JAZZ IS DEAD CELEBRATES ITS 25TH ANNIVERSARY

Article Contributed by Blooming Footprint | Published on Monday, August 1, 2022

The acclaimed All-Star instrumental ensemble, famous for interpretations of classic Grateful Dead songs with jazz influences, returns in 2023 to celebrate its 25th Anniversary. Co-founder Alphonso Johnson will be joined by Steve Kimock, Pete Lavezzoli & Bobby Lee Rodgers, performing Grateful Dead’s ‘Wake of The Flood’ marking it’s 50th Anniversary, in addition to other beloved selections. Jazz Is Dead XXV ‘reunites’ two greats! Steve Kimock & Alphonso Johnson, who together in heavyweight post-Garcia Grateful Dead offshoot The Other Ones together with Bob Weir, commanded the instrumental prowess of that band.

Formed in 1998 by bassist Alphonso Johnson (Weather Report, Santana, Bobby & The Midnites, The Other Ones), drummer Billy Cobham (Miles Davis, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Bobby & The Midnites), keyboardist T Lavitz (Dixie Dregs) & guitarist Jimmy Herring (Aquarium Rescue Unit, Widespread Panic), with drummers Rod Morgenstern (Dixie Dregs) & Jeff Sipe (Leftover Salmon) replacing Cobham in 1999, and guitarist Jeff Pevar (CSN, David Crosby CPR, Phil Lesh & Friends) replacing Herring in 2000, recorded 3 acclaimed albums, the second of which ‘Laughing Water’ in 1999 was in fact an instrumental ‘Wake of The Flood’ reinterpretation - so there is precedent. That album also featured Derek Trucks, Donna Jean Godchaux & Vassar Clements.

On Laughing Water, the fusion ensemble Jazz Is Dead one-ups the band that it sets out to honor. Laughing Water is a superior remake of the Grateful Dead's rather ordinary rock album Wake of the Flood. Fortunately, you don't have to be a Deadhead to appreciate this album. Laughing Water not only fuses jam-rock with jazz, but it possesses a country-bluesy Americana flavor. The songs on Laughing Water are long and improvisational, but they seldom grow boring. From a purely technical standpoint, each musician in Jazz Is Dead is a superior player to his counterpart in the Grateful Dead. But unlike many pop-jazz remakes of rock albums, Laughing Water manages to capture the rock 'n roll animus of the original. The communal carefree spirit of tie-died counter culturalism lives on in this music. Not only should Deadheads come away happy, but fusion freaks and aficionados of improvisational rock should, too. – Ed Kopp, All About Jazz 1999

JAZZ IS DEAD XXV is
Alphonso Johnson (bass & Chapman stick) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphonso_Johnson
Steve Kimock (guitar) https://kimock.com/about/
Pete Lavezzoli (drums) https://peterlavezzoli.com/bio/
Bobby Lee Rodgers (guitar) https://www.bobbyleerodgers.com/bio

Tour Dates:

1.10.23 Capistrano CA/ The Coach House
1.11.23 Montclair CA/ The Canyon
1.12.23 Agoura CA/ The Canyon
1.13.23 SF CA/ The Regency Ballroom
1.15.23 Denver CO/ The Paramount
1.17.23 Phoenix AZ/ Celebrity Thr.
1.19.23 Madison WI/ Barrymore Thr.
1.20.23 Des Plaines IL/ Des Plains Thr.
1.21.23 St. Charles IL/ The Arcata
1.22.23 Cleveland OH/ The Agoura
1.24.23 Boston MA/ The Wilbur
1.25.23 Glenside PA/ The Keswick Thr.
1.26.23 Tarrytown NY/ Tarrytown Music Hall
1.27.23 NY NY/ The Palladium at Times Square
1.28.23 Jim Thorpe PA/ Penns Peak