"Infrared Roses" is an amazing collection of live recordings from The Grateful Dead recorded between 1987 and 1991. Unlike other live albums by the Dead, "Infrared Roses" focuses on the free-form experimental moments that were performed during the second set of every live show. These sections were commonly known as "Drums" and "Space".
Producer and GD soundman Bob Bralove compiled and processed these improvisations into four symphonic-style suites consisting of three movements each. While most of the music is presented untouched, there are several sections that are compiled and mixed from multiple improvisations. The style of these improvisations range from ambient ("Little Nemo in Nightland") to easy listening ("Silver Apples of the Moon" which features pianist Bruce Hornsby performing variations on the Dead classic "Dark Star") to avant-garde (the title track and "Magnesium Nightlight") to jazz ("Apollo at the Ritz" which features saxophone extraordinaire Branford Marsalis) to world music ("Speaking in Swords" and "River of Nine Sorrows").
Also prevailent in this CD is the band's extensive use of Midi technology. On nearly every track, the band uses Midi to trigger the sounds of trumpets, choirs, flutes, voices and various sound effects from their traditional instruments of guitars, bass, keyboards and drums.
As mentioned above "Infrared Roses" is a different kind of Grateful Dead album. The focus is on improvisation and experimentation instead of actual songs (the closing of "Uncle John's Band" can be heard at the beginning of "Riverside Rhapsody" though). This is not recommendend for someone just discovering the Dead. However, it is highly recommended not only for Deadheads but for fans of experimental music, free-form improvisation and jazz. This is a great collection of some of the band's best experimental moments.
Buy this album, turn up the stereo, turn out the lights and listen!!