November 1995 release on the Shanachie label:
TITLE: Eternity Blue ARTIST: Henry Kaiser
(This is Henry Kaiser's personal celebration and appreciation of the music and spirit of Jerry Garcia (1942-1995).)
Henry Kaiser - Bruce Anderson - Bob Bralove - Danny Carnahan - Tom Constanten - Marilyn Crispell - David Gans - Hilary Hanes - John Hanes - Ngoc Lam - Gary Lambert - Diana Mangano - Mark McQuade-Crawford - Robin Petrie
All artist's royalties will be donated to the Eyes of Chaos Foundation.
Produced by Henry Kaiser
The Eyes of Chaos Foundation was founded in 1994 by Phil Lesh, Gary Lambert and David Gans to foster the creation and exposure of new music. It is an outgrowth of "Eyes of Chaos/Veil of Order," which began as a monthly radio show on listener-sponsored KPFA in Northern California aimed at presenting the artists and composers who have been supported by the Rex Foundation, of which Lesh is a board member. The Rex Foundation (PO Box 2204, San Anselmo CA 94960) has been funded primarily by proceeds from benefit concerts by the Grateful Dead and addresses a broad range of urgent humanitarian concerns; the Eyes of Chaos Foundation draws its funding from many sources to support its mission of funding the composition, recording and presentation of challenging and deserving new forms of music that might otherwise be unable to find an audience. "Music that falls into the cracks between the genres" is one way of describing it. A national radio series based on the KPFA broadcasts is planned for free distribution to the public radio system in 1996. Eyes of Chaos Foundation 484 Lake Park Ave #102 Oakland CA 94610
I never tried to play any Grateful Dead music until 1987 when I recorded a studio version of Dark Star. By that time I had already played on 60 or 70 albums of material that had nothing to do with the Dead's music. In the years since I've become friends with several members of the band and had the fortune to play and record with Vince Welnick, Tom Constanten, Bob Bralove, Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia. On extremely rare occasions I have performed a Dead tune with one of the many different bands I play in. I always try to take those songs somewhere new and different. This recording is a personal appreciation and celebration of what Garcia and his music has meant to me. It includes older material, as well as new material recorded especially for this release.
I did not start playing guitar until I was 20 years old, in 1972. By that time I had been exposed to the Grateful Dead, in concert and on record, for six years. I think a lot of my musical and socio-musical values, but not the style or content of the music I've usually played, developed from unconsciously emulating the Dead, who were probably my favorite band.
Let me quickly list what I perceive those values to be from the present vantage point in 1995:
1) Improvisation produces the best music. It connects creation with the present moment and with the audience. Improvisation is where the past stops and the future begins.
2) Take chances! Push yourself and your collaborators. Experimental music is often the best music. Be original. Create your own personal voice. (As Carlos Santana once said: "Your grandmother should be able to recognize you; even if you only play one note.") Garcia showed that it was possible to be a commercial musician and an experimental musician at the same time. While his work was commercially very successful it was usually anti-commercial in its intent. That was a brave approach.
3) Playing music together is about people: your collaborators and your audience. Try to work together in a cooperative way that will make the whole bigger than the sum of the parts.
4) Be inquisitive and eclectic. Look to all musics and musical idioms to inform and shape yourself. Jazz, country, blues, experimental, classical and so forth. EVERYTHING from EVERYWHERE.
5) As Albert Ayler put it: "Music is not about notes, it's about feelings."
6) Garcia often remarked: "I serve the music." This is the best attitude, I think. Serve The Music. To me that's the most important thing I learned from Jerry. And I think that by serving the music - you end up serving people. Jerry did more for more people than anyone else I have ever known personally. I think our job is to continue his service to music and people.