Puncuated evolution?! I thought Steven Jay Gould was dead!
Having watched the Dead for decades, one of the things I didn't like about the recent iterations was the "manipulated transitions". I understand it, and Phil even said something like "It took us a long time to get to the point where we could morph from one song to another. These guys are new at it, we have to structure it for a whle, they'll get the hang of it." I tried to close my eyes and just listen so I didn't see Phil giving instructions to everyone through the earpieces. It took some of the spontaneity out of one of my favorite parts of the Dead experience. Jerry also said one time that Bob didn't really care much about the transitions. It seems to be less obvious recently.
But back on topic- yeah, I enjoy the development, evolution, freshining up of the songs. And maybe the the brightest silver lining of losing Jerry is that it allowed for bringing back some of the older stuff that he had dropped and didn't want to do anymore.
"Do not write so that you can be understood, write so that you cannot be misunderstood." -Epictetus