Saturday, March 31, 2012

Today's EPL Results, plus Analysis and the LATEST News:

Today's EPL Action:

(All 15:00pm)

Aston Villa 2 Chelsea 4

This match was played at Villa Park, as 15th placed Aston Villa hosted 5th placed Chelsea in an important match for both teams. 
Midfielder Stiliyan Petrov was seen in the stands after being diagnosed with acute leukaemia yesterday lunchtime.

Retirement beckons? Aston Villa captain Petrov watches on at Villa Park as his side face Chelsea.
Striker Daniel Sturridge opened the scoring for the away side after 9 minutes to make it 1-0 to Chelsea.

10th of the season: Daniel Sturridge celebrates opening the scoring for Chelsea against Villa in the 9th minute.

Centre-back Branislav Ivanovic doubled their lead, in the 51st minute to make it 2-0.

Defender James Collins halved Chelsea's lead in the 77th minute, to give Villa hope of salvaging something at home.

James Collins' header flew past Petr Cech to give Aston Villa a chance of equalising against Chelsea at home.

Fellow defender Eric Lichaj also scored for the hosts, three minutes later in the 80th minute to equalise.

False hope: Eric Lihaj equalises for Aston Villa to make it 2-2, but it was not enough to beat Chelsea.

Ivanovic scored his second of the day in the 83rd minute, before striker Fernado Torres capped off a 4-2 win for Chelsea in the 90th minute to put the icing on the cake and take Villa out of the match.

Striker Fernando Torres scores his first goal in the EPL for six months to end his drought and give Chelsea a 4-2 win against Aston Villa.

£50million man starting to shine: Torres celebrates scoring against Villa for his 3rd goal in 3 matches.

Everton 2 West Bromwich Albion 0
This match came from Goodison Park, as a morale boosted Everton side who moved into the semi-final of the FA Cup on Tuesday, faced 14th placed West Brom who are 11 points away from the relegation zone. 

Defender Gareth McAuley broke the deadlock in the 18th minute for Everton - with an own goal after it took a deflection from Leon Osman's shot.
Striker Victor Anichebe doubled the hosts lead in the 68th minute, to end the match with a 2-0 win at home for Everton.

Everton players celebrate striker Victor Anichebe's goal to make it 2-0 in the 68th minute against West Brom.

Fulham 2 Norwich City 1

This match was played at Craven Cottage, as 13th placed Fulham faced Norwich who are in 11th place.
Midfielder Clint Dempsey gave the hosts an early 1-0 lead in the 2nd minute.
Fellow midfield man Damien Duff scored for Fulham to make it 2-0, in the 13 minute.
Andrew Wilbraham made it 2-1 after half-time, in the 77th minute but it was too late for them to win or earn a point at Craven Cottage.

Fulham move into 11th place, 4 points off 7th place, while Norwich drop down a place into 12th but stay on the same points as Fulham.

Manchester City 3 Sunderland 3

2nd placed City faced 8th placed Sunderland in an important match for the future of the EPL title this season. Rivals United face Blackburn on Monday, and they need a win to move back into 1st.

Midfielder Sebastien Larsson broke the deadlock for the visitors in the 31st minute, to give Sunderland a shock lead at The Ethiad Stadium.
Striker Mario Balotelli equalised for the home side in the 43rd minute, from the penalty spot after Dzeko was obstructed by Craig Gardner.

Striker Mario Balotelli equalises for Manchester City in the 43rd minute from the penalty spot.

Nicklas Bendtner scored just before half time (45) to make it 2-1 to Sunderland.
Larsson scored his second of the match in the 55th minute to give them a 3-1 lead.

Midfielder Larsson celebrates scoring his second goal of the match against Manchester City in the 56th minute.

Balotelli inspired a comeback for City in the 85th minute after scoring his second, with 5 minutes left to give City a chance to equalise.
Alexsandar Kolarov equalised for City in the 86th minute to complete the comeback against Sunderland.

The comeback is sealed: Kolarov equalises for City against Sunderland in the 86th minute to make it 3-3.

This is how the match finished in the end, with City dropping points in the race for the title although they made a sudden comeback to keep their unbeaten run at The Ethiad alive.
Sunderland are now 9th and will be upset that they blew a 3-1 lead against City and could have moved into 7th place but thankful they took a point away from home.

