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Friday, October 18, 2013

Review of Legion of Mary 12/15/74 EMU Ballroom

With the release of this show, thought I'd post the review that I have in my collection. The release sounds fantastic, and I am loving it so far. If I had time to blog, I'd analyze the liner notes and the music and the gigs and all that. But, no time. Deaddisc has an entry up.

Darryl Norsen wrote the liner notes, a version of which appears online at The booklet looks nice, but the liner notes are horrifically edited, with numerous grammatical errors. Oh well.

Anyway, here's the review:

Lee, Greg. 1975. One of the best shows ever. Oregon Daily Emerald, January 9, 1975, p. 9.


  1. I bought the new JerryLive Legion of Mary release. The sound quality is very good. The music is adventurous, and the song selection more wide reaching than Jerry would become in the coming months in his own electric band. Coming on the heals of the hiatus, based on the song selection and the inclusion within this band of a wind-instrumentalist, Jerry was interested in going in new musical directions. I'm guessing that Merl brought Boogie On, Leave Your Hat, Wondering Why and perhaps Freedom Jazz Dance and Valdez in the Country, although these may have been contributions from Martin Fierro, or group selections. The rest of the songs, with the exception of Neighbor Neighbor, remained in Jerry's repertoire for decades, and I'm guessing were contributed by him and Kahn. What I hear on the Merl and Martin contributions are Jerry trying new rhythms and riffs in the soul and jazz idioms to varying levels of success. JGMF, I really wanted to do listeners notes, or better yet, read yours, on the Merl and Martin songs, counting the places where Jer a) fits in well (lots of nice rhythmic accompaniment, vamping and Curtis-Mayfield-y strumming, that I find to be super tasty in some of these songs), b) Jerry becomes the key to the song's success, both fitting in to the ensemble sound AND wailing on his solos, and, sadly, c) where Jerry is trying to push the limitations of his guitar lexicon and, sort of learn on the fly with a tight group that's just on it. A and B are fun and show up a lot. C does too, lots of clams and missed changes from Jerry. John, Ron, Martin and Merl are that tight, rubbery band that you might imagine. Jerry is the guy who's learning to fit in. He's also the guy who everyone showed up to see, and the reason this music was released. I will say that nobody is coasting on this outing, but Jerry gets thrown from the rails a few times. He misses a change on Wondering Why, just blows right over it - pretty rough, even though its my favorite track on the release so far. Speaking of the Wondering Why, its like 24 minutes long, but the last 3-4 minutes are a different tune that appears out of nowhere. Its a great little groove, anyone know what that tune is?

  2. Man, I would have liked to have replied to this question while the questioner was likely still around. Anyway, the few minutes of the penultimate track of the release (titled "Wondering Why") is "People Make The World Go Round". Lots of people did it, but I always figured they got it from Milt Jackson's Sunflower, from which they did the title tune and maybe something else ...


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