Oteil Burbridge: Left of Expectations

Burbridge Reimagines the Grateful Dead on Lovely View of Heaven

Oteil Burbridge: Left of Expectations

Burbridge Reimagines the Grateful Dead on Lovely View of Heaven

Photos by Jessica Burbridge

Photo by Jessica Burbridge When Jaco Pastorius sat down at the piano and played all of the big band-voiced chords to “Liberty City,” at the end of his instructional video [Jaco Pastorius: Modern Electric Bass, DCI, 1985], it was a revelation. Almost 40 years later, another bass superhero has turned to the piano to craft a landmark record that he considers to be his finest to date. Oteil Burbridge’s Lovely View of Heaven is a profoundly imaginative take on eight Grateful Dead ballads, employing harmony, orchestration, and emotion to bathe Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter’s music and lyrics in a whole new light. Think Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters [Verve, 2007]. The difference here from that Grammy-winning instrumental side is Oteil utilizes his vocals, passionately performing each song as if he were the main, pain-processing character in them. And while piano is key because that’s where Burbridge fashioned all of his innovative ar
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Chris Jisi   By: Chris Jisi