QPR 2 Arsenal 1

Today, Loftus Road was the stadium where 3rd placed Arsenal looked for their 8th win in a row. QPR were the team in their way, having comeback from 2-0 down to beat Liverpool 3-2 last week.
Striker Adel Taarabt gave the hosts the lead in the 22nd minute to make it 1-0.

Adel Taarabt breaks the deadlock for QPR against Arsenal at Loftus Road in the 22nd minute.
First goal in the EPL for the former Tottenham striker, against his London rivals Arsenal.

Theo Walcott equalised for The Gunners, 15 minutes later.

Winger Theo Walcott scores his 10th goal of the season for Arsenal to level at Loftus Road against QPR.

Another camera angle view, of Walcott's equaliser against QPR at Loftus Road.

Midfielder Samba Diakite scored his first goal for QPR to win the match for the home side in the 66th minute.

There was a hint of timewasting by QPR, with three players geting booked in the last minute (Barton, Ferdinand and Diakite), but Rangers took the three points. 

Wigan Athletic 2 Stoke City 0

Relegation calling for Wigan who are in 19th place against an unpredictable 12th placed Stoke.
Wigan captain and defender Antolin Alcaraz opened the scoring for the home side after half-time in the 54th minute to make it 1-0.

Defender Alcaraz towers to head the ball the past past the Stoke defence to break the deadlock at The DW.

Striker Victor Moses doubled the hosts lead in the 90th minute to seal Wigan's first win at the DW Stadium for 7 months.

Long time coming: Victor Moses scores the winner for Wigan to give them their first win at the DW in 7 months.

They are still in 19th place though as results did not go their way with QPR and Bolton both winning today.
Stoke have moved 1 place down to 13th place, 2 points away from the magic 40 point barrier which almost certainly seals next season's place in the EPL.

Wolves 2 Bolton Wanderers 3

Terry Connor looked for his first win as caretaker manager against Bolton. 2 relegation fighting teams going head-to-head, with Bolton looking to win for Fabrice Muamba who is currently in hospital.
This match was a thrilling 5 goal thriller at Molienuex.

Midfielder Michael Kightly broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute to make it 1-0 to Wolves. 

Deadlock broken: Kightly celebrates scoring against Bolton in the 51st minute
Midfielder Martin Petrov equalised, 10 minutes later from the penalty spot.

A placed penalty is the best penalty: Petrov equalises from the penalty spot for Bolton against Wolves.

Marcos Alonso made it 2-1 to the visitors, in the 80th minute to give them the lead for the first time in the match.

Jubilation: Marcos Alonso celebrates his 1st goal of the season to make it 2-1 to Bolton.

Captain Kevin Davies made it 3-1, 4 minutes later before Matthew Jarvis pulled a goal back in the 88th minute to make it 3-2.
This was not enough for Wolves to save the match, and they lost eventually.
They will be disappointed that they lost all three points at home, especially as they were in-front. 


Arsene Wenger slammed UEFA after vowing to appeal a three-match European ban and a £33,000 fine after he reportedly abused a referee during their 3-0 win (4-3 loss) against AC Milan.

Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal are all interested in  cut-price £6million Athletic Bilbao midfielder Markel Susaeta.

Jose Mourinho has distanced himself from a shock move to Manchester City.

Real Madrid are ready to launch a £10million bid for Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois, who has been on loan with Atletico Madrid.
Courtois: Been on-loan at Atletico Madrid from Chelsea, but Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho are interested.

Arsene Wenger's first priority this summer is tying Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie to new long-term deals at Arsenal.

Manchester City's title hopes have suffered a new blow following a bizarre injury to star striker Sergio Aguero.  

Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers, strongly linked with taking over at Tottenham should Harry Redknapp become England boss, says he is ready for a top job.

Brendan Rodgers: Ready for the big job call-up to Tottenham?

Everton manager David Moyes has credited Nikica Jelavic with helping to transform Everton's season.

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has expressed anger and disappointment at the decision to stage Chelsea's FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur at 6pm on Sunday, April 15.

