Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: The Allman Brothers Band, Alltel Pavillion at Walnut Creek Raleigh, NC 8/10/03

The Allman Brothers Band have been playing their brand of Southern rock, blues rock, jam band music for a long time now.  They’ve survived personnel changes that would have ABB Alltelstopped most other bands dead in their tracks.  What other band could have continued after the loss of a guitar player of the magnitude of Duane Allman?  They’ve been on top of the world, they’ve crashed and burned and they’ve gotten it back together.  Throughout all of this they’ve not only survived, they’ve prospered.  Unlike other long-lived bands like, say, The Rolling Stones who have been focusing much more on being rock stars than on the music for several decades, ABB can still be as musically exciting as they were in the beginning.

“Alltel Pavillion” is a 3 CD live recording of the last gig from their tour to promote their studio album “Hittin’ the Note”.  The lineup is Gregg Allman (Hammond B-3, piano, vocals), Jaimoe and Butch Trucks (drums), Marc Quinones (Congas, percussion, vocals), Warren Haynes (lead and slide guitars, vocals), Derek Trucks (lead and slide guitars) and Oteil Burbridge (bass).  Susan Tedeschi, Karl Denson and Branford Marsalis sit in on selected tracks.  They’re not doing anything you haven’t heard them do before but as can happen with this band, they’re doing it very well.  Marsalis plays on “Dreams” and “Whipping Post”, two of the three encores that make up disc 3 and his two numbers are among the highlights of the gig.  Time and again I’ve heard jazz musicians, who are typically light years beyond most rock musicians in their level of musical knowledge and ability, play rock or funk that is flat and dull.  They have chops to burn but not the feel or instinct that can make the simple chord changes and harmonics of rock soar.  Marsalis is a happy exception.  He burns on both his numbers and he fits well with the band. 

Another highlight of the concert is a jam called “Instrumental Illness” that clocks in at just under 40 minutes.  It features an extended drum break by Jaimoe and Butch Trucks that is terrific.  Few bands feature two drum kits and the opportunity to hear two drummers making music together is a real treat.  Many people say they don’t like drum solos.  On the one hand, as a drummer I hate to hear this but on the other I understand why they don’t like what they hear.  Too many rock drummers substitute technique and/or bombast for musicianship when it comes time to solo.  Which means they play fast and loud.  The result may be technically difficult but it’s often musically uninteresting.  Drumming is about rhythm not speed.  Jaimoe and Trucks have been with the band since the beginning and had been playing together for 34 years when this gig was recorded.  34 years!  They’re like two bodies with one mind and their interaction on “Instrumental Illness” is like a graduate seminar in drumming.  World Class.

If you like the early ABB before death, drugs and Gregg Allman’s Cher infatuation nearly destroyed the band, Alltel Pavillion will please.
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06/08/2007 - Posted by | CD reviews, music | , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. How may I hear this recording?

    Comment by Rich | 07/07/2009 | Reply

  2. Hello from Prijedor, i love Allman brothers band

    Comment by zdravko | 02/17/2010 | Reply


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