Click bait title sort of and for that I half heartedly apologize. If you anti-GD you probably won’t care, but if you’re a fan or open minded, read on.... For this unfamiliar, Beautiful Jam was a special section of improv by GD that took place between the first playing of Wharf Rat and the second part of Dark Star in February 1971 in NY. The band didn’t name the jam (nerd fans did I assume) and at least one band member didn’t even recall it when the passage was played for him 25 years later (Lesh). What’s so interesting about it is that they never explored this jam or sound again, though it was arguably the most compelling five minutes of music they ever played. Here is the jam, truncated, which gives context on how it developed: Here is the full mash of songs/jams - Dark Star > Wharf Rat > (Beautiful Jam) Dark Star: If I haven’t lost you yet, great! A few things stand out to me, aside from the actual notes in Jerry’s lead lines. 1) The amazing, biting tone of Jerry’s guitar and his dynamic control. His control and use of the feedback. Holy crap. How loud must it have been in that theater? 2) Weir seems in many ways to facilitate everything with his chord choices and, as usual, lays down an amazing backdrop. It almost seems like he’s fighting Jerry out of going right back into the DS verse, Phil follows, and Jerry acquiesces. Right around 1:05 the drum beat changes and then at 1:20 you can hear when they all just seem to move to the same place (a completely new place) at the same time. Really, the transition out of Wharf Rat was a little choppy and then BAM! 3) It’s painfully short. Well, for a GD fan at least. It seems like as quick as they ventured there, Jerry moves back where he wanted to go and into the next verse of DS. On a side note, that little lick Jerry pulls at 2:45 does it for me every time. Here’s a great, albeit long, discussion of the jam and how it might have come to be. I think it’s worth watching for fans and also for those just interested in improv or modal playing. He essentially says that the combo of Weir’s chord choices and Jerry’s focus on B Aeolian (as opposed to the usual A Mixolydian and E Dorian) it set up the lines that we hear. Of course, those are all the same thing, but they’re not! I dunno. Maybe y’all will hate it, but I’m bored waiting for my kid to get done with practice. Enjoy!