Defender Rio Ferdinand is considering an offer to move to  China when his contract at Manchester United finishes at the end of next season.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp suggested yesterday that key midfielder Luka Modric could be interested in a lucrative move this summer, with Roberto Mancini admitting his admiration for the Croatian.

Modric: Manchester City calling the Croatian, on a possible £10million salary a year.

Thank you for reading my EPL Blog.
It means a lot to me, as you all read it.
This inspires me to write more often and better content.
I will speak to all of you tomorrow, in my next post where the race for a European place next season intensifies, as Liverpool face Newcastle and Tottenham play Swansea.

Poundland shopfront application refused

Poundland's planning application for its new shopfront opposite Deptford Station has been turned down by Lewisham planning department.

Objections to the application were mainly due to the fact that the amended shopfront design failed to respect the proportions of the architecture and high quality finishes of the rest of the building, and that its location in a conservation zone demanded a higher quality treatment.

The council cites the following reason:

The proposed shop front, by reason of its design and use of materials would detract from the architectural integrity of the development approved under reference
DC/03/55454, dated 16 June 2004 and would fail to either preserve or enhance the
special character and appearance of the Deptford High Street Conservation Area. As
such, the development is contrary to Core Strategy Policy 15 High quality design for
Lewisham (June 2011) and saved policies URB 3 Urban design, URB 8 Shop fronts
and URB 16 New Development, Changes of Use and Alterations to Buildings in
Conservation Areas in the adopted Unitary Development Plan (July 2004).

A second application to erect an internally-illuminated fascia and projecting signs has also been refused.

Giffin Square lighting

So, the new lighting on Giffin Square has finally been installed, which hopefully means that the public realm works are nearing completion and we might actually get to use the square in the near future.

It's a difficult one this. Looking at the number of lighting units on the poles, it seems that the square is going to be very well lit, which is good.

On the other hand, the black material combined with the design of the lighting units (in particular the rather ugly connection between the poles and the lighting units) makes them look rather lumpy and also quite sinister.

On the plus side, at least they are upright and less gimmicky than the other lighting solutions we've seen in all the other new public realm works in the area.

Slice 31 - Thank You!

Slice of Life is sponsored every Tuesday by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers. For the month of March we are challenging ourself to write a Slice A Day. Here we go!

You know, I went back and looked at my first post on this blog the other day. The entire reason I began a blog was due to people (Tony, Ruth) encouraging me to do so. I know I was afraid. I didn’t know what I wrote would be interesting to anyone. What do I have to say that isn’t already out there? But I also talked to Colby one night at NCTE, we both were leaving NCTE with the feeling that we needed to write. How can I talk to my students about writing if I’m not writing also? So I began a blog.

The blog was going along pretty well when I began to see mentions of this larger Slice of Life challenge. I was already posting a slice every, or almost every, Tuesday. When I first thought of slicing for the month of March I was apprehensive, what would I say each day? Would my writing be up to the task? I considered the people that were writing slices “real writers” – what would they think about my writing?

As the month progressed I found a few things surprising. I never really struggled with something to write. I wrote the night before each day, I hate leaving things where I might be running late. So I wrote at night and scheduled my post for the following day. I had created a list of ideas to slice about if nothing popped in my mind that day; I never used it. What I found was as I lived my life each day things would happen and I’d think that would be a great slice.

There’s a great quote somewhere that writers’ lives aren’t more interesting than other people’s lives, they just live their lives with their eyes wide open. I think that is one of the main takeaways I have from this challenge. I reallywant to write a book. I have ideas in my head for a kid’s book, a picture book, a teacher’s book. There is only one person who has every seen any of that writing and that’s was for the teacher’s book. When I try to write them I get nervous. What am I thinking? I’m not a writer. And honestly, the ideas behind any of them aren’t great, yet. But this challenge has made me realize if I really want to write a book, I need to be working on it daily, not just as I have time here and there. Because I feel when I am immersed in it, like I have been with this challenge, I’ll see the ideas everywhere.

