Today In Grateful Dead History: September 22, 1993 – Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

dancing-bearSince we’ve been talking about saxophones a lot around these parts, I thought I’d take a listen to this excellent (for the year) show from 1993 featuring David Murray on tenor sax.

Who is David Murray, you ask?  Well, he was a founding member of the World Saxophone Quartet, which is enough for me, but he plays pretty damn well on his own, too.  I don’t know exactly how to describe his style, so you’ll have to draw your own conclusions from his playing here, which is pretty cool.

Keep in mind that this is the Grateful Dead circa 1993, which makes the high quality of the performance exceptional.  We achieve liftoff early with a great upbeat version of Help on the Way>Slipknot!>Franklin’s Tower that does not feature Mr. Murray on the horn.  The first time we meet him is on Bird Song, a relaxed version with some nice solos and peaks.

If you’re here for the jazz, the second set will satisfy you, with pretty spacey performances of Estimated Prophet and Dark Star and a high-quality Space itself.  The Wharf Rat that follows Space is stupendous.  Murray absolutely kills it here.

Once we’re done with the jazz, we’re ready for the blues, which is provided by another guest, harmonica king James Cotton, who sits in for Throwing Stones and Turn on Your Love Light, which are both short but fun.

This show sits near the top of a lot of lists of 1993 performances and its easy to hear why.  Check it out here:  https://archive.org/details/gd93-09-22.sbd.yubah.565.sbeok.shnf

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