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Little Feat: Time Waits for Columbus

Bud Scoppa, Rhino Records, October 2001

WHAT CONSTITUTES a great live album? It’s clearly not the mere replication of a band’s studio performances. That approach may satisfy the attending audience, but what’s the point of making a record that sounds just like one that already exists? It’s far more rewarding to experience a live album on which a band turbocharges its studio sound (as the Who did on the scorching 1970 document Live at Leeds), or expands the material through improvisation (the Allman Brothers Band’s Live at the Fillmore East from’72 is a classic example), or enlarges the aural palate to open up a body of work (like the Band’s 1971 beauty Rock of Ages, with its Allen Toussaint horn arrangements). What makes Waiting for Columbus, the 1977 live album by quintessential cult band Little Feat, so memorable is that it seamlessly and quite naturally encompasses all of these approaches.

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