Some nights will live forever, the fourth and final night of the run with Joshua Redman will remain with me in perpetuity. Archive.org link. Well worth the effort of converting from FLAC.
First set was fairly standard, a nice subtle Kat's Tune seemed an innocuous intro after a rowdy Saturday night in NYC the night before. A reasonable Much Obliged > Crooked couldn't really prepare for what happened next, though.
FF and the ensuing jam would contain one of those monumental pieces of improv that you chase all over the country for. It started with one of those ascending chord progressions that lends itself to a slow-building crescendo, and that's what the band delivered. A fun little Bayliss pull-off riff sets the melody and off they go. I've listened to this probably over 100 times, and it's really funny to hear that the band doesn't quite know how to play it. Jake is struggling to play the "right" notes, Brendan seems to keep slightly modifying his riff because it doesn't sound "100% right"...but they keep plowing through, and they keep taking it higher and higher. Of course, none of that actually matters. The build itself, basking in the sound, is life-affirming. This would be attempted a couple more times (most notably on 12/3/04), but I contest that none would ever equal this one.
Rest of the set is standard fare. After that FF, everyone was looking at each other..."did you just see that?"...a shared moment that everyone was still buzzing about through setbreak.
This Joshua Redman cat, he's got a future. He had really managed to gel by this fourth night. On this evening, the band had no fear of stretching songs far beyond their boundaries and Redman was gladly along for the ride. It was difficult to contain my giddiness when World's Running Down started...it seemed clear this set was going to be different, they took off as a 7-piece unit with no looking back...then the drop into Blue Echo was unexpected and I knew it would be another opportunity for them to stretch things out...again...they did not disappoint.
All Things Ninja...it's impressive that of the songs in the UM repertoire, UM would choose this as a song option for him to learn, and he would choose to learn it. I suppose it shouldn't have been that much of a surprise after seeing how well they played Der Bluten Kat together...but still...Ninja? Yes, please.
And finally, we come to Wife Soup... This is the ultimate Wife Soup for me, featuring a Redman contribution that become referred to as The Note. If you're not familiar...I implore you to check out this show if only for The Note. Of course, I'd think you'd be ludicrous to not enjoy the rest of it...but this, again, was one of those moments...to be lucky enough to be there...The Note was like a shot of endorphins, adrenaline, dopamine...all of those chemicals your body produces that make you feel good from natural stimuli? This was that stimulus.
Unfortunately, as the second set ran long (due to the lengthy improv), the DBK encore had to be cut, but hey...Waiting Room is always a great encore/set closer.
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