So thanks Stacey and Ruth, for this wonderful community. Thanks Tony and Ruth for asking me at two separate conferences why I wasn’t writing a blog, which would help to finally get me started. Thanks Colby for talking writing with me. Thanks Donalyn for being my Yoda. Thanks to my husband, Chris, for reading my slice each day and talking to me about what I wrote. And thanks to all of the amazing folks in the slice community for commenting and making me feel like I could write each day. It’s been a great month. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Weekend's EPL Match Predictions:

The Weekend's EPL Match Previews:

Saturday (all 15:00pm):
Aston Villa vs Chelsea:
My prediction: Chelsea edge out a win, with either Mata, Sturridge and Lamard/Drogba scoring. Villa will work hard, for team-mate Petrov who has been diagnosed WITH leukamia. 

Everton vs West Brom:
Everton comfortably beat a WBA side with a dodgy defence.. 

Fulham vs Norwich:
Could be interesting.... Fulham could win with in-form Dempsey and Pogrebynak scoring, especially as Norwich's top goalscorer, Grant Holt in out with a suspension.

Manchester City vs Sunderland:
City need to beat Sunderland to stay on track for the title this season. Aguero is out, but Silva and Dzeko not to mention Yaya Toure should edge out Sunderland.

QPR vs Arsenal:
7 wins in a row for Arsene Wenger and The Arsenal. 
Next up is QPR who are trying to avoid relegation this season. 
Can they do it? Yes they can. Robin Van Persie to the Rescue?!

Wigan vs Stoke:
Stoke should beat Wigan. Surely?

Wolves vs Bolton:Pray 4 Muamba. Play 4 Muamba. Win 4 Muamba.
Bolton will have Mr. in their thoughts, which should inspire them, especially as he took his picture from hospital on Twitter today. Looks good.
Against Terry Connor's men. Coca-Cola Championship calling?


Newcastle United vs Liverpool: LIVE at 13:30pm
6th vs 7th, could decide the fate of the postions of the two this season.
Demba Ba and international team-mate Papiss Cisse along with Hatem Ben Arfa vs Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard along with Martin Skrtel.?
Andy Carroll will be upset if he does not score on Sunday against his old club.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Swansea City: LIVE at 16:00pm
Draw. Swansea? Spurs?
I'm in the middle, but you would have thought that Spurs would see off a newly-promoted club!!!


Blackburn Rovers vs Manchester United: LIVE at 20:00pm
Another monday match in the Prem. 
3-2 was the score last time. 
United will look to stay 1st place with a thrashing this time.. Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck (pace-setter) and Ryan Giggs (engine) on-form.
De Gea the unsung hero.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Slice 30 - Age Awareness

Slice of Life is sponsored every Tuesday by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers. For the month of March we are challenging ourself to write a Slice A Day. Here we go!

Do you ever think of your age and realize that you are old? I turned 38 this year and in some ways I feel like 38 is a perfect age. I love my thirties and don’t feel old, in most ways. My mind doesn’t feel old; my body is another story some days. But, for the most part, I don’t feel like a certain age, just me. But then things happen to make you realize just how old you are.

Last night I met up with four other women my age. We met at a local restaurant for dinner and proceeded to catch up. See, I went to school with these ladies starting in the fifth grade and we are planning our twentieth high school reunion. Yep, twentieth. Holy crap, that is a lot of years.

For a few moments I paused and took in my age. I mean, I remember my parents being this age. I remember thinking they were ancient! And I actually see a lot of my mom in myself, my dad too, which is just weird. But then as we went through our yearbook and all of the people we still need to find, stories came up, memories came back. I’ve known the people at the table since I was ten years old. Some I still see regularly, for some it had been awhile. But it was awesome.

All too soon my phone buzzed with a text message. Chris wanted to know when I’d be home; usually he gets to meet up with friends on Thursday nights at the same Irish restaurant/ bar I was in. I looked up and saw some of those friends at the front. Time to go. Saying goodbye to my friends I was glad I’d get to meet up with them in two more weeks to continue our planning. Sometimes remembering back helps you to feel young again. 

