Buried beneath Jerry Garcia’s endless side projects, guest appearances and solo endeavors is the rarely mentioned Legion of Mary. The LOM lineup consisted of Merl Saunders, JGB bassist John Kahn, Martin Fierro on sax and flute along with Ronnie Tutt on drums (who replaced Paul Humphrey in early ’75). The band was short lived—lasting only from July of ’74 to July ’75—but during the time it lasted the Legion of Mary was a rare force, blending the sounds of jazz, rock and R&B with a touch of psychedelia.
The two discs here feature 14 selections recorded at either the aforementioned club, the Portland Theater and the Great American Music Hall; none of the material has been previously released.The first disc includes readings of Bob Dylan's "Tough Mama," and Robbie Robertson's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," as well as the staple "I Second That Emotion." But the greatest surprise is the improvisation in "Talkin' 'Bout You" that closes the disc. Garcia's interplay with Saunders is simply magical, and Fierro's saxophone work here pushes them both. The second disc ranges from rollicking early rock & roll classics like "Let It Rock" and "Mystery Train," to more Motown tunes such as "Money Honey" and "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved by You." The playing is off-kilter funky, relaxed but adventurous throughout.
Enjoy! Cd1 & Cd2