jazzy improvs. There isn't much in the way of grit here -- it's funky but clean -- but that shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody who's paid attention to the latter-day band. One of the nice things about Little Feat in their nearly fourth decade (!) of performing is that they're reliable professionals: they almost never give a bad performance and they still find ways to make their standards sound fresh to themselves and their dedicated fans. And that's exactly why Rocky Mountain Jam will please the faithful who have stuck with them through years of touring and years of live albums that have the same sound and feel -- and often the same songs -- yet still avoid sounding tired and dull.

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