Tone Poems II
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David Grisman doesn't stick exclusively to mandolin on this top-notch duo date with guitarist Martin Taylor, playing mandola, mandocello, tenor guitar, and guitar as well. As on this album's predecessor, the two artists play a different vintage instrument on each track, though the music this time is much more familiar to jazz fans. The interpretations of such classics as "Swanee," "Anything Goes," "Blue Moon," and "Over the Rainbow" are consistently both stunning and fresh. The gems among the jazz compositions include Django Reinhardt's "Tears" and a tour de force arrangement of Chick Corea's "Crystal Silence." Two surprising tracks are the usually trite "Mairzy Doats" (an irritating song that was a huge hit in the '40s) and the very snappy take of the often tedious "Besame Mucho"; when musicians the caliber of Grisman and Taylor can make something out of unpromising songs like these, it demonstrates how gifted they are. Highly recommended.
Born: 23 March 1945 in Hackensack, NJ
Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s
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