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Author: Subject: RIP Merl Saunders

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 01:14 PM
I feel like I just lost a brother. I know Jerry is smiling that he's finally got you back I've had so many great nights with him behind that organ. That man had a lot of class...fly on brother.

[Edited on 10/24/2008 by mulehill2003]

 
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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 01:17 PM

 

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 01:30 PM
About a dozen or so years ago I went to see a Merl Saunders show at the IMAC Theatre in Huntington, NY. There was a major snowstorm that day and only about 50 people at the most showed up for the show in a theatre that holds about 800. We thought we were gonna get a very short show that night. Well, not only did Merl play two inspired 1 1/2 hour sets, he also signed pictures and CDs and took pics with each and every person who wanted one in between sets. We didn't get out of there until 1:00am. I wouldn't have expected any musician to play as long as he and his band did that night and with as much passion for such a small audience. A great man and a great musician.

RIP Merl.

[Edited on 10/24/2008 by sixty8]

 

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 01:34 PM
ah man i hate hearing this. r.i.p. merl.

 

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 01:37 PM
RIP Merl. Here is a list of his recordings.
Soul Grooving, Merl Saunders Trio and Big Band, 1968
Heavy Turbulence, Merl Saunders, 1972
Fire Up, Merl Saunders, 1973
Live at the Keystone, Saunders,Garcia,Kahn,Vitt, 1973
Merl Saunders, Merl Saunders, 1974
You Can Leave Your Hat On, Merl Saunders and Aunt Monk, 1976
Do I Move You, Merl Saunders, 1979
San Francsico After Dark, Merl Saunders, 1982
Meridien Dreams, Merl Saunders, 1988
Keystone Encores Vols 1 & 2, Saunders,Garcia,Kahn,Vitt, 1988
Live at the Keystone Vols 1 & 2, Saunders,Garcia,Kahn,Vitt, 1988
Blues From The Rainforest, Merl Saunders, 1990
Save The Planet So We'll Have Someplace to Boogie,
Merl Saunders, 1991
Fire Up Plus, Merl Saunders, 1992
It's In the Air, Merl Saunders, 1993
Still Having Fun, Merl Saunders, 1995
Keepers, Merl Saunders, 19797
Fiesta Amazonica, Merl Saunders, 1998
The Twilight Zone, Grateful Dead, Merl Saunders, 1972
With His Funky Friends, Merl Saunders, 1988
Struggling Man, Merl Saunders, 2000

 

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 01:37 PM
Wow! That's tough. R.I.P.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvVHXUzbMJw&feature=related

[Edited on 10/24/2008 by jerryphilbob]

 

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 01:38 PM
Noting Merl's passing with sadness. So long.

 

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 01:44 PM
bummer..RIP Merl

 

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 01:45 PM

 

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 02:25 PM
Damn, that's too bad...but I'm sure Jerry has been waiting patiently for him.

I am thankful that I got to see him a few times in the late 90's.

RIP Merl.

 

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 02:45 PM
Dang.

 

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 02:59 PM
Merl Saunders was born Merl Saunders Washington (he dropped the "Washington" for show biz purposes) in San Mateo, California on February 14, 1934; he passed away early this morning (October 24, 2008) at Kaiser Hospital in San Francisco.


Saunders grew up in San Francisco and was a proficient piano player by age 10. He attended Polytechnic High School, Served in the Air Force and Attended University of Mainz in Germany. Saunders married Betty Crenshaw and leaves behind three children (Anthony Saunders, Merl Saunders Jr., Susan Saunders) and a number of grand kids.


Saunders became one of the preeminent Hammond B-3 player of his generation; beginning his long strange trip by apprenticing with the great Jimmy Smith. In 1970 Saunders began playing with Jerry Garcia in the Bay Area under bands called Legion of Mary and then Garcia/Saunders. The duo recorded a number of famous albums including Heavy Turbulence, Fire Up, and Live at the Keystone. Their 1990 collaboration, Blues from the Rainforest, was a Billboard Top 10 in the New Age category.


Saunders contributed to the Grateful Dead album Grateful Dead (1971), and in the mid-1980s worked with the band as musical director for the "Twilight Zone" television show.


He became known as the senior member of the jam band scene having played with Phish, Blues Traveler and Widespread Panic. He was instrumental in allowing young talent to play and record with him, giving first opportunity to the likes of Sheila E, Chris Hayes (Huey Lewis & the News), Bonnie Hayes (Billy Idol) and Bob Steeler (Hot Tuna).


In parallel to his rock career, Saunders worked as a jazz trio player, performing and recording with Harry Belafonte, Frank Sinatra, Lionel Hampton, Miles Davis, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, and Paul Butterfield. He also contributed to the scores of the films "Heavy Traffic" and "Fritz the Cat."

 

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 03:10 PM
Playing some Saunders/Garcia in class, thanks Merl, god bless ya.

[Edited on 10/24/2008 by CowboyNeil]

 

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 03:13 PM
I loved Merle's playing with the JGarcia Band. Just beautiful keyboards. My favorite is Lucky Old Sun from Live at the Keystone. Great album. He made those keys sing.

 

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 03:19 PM

 

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 03:23 PM

 

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 03:40 PM
what a great player.

Surely will be missed.

have to put on some legion or keystone when I get home.

 

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 04:07 PM
~RIP Sweet Brother Merl~
You & your amazing music will be grately missed by many of us all

 

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 04:12 PM

 

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 04:29 PM
A sad day for sure. Merl was a very very talented guy and there is no doubt he and Jerry had a cool chemistry as musicians. I literally just listened to the Keystone stuff a couple of days ago which is some of my favorite Jerry solo material. If you need to hear Jerry digging deep into the Blues, Jazz and Reggae, thats where you go in the Garcia catalog. Merl's swirling organ playing really complimented Jerry so very well.

RIP Merl

 

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 04:55 PM
quote:
Merl's swirling organ playing really complimented Jerry so very well.


Absolutely, Eddie! What a wonderful life Merl lived... loved the Legion of Mary stuff with Garcia.

 

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 04:58 PM
quote:



classic pix , saw him in the early 70 s , always enjoyed the keystone Jery stuff,, thanx for all those good tunes!!!!!RIP

 

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 05:07 PM
I thought I heard in an interview that he was supposed to be aboard one of the airplanes that was hijacked on 9/11. He either missed the plane or cancelled his reservation I don't remember which.

 

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 05:11 PM
RIP Merl.....I guess I'll play my JGB at the Keystone in rememberance of two lost brothers.........A sad day

 

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  posted on 10/24/2008 at 06:44 PM
RIP Merl, so many roads to take you home, give our regards to Capt. Trips

 

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