Blues for Allah

Music Review

28 Jan 2012
Grateful Dead
Blues for Allah
Audio Fidelity
Grateful Dead - Blues for Allah
Formats also available: CD
CD

This 1975 foray by the greatest hippy band to ever play the pyramids was the closest they ever came to jazz rock. Inevitably it’s not that close but there are quite a few instrumental pieces among its dozen tracks and some pretty sharp playing. There aren’t any saxophones either but a flute takes the lead on one tune. So maybe jazz rock isn’t quite right jazz blues better sums it up. Either way it’s a stonking album that really comes to life on this Audio Fidelity remaster, I’ve not got the standard vinyl but have tried to get into the CD many a time and given up, with this pressing it was effortless.It’s pretty noodly for the Dead and it sounds like there are far fewer tracks than are listed because they usually segue and have a modal theme that recurs across each side. The appeal lies in the quality of playing which is quite superb, tight but supple and immensely fluid it’s enough to make you reassess the band. The tone on this pressing is gorgeous, the sort of sound that bands today would kill for but due to the presence of the computer in the production process are unlikely to really find. Nor will many be afforded the heavyweight gatefold sleeve that enhances this superb pressing.Jason Kennedy