The 4th Annual Jammys: The Musical Collaborations
As is tradition at the Jammys, several surprise collaborations occurred throughout last night’s show in New York City, most-notably the reunion of Black Crowes members Chris Robinson, Rich Robinson and Eddie Harsch during Govt Mules set.
The night kicked off with an uplifting performance of Higher & Higher by the Harlem Gospel Choir, which was soon joined by an expanded version of Soulive. The trio welcomed vocalist Reggie Watts of Maktub, trumpeter Rashawn Ross, tenor saxophonist Ryan Zoidis, alto saxophonist Cochemea Cheme Gastelum and percussionist Danny Sadownick. This line-up is currently in the studio with Soulive working on the groups new album, due later this year. The band – and choir – played Stop Messing Around, a song that will appear on the forthcoming disc, and Fast Maceo (sans choir).
Next up was Reid Genauer and the Assembly of Dust with Dickey Betts and Edie Brickell. The set began with an unnamed ditty that Brickell and the members of the Assembly of Dust wrote backstage while warming up moments before the show. It was followed by two Betts classics, Blue Sky and Ramblin Man.’ Brickell and Genauer added backing vocals on both and AOD guitarist Adam Terrell played the second guitar lines.
The Disco Biscuits launched headfirst into their own Rock Candy, jammed for a bit, and then welcomed Slick Rick for his old school hip hop anthem, La-Di-Da-Di. The band then returned to Rock Candy to close its mini-set. (Flavor Flav was originally scheduled to join the biscuits, but he respectfully declined over the last week. Rahzel was then booked, but could not make the gig due to last night’s snowstorm in the Northeast).
Dr. John, Toots Hibbert (Toots and Maytals), bassist George Porter Jr. (Funky Meters), guitarist Brian Stoltz (Funky Meters), and drummer Matt Abts (Gov’t Mule) then took the stage for a New Orleans-tinged set that included Right Place Wrong Time, Pressure Drop and Hey Pocky Way, with Widespread Panic keyboardist JoJo Hermann on the latter.
The Derek Trucks Band featured vocalist Solomon Burke for I wish I knew How it Would Feel to be Free and Home in Your Heart. Trucks wife, Susan Tedeschi, along with Dickey Betts, then joined in for Turn on Your Lovelight.
Two of the planets most gifted musicians, Victor Wooten and Oteil Burbridge, put on a bass clinic along with drummer Derico Watson (the trio performed a week of shows in Japan recently). The set was one continuous improvisational suite, featuring alternating solos, and of course, a few scat solos from Burbridge.
The String Cheese Incident opened its portion of the night with the instrumental Valley of the Jig and Round the Wheel. Jane’s Addiction front man Perry Farrell, of all people, then emerged for Idiots Rule, which also included the Soulive horn section. (Speaking of unexpected collaborations, SCI guitarist Bill Nershi sat in with JM2 – featuring members of The Disco Biscuits and The New Deal – at the official Jammys after-party at B.B. Kings.)
Following Govt Mules staple, Blind Man in the Dark, one of the biggest surprises of the night occurred when Black Crowes members Chris Robinson, Rich Robinson and Eddie Harsch shared the stage for Sometimes Salvation. (It was their first performance together since June of 2001. The Crowes have been officially on hiatus since January of 2002.) Earlier in the set, Chris Robinson joined the Mule for a rousing rendition of Neil Youngs Southern Man.
Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Steve Winwood and his band took the stage for the evenings finale, which opened with Different Light. Winwood strapped on a guitar and took a lively solo on Dear Mr. Fantasy, before moving back to keyboards for Low Spark of High Heeled Boys, which featured Warren Haynes on guitar. For the final jam of the night, Betts and String Cheese Incidents Michael Kang returned to the stage, along with the shows host, Robert Randolph who played guitar, and saxophonist James Carter for Gimme Some Lovin’,’ one of Winwood’s oldest hits, which he wrote at age 15 while in The Spencer Davis Group. Reporting by Jeff Waful