By: Bill Clifford
If you're a regular JamBase visitor, then it's probable you're familiar with Keller Williams the musician, as opposed to the real estate company. For more than fifteen years Williams has toured the U.S. and internationally as a solo artist, with infrequent "side projects" spotted throughout. His most recent group effort found music's mad scientist working with his "dream band," three musicians and friends, each with connections to the improvisational music scene; bassist Keith Moseley (String Cheese Incident), guitarist Gibb Droll, a scintillating musician who's played with the Pat McGee Band and Kevn Kinney, among several others, and drummer Jeff (Apt Q-258) Sipe of the famed Aquarium Rescue Unit.
Live (released September 16 on Sci Fidelity Records) is a two-disc audio set with a bonus DVD culled from various performances throughout the winter 2007-2008 tour. Williams has never shied away from his influences and from the opening notes on "Same Ole,'" his admiration for the music of the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia, in particular, is apparent. The seventeen tracks span his career and include a song written by Moseley ("Look At Where We Are") and another by Droll ("Reinhardt Rag") written in tribute to jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. Highlights of this set are the songs where the quartet stretches out into long, free form improv jams, such as on "Breathe" or the nearly 16-minute "You Are What You Eat." Williams' quirky sense of humor is unmistakable on "Temple Balls," his groovy ode to foreign marijuana laced snacks.
If you're not already a Williams fan, Live isn't the disc to introduce new fans. But for the purest and collector, it's a welcome addition to the evolving Williams cannon.
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