August 20, 1975 Great American Music Hall, San Francisco: Keith And Donna with Jerry Garcia ('Straight Life")

Listings for the Great American Music Hall for August 15-23, 1975, from the Fremont Argus of August 18, 1975. Note that Les Paul comes in for the following weekend
Recently, thanks to the miracle of accessibility that is the iPod, I listened again to the August 20, 1975 tape, where Jerry Garcia plays with the Keith And Donna band. The conventional wisdom over the decades has been that Garcia was between bands that month, couldn't stay away from playing, and sat in for a few dates with Keith And Donna because he could. While I still think that little narrative is essentially true, listening closely to the remarkable 25-minute version of Art Pepper's classic "Straight Life" made me consider the context of Garcia's August 1975 performances with Keith And Donna in an entirely new light. In particular, it made me realize how the 1976 Keith and Donna version of the Jerry Garcia Band was consciously constructed to contrast itself with the more freewheeling, jazzy ensembles with Merl Saunders that preceded it. I suggest this because I will argue that Garcia's performance with the Keith and Donna band, epitomized by the long, wonderful cover of "Straight Life," represent a snapshot of how Garcia, Keith and Donna would have sounded playing like the Garcia/Saunders ensemble, and how Garcia clearly chose not to travel that path he had already walked upon.

The Legion Of Mary and The Jerry Garcia Band, Summer 1975
The basic narrative is fairly well known, promulgated by the likes of me. Jerry Garcia had played with Merl Saunders since 1970, but by mid-1975, Garcia was looking for a change. At the time, The Legion Of Mary was an almost formal group, with Garcia, Saunders, John Kahn, Ron Tutt on drums and Martin Fierro on tenor sax and flute. If Tutt wasn't present, they played under the name 'Garcia-Saunders.' Occasionally Garcia also dropped in on Merl Saunders gigs, with Tony Saunders on bass and a variety of drummers, along with Fierro. All three ensembles played lengthy songs, with Garcia, Saunders and Fiero sharing solos, and a fair share of instrumentals and songs featuring Merl Saunders on vocals. Over the years, the Garcia/Saunders ensemble had been very comfortable about letting guests sit in on trumpet, guitar or other instruments. In that respect, the Garcia/Saunders groups were formulated like a jazz band, even though they played rock. Solos were shared, vocals were shared, and membership wasn't absolutely fixed.

Garcia played his last show with the Garcia/Saunders ensemble on July 6, 1975 at Keystone Berkeley. He would actually play a fair number of later shows with Merl Saunders a few years later in Reconstruction, but this phase of the partnership was over.  The ensemble that followed was The Jerry Garcia Band, who officially debuted on September 18, 1975 at Sophie's, in Palo Alto. Sophie's, at 260 S. California Avenue, would later become the Keystone Palo Alto, but at the time it was kind of out-of-the-way, a good place for a new band to get broken in. The new Garcia Band featured Garcia, Kahn, Tutt and pianist Nicky Hopkins. Hopkins was a major rock figure in 1975, having toured with Jeff Beck, Quicksilver and The Rolling Stones, among many others, and having recorded with the Stones, the Beatles and The Who, to name just a few. With the Stones' pianist and Elivs Presley's drummer, The Jerry Garcia Band wasn't just some pickup band.

Apparently, paperwork exists formally establishing Garcia, Kahn, Tutt and Hopkins as partners in the Jerry Garcia Band. I don't believe such a formal arrangement ever existed with Garcia and Saunders; I think they just split up the money evenly at the end of the night. However, in 1975 the Dead were not touring, and Garcia not only needed the cash, he was clearly looking at a solo career as a formal project. Thus in order to get musicians at the level of Tutt and Hopkins, he had to offer them something, and I believe what he had to offer was a partnership. Jerry had the big name, but by making a band out of it, all the participants would benefit. Neither Elvis nor Mick Jagger had offered such a thing to Tutt or Hopkins. From that point of view, the Jerry Garcia Band wasn't designed as a vehicle where players would drop in and out whenever they were otherwise booked. While accommodations would have had to be made for Elvis, history shows that Tutt was serious about the enterprise.

Although we know that Nicky Hopkins debuted with the Jerry Garcia Band on September 18, 1975, one thing I had not contemplated until very recently was their first rehearsal. Now, Garcia didn't like to rehearse, and Hopkins and Tutt didn't need to rehearse much--part of their appeal for Garcia. But Hopkins had never played with Garcia in a formal setting, so there had to have been at least one rehearsal. I'm not even certain where Hopkins lived in 1975, but in any case he normally flew between England, New York and Los Angeles, playing sessions or shows for rock legends of all stripes. Thus a rehearsal, however brief, had to be formally arranged, with plane tickets and someone to pick up Hopkins at the airport.

