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Vintage Reserve

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Album Review

This best of Galactic is in a sense the best way to check them out. While their three previous studio albums all had more than enough moments that were compelling, they never quite held it together for an entire set. Live at Tipitina's was a fine set, but it didn't really capture the Galactic live experience. To be honest, Stanton Moore's solo records were more consistent. That said, Galactic have amassed a fine catalog, and this best-of provides this band with all of their strengths intact and on display. There are 15 tracks here. Twelve are culled from the various long-players; two previously unreleased in the States (live versions of "Sew, Sew, Sew" and "Doo Rag/Triple Threat") and one, "The Green Minute," appears here for the first time period. The booty shakers are all here: "Something's Wrong With This Picture," "Double Wide," "Tighten Your Wig," "Century City," "Jeffe 2000," "Get a Head On," "Meter Maid," "Bobski 2000," "Go Go," and a few others. The record is sequenced out of chronological order; instead its order is determined by the way tracks feel against each other. Like everything Galactic, this is about vibe, and in that department it's a monster too. If anything, it feels more like a fifth Galactic album than a best-of. It's also revelatory in terms of what this band, as opposed to their whammer (extended) jammer cousins, is capable of. No (read: rhythmless interpretive) dancing to these jams is necessary. Just let the backbone slip into the rhythm section and feel that bass propel you onto the floor. Vintage Reserve is one of the party records of the year.


Formed: 1993 in New Orleans, Louisiana

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The New Orleans-based jazz-funk ensemble Galactic formed in 1994; originally an eight-piece, the group soon pared down to an instrumental sextet comprised of guitarist Jeff Raines, organist Rich Vogel, bassist Robert Mercurio, saxophonists Ben Ellman and Jason Mingledorff, and drummer Stanton Moore. Later adding Crescent City music scene vet Theryl deClouet on vocals, Galactic built a fervent local following on the strength of a relentless live schedule that included opening slots for group heroes...
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Vintage Reserve, Galactic
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