Inspired by the acid tests that gave birth to The Grateful Dead, Harrington assembles an eight-piece band he dubs ‘Dave Harrington’s Merry Pranksters.’ In addition to the other friends, Spencer Zahn plays an electric bass and Will Epstein pulls double duty with both his bari sax and some synthesizers. There’s a lot of ambient noodling, textural stuff reminiscent of Dave Harrington Group’s Become Alive, and it all sounds righteous. When they lock in, though, their jammy space crescendos switch from the wide-screen cinematic swells of Gilmour-era Floyd to conjure the groovy communal vibes of a line parade led by Dr. John with little notice.
This small label, Other People, is putting out some really interesting music. I was especially interested when I found that Dave Harrington is a Grateful Dead fan. I had been listening to their music for a while before that; my son is a rabid fan of this stuff. Check out Darkside, Harrington’s solo work, and other stuff the label produces.