I am going to propose the following: Garcia had been thinking about the plan to play with Hopkins for some time, and there was a rehearsal of some kind for Garcia, Hopkins and Tutt in July 1975. The rehearsal went well and they agreed to form a band. However, Garcia had some pre-existing dates booked at the Keystone Berkeley for August of 1975, and in any case he needed the cash. Thus I think the Keystone simply had "Jerry Garcia" listed on the calendar and ads, and didn't know who would actually play the August 1975 dates. Garcia probably didn't know, either. Once Garcia rehearsed with Hopkins, he knew he had a band, but he still had some dates to fill, and no desire to cancel them. Thus I think he teamed up with the Keith And Donna band to play the scheduled Jerry Garcia Band dates at the Keystone Berkeley in August. Given that they were playing together, I think Garcia played the booked Keith and Donna dates, too, at the Orphanage and maybe elsewhere. I wouldn't be surprised if Garcia had informally told the Godchauxs that he might play dates with them in August, if he couldn't pull his band together quickly enough.

August 1975 Performances by Jerry Garcia and Keith And Donna
According to my logic, shows attributed to the Jerry Garcia Band would have actually been Keith And Donna with Jerry Garcia. I wouldn't be surprised if Garcia played at the dates booked as Keith And Donna shows, too, although we have no evidence one way or the other, save for the fact that Betty Cantor seems not to have taped them. Based on my previously published history of the Keith And Donna band's performing history, August 1975 looks like this:

Listing for Keith And Donna at The Odyssey Room, Campbell, for August 4, 1975, from the August 1, 1975 edition of the Hayward Daily Review. For the record, the Garcia Brothers were a South Bay club band, and did not feature Tiff and Jerry.
August 4, 1975  Odyssey Room, Sunnyvale Keith and Donna
The Odyssey Room, at 799 El Camino Real in Sunnyvale, was a South Bay saloon, a jumping place that featured local bands and probably sold a lot of drinks. I wonder if Garcia played with them anyway (see notes below)?

August 5, 1975  Keystone Berkeley Jerry Garcia Band
This listing for The Jerry Garcia Band comes from Deadbase, without attribution. Deadbase's source was me. Based on my long ago notes, it appears that this date was from a list compiled by Dennis McNally. For the reasons described below (see August 20-21), I think this was a Keith and Donna show, perhaps with Jerry Garcia playing lead guitar and singing a few songs. Of course, its equally possible that Garcia never played the show, or maybe Keith and Donna took the date by themselves. I'm most inclined towards the latter. If Garcia had promised Freddie Herrera of the Keystone a date, Herrera could have respected the cancellation, but he still had to have a headliner. My guess is that Keith and Donna played, but without Jerry.

A listing from the KG column of The Hayward Daily Review from August 17, 1975. The booking was listed as Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders, but it is highly unlikely that Merl actually played. Keith And Donna played the show, almost certainly, but the question is whether or not Jerry Garcia sat in.
August 18, 1975 Keystone Berkeley Keith and Donna
This show was listed in the Hayward Daily Review as a Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders show. I believe there is another listing where it is displayed as a Keith And Donna show, but I can't pin that down right now.  If this was the first Garcia show with Keith and Donna, a quiet appearance by Jerry might be a safe way for him to get his feet wet with the band, a public rehearsal if you will.

August 20-21, 1975 Great American Music Hall, San Francisco Jerry Garcia Band
The Fremont Argus (up top) lists these Wednesday and Thursday shows at the Great American Music Hall (859 O'Farrell, and still going strong) as The Jerry Garcia Band. In fact, we have a lovely tape of August 20 (I think it is a Betty Board), and Jerry Garcia joins Keith and Donna. He plays lead guitar on all their songs, as well as singing 'Tough Mama" and "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You." I have to assume the next night was the same configuration. Although the tape is incomplete, the entire group sounds great, and Jerry of course puts it over the top.

