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Published: 2012/08/01

Merl Saunders & Jerry Garcia Complete Recordings to Be Reissued

In celebration of what would have been Jerry Garcia’s 70th birthday, Fantasy Records will reissue the Keystone Companions/Complete 1973 Fantasy Recordings by Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders. The four-disc set features live recordings from July 10 and 11, 1973 at the Keystone club in Berkeley, CA and includes seven previously unreleased tracks, a special booklet featuring vintage photos; liner notes by Grateful Dead expert David Gans; and a poster, coaster, button, and “scratchbook” (replicating the design of the original album’s promotional matchbooks). In addition, Fantasy will also concurrently reissue the very first Saunders/Garcia album, Live at Keystone on multi-color double vinyl LP.

The band featured on the recordings includes Saunders on keyboards; Garcia, guitar and vocals; John Kahn, bass; and Bill Vitt, drums. Mandolinist David Grisman also appears on Bob Dylan’s “Positively 4th Street.”

“Garcia reminded me of [jazz guitarist] Eric Gale,” Saunders recollected, “Anything he played was very musical. He knew how to do a rhythm on any kind of tune — gospel, blues, jazz. I was amazed.”

Garcia says that Saunders also helped to expand his harmonic knowledge and even showed him some Art Tatum runs. “He taught me music,” Garcia said.

The collection comes out September 25 via Fantasy Records.

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