In September of 1997 Branford Marsalis' Buckshot Le Fonque ensemble
handful of shows for Georgia rockers Widespread Panic. When the shows were announced, Spreadheads hoped the
pairing would lead to the saxophonist sitting in with Panic and their wish was granted on
September 6 and 7 in Bristow, VA and Boston respectively.
On September 6 Marsalis came out at the end of Widespread Panic's first set at the Nissan
Pavilion for a jam out of "Diner" and renditions of "Aunt Avis" and "Fishwater." The
entire show can be streamed via PanicStream. On September 7 Branford lent a
hand on "Pickin' Up The Pieces," "Arleen" and "Love Tractor" at the end of Widespread
Panic's first set at Harbor Lights. PanicStream has a stream of the Boston show as well.
Branford has such a good ear and picks up on the intricacies of each song so well, just as
he did on his guest appearances with the Grateful Dead in the early '90s. Widespread Panic
thought so much of the collaboration that they included the gorgeous take on "Pickin' Up
The Pieces" from Boston on their 1998 live album Light Fuse, Get Away. Take a
Surprisingly, Marsalis has yet to sit in with Panic again since those shows in Bristow and
Boston, but we do hope one day they perform together again.
[Published on: 8/7/14]