Both the August 20 and August 30 tapes feature an unnamed trumpeter. We do know that Hadi Al-Sadoon was listed as a Keith And Donna band member in July, so he seems the most likely suspect. Nonetheless, numerous Garcia tapes in the 1970s feature trumpet players, all unnamed--I wonder if they were the same one? One could postulate the usual Marin suspects--Luis Gasca, Bill Atwood, and so on, but I really don't know. Many of Garcia's band mates are no longer with us, either, so its hard to think who we could ask about that.

August 29-30, 1975 The Orphanage, San Francisco Keith and Donna with Jerry Garcia
The Orphanage, at 807 Montgomery, had been a happening North Beach club about 1973, and was by this time less so. Still, this was a comparatively high profile gig, compared to the likes of The Odyssey Room. The shows were on a Friday and Saturday, and fortunately, a tremendous tape survives of the latter night. Jerry sings some Dylan songs, and may have been trying out his Travis Bean guitar as well.

Keith And Donna Band with Jerry Garcia, Wednesday, August 20, 1975, Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA
Donna Godchaux-vocals
Jerry Garcia-lead guitar, vocals
Ray Scott-guitar
Steve Schuster-tenor sax, flute, congas
Hadi Al-Sadoon (?)-trumpet
Keith Godchaux-electric grand and Fender Rhodes piano, vocals
Mike Larscheid-bass
Bill Kreutzmann-drums
The tape I have lists six songs:
Tough Mama
My Love For You
Straight Life
Come See About Me
How Sweet It Is
I am not an expert on tape lineage and set lists, so I won't make a claim for the exact date of the tape. It appears to be the first set of a show. For my purposes, it's enough to assert that it unquestionably represents Jerry Garcia playing with the Keith And Donna Band in Summer 1975.  Amongst the six songs are two sung by Garcia, both 'standards' in the Garcia canon, three that were regularly heard in Keith and Donna's sets, and an epic 25-minute instrumental that appears to be a long version of legendary alto saxophonist Art Pepper's signature song, "Straight Life." Now, I assume "Straight Life" was a regular part of Keith And Donna sets, and in any case I'm not musical enough to insure you that the band was really playing the Pepper tune.

Nonetheless, there's 25 minutes of a rocked up version of some serious jazz, even if someone could make the case that it wasn't "Straight Life." The significance of the inclusion of "Straight Life" lies in the fact that the Jerry Garcia Band with Keith and Donna almost never played instrumentals and stayed far away from formal jazz performances, save for a remarkable rendition of Miles Davis' "So What" on during what may have been the band's final performance.

What does the setlist tell us? First of all, the fact that Garcia led the band through disciplined versions of "Tough Mama" and "How Sweet It Is" means there had to be at least one rehearsal, however brief. Garcia's presence with Keith and Donna was planned, not just a casual drop in, which is part of the basis for my assertion that Garcia was using Keith and Donna to fill in some previously booked dates. Given that Garcia helped make the Keith And Donna album, he might have recalled "My Love For You" and "Showboat." "Come See About Me" was another radio classic, and a player of Garcia's stature could have just comped along and taken his solos. Also, with guitarist Ray Scott in the band, a solid if unspectacular player, Garcia would not have had to remember every rhythmic change, since Scott could cover the basic arrangements, leaving Garcia free to just embellish the music. One rehearsal would clearly have taken care of business, at least for this set.

However, it is the epic jam on "Straight Life" that really sets apart Garcia's August 20, 1975 performance. The Jerry Garcia Band with Keith And Donna had a certain sound, and "Straight Life" has nothing to do with it. "Straight Life" is structured as a modern jazz instrumental, with heads and a body, and the ensemble returning to state the theme just before the next excursion by the soloists. Garcia dominates the soloing, but Steve Schuster's tenor sax, the trumpeter (Hadi Al-Sadoon?) and Keith Godchaux's electric piano all take off for remarkable solos. I had heard jazzy licks from Keith many times in songs like "Playing In The Band," but this is the only time I can think of where he goes into a jazz mode and stays there, and he's a spectacular jazz improviser.

