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Album Review

While mandolin master David Grisman and the equally talented guitarist Tony Rice may be better known in the world of bluegrass, jazz fans need to check out Tone Poems, an excellent collection of mandolin/guitar duets, performed with different vintage instruments on each track. The improvising by both men is never less than brilliant, transforming traditional folk tunes like "Grandfather's Clock" and "I Am a Pilgrim," plus the unlikely "O Solo Mio," into masterpieces. The lone track that's very familiar to jazz listeners is "Swing '42," played very convincingly by two men who are well-versed in jazz even if they don't play it exclusively.

Biography

Born: March 23, 1945 in Hackensack, NJ

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

David Grisman is normally associated with the bluegrass wing of country music, but his music owes almost as much to jazz as it does to traditional American folk influences. Because he couldn't think of what to call his unique, highly intricate, harmonically advanced hybrid of acoustic bluegrass, folk, and jazz without leaning toward one idiom or another, he offhandedly decided to call it "dawg music" — a name which, curiously enough, has stuck. A brilliant mandolinist, with roots deep in the...
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