Jefferson Airplane

Live at The Fillmore Auditorium 10/15/66 Late Show – Signe’s Farewell

Collector's Choice Live

Dec 15, 2010 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


While Jefferson Airplane is best know for the vocal and extracurricular exploits of Grace Slick, the singer who took the band to psychedelic heights in the late-'60s, Slick was not the Airplane's first singer. Signe Anderson helped the band ignite its career, singing on its first album, 1966's Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, before leaving the band for family life shortly after that album's release. Live at the Fillmore Auditorium 10/15/66 represents the first CD live recording of the Airplane with Anderson. The rest of the group's signatures are already intactMarty Balin's blues-inflected wail, Jorma Kaukonen's winding guitar, Jack Cassidy's anchoring bass, and Spencer Dryden's solidifying drumsbut Anderson's contribution is not to be underestimated.

While the set is not always as electrifying as one would come to expect from the Slick-fronted Jefferson Airplanesongs such as "And I Like It" and Donovan's "Fat Angel" ride along on bluesy, psychedelic haze, and the Surrealistic Pillow classic "3/5 Of a Mile In 10 Seconds" is still in its early form herebut cuts such as "Runnin' Round This World," "Come Up the Years," and Billy Wheeler's "High Flyin' Bird" are wonderfully indicative of early Airplane and a reminder that they weren't exactly amateurs before Slick joined the band. The true gem of the set is Anderson's final performance of her signature Airplane tune, "Chauffeur Blues," which Slick never performed during her tenure with the band, out of respect to Anderson. Psychedelic rock and roll at its finest, with Kaukonen's inimitable guitar work and Anderson's powerful blues wail, the song is final testament to the strength of Jefferson Airplane's first incarnation. Grace Slick would make her debut with the band one day later, but on 10/15/66, the night was Signe Anderson's. (www.ccmusic.com)

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