Art Pepper and "Straight Life"
While Garcia and the Keith and Donna band were clearly feeling it that night, working out on a tune as classic as "Straight Life" means it was no accident. Art Pepper (1925-82) was an alto sax player who was a giant of West Coast jazz music in the 1950s, and among the best alto saxophonists of the era after Charlie Parker. Pepper was a true genius, and also a junkie and a hustler, by his own admission. The title of "Straight Life" implies an unalduterated take on life itself (as in 'straight whisky'), rather than any homage to the straight and narrow, since Pepper was anything but.

To my knowledge, the first recording of "Straight Life" was on Pepper's classic 1957 album Art Pepper Meets The Rhythm Section. A wonderful recording, it features Pepper backed by members of Miles Davis's group. According to Pepper, he was broke and strung out, only heard about the session that morning, had no rehearsal, hadn't played in weeks or months, and had to borrow a saxophone. While the actual history is probably more nuanced (Pepper apparently played sessions the preceding week), the basic fact remains that Pepper came into the studio unprepared and in terrible shape. Pepper plays beautifully, however, and the album is a jazz classic.

Pepper's terrible heroin addiction led to a number of stints in prison, ultimately in San Quentin. After getting out of jail in 1964, Pepper hit bottom, his jazz career seemingly over. He ultimately got involved with the recovery group Synanon, and not only got his life back but his career, too, making fine music throughout the 70s until his death in 1982. Memorably, he published an autobiography in 1982, entitled Straight Life. It is a harrowing and fascinating tale of genius, addiction and despair.

There are many books about addiction and redemption, many of them by musicians. However, in contrast to books by the likes of the publicist for The Doors (Wonderland Avenue by Danny Sugarman) or the keyboard player for Three Dog Night (One Is The Loneliest Number by Jimmy Greenspoon)--both
bona fide classics of the genre, by the way--Pepper was a true musical genius, fully aware that for all his failings he towered above his peers musically. Straight Life may be our only unmediated look at the inner life of a drug-addicted musical genius in post WW2 America, not at all an irrelevant footnote for readers of this blog.

Update: a Commenter suggests that the jam is based on Freddie Hubbard's "Straight Life" from his 1970 album of the same name, rather than the Art Pepper composition. If that is the case, it doesn't change my general point, although some of the symmetry of Pepper and Garcia wouldn't resonate. 

Jerry Garcia and "Straight Life"
In 1975, however, while Art Pepper's redemption had been covered in Rolling Stone, he was an active jazz musician and a seeming miracle. By the mid-70s Pepper had re-established his West Coast credentials and renewed his career. Amongst musicians, at any rate, "Straight Life" was not just a jazz standard, but a heavy one. While I assume that Steve Schuster was the one who brought "Straight Life" into the Keith And Donna Band, Garcia plays with brilliance and ferocity, dominating the song for much of its extended length. In what may be the first or second time Garcia played publicly with Keith and Donna Godchaux outside of the Grateful Dead, he leads a jam of the sort that was never seen with the Keith and Donna era Garcia Band, save for the final "So What" in November, 1978.

When Jerry Garcia played with the Keith And Donna Band in 1975, rather than looking forward to the Jerry Garcia Band that would come in 1976, he stayed back in the Saunders-Garcia era that had just ended. While long jazz instrumentals were unheard of in the Jerry Garcia Band, they were practically a nightly occurrence with the Garcia/Saunders band, with songs like "My Funny Valentine" or "Favela." The August 20, 1975 tape is a glimpse of what Garcia and the Godchauxs would have sounded like with the Garcia/Saunders setlist: a Dylan song, some soul covers, a little bit of original material not by Jerry and a big jazz instrumental to anchor the set. Sure, Mike Larscheid was playing bass instead of John Kahn, but that's what it would have sounded like. Any curiousity about Bill Kreutzmann as a jazz drummer can be permanently sated by hearing him drive the soloists with subtlety and power throughout the entire 25 minutes.

Jerry Garcia rarely looked back. He dispensed with the Garcia/Saunders ensembles because he wanted to do something else. Changing Merl Saunders, Sarah Fulcher and Martin Fierro over for Keith and Donna Godchaux and Steve Schuster just wasn't Garcia's style. While the restless desire for change is what set Garcia apart from all his peers, I can't deny that once in a while I wish he wouldn't have been so quick to move on. That, as the saying goes, is life--straight life.