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An American Diary: The Dreamings

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Album Review

The Dreamings is the second volume of Mike Mainieri's An American Diary project. The vibraphonist and leader appears primarily with saxophonist George Garzone, bassist Marc Johnson, and drummer Peter Erskine. But thanks to the rotating cast of guest musicians, each track is a wholly new experience, distinguished by unexpected timbres and colors. Especially noteworthy are George Garzone's clarinet on "One Night in Paradise," Erik Friedlander's cello on "Planting Rice Is Never Fun," Simon Seven's didgeridoo on "The Dreamings," and Arto Tuncboyan's sazabo on "Dear, My Friend (The Gift)." Mainieri's goal was to explore his musical upbringing in an American immigrant family, as well as his later experiences as a traveling musician. His first American Diary record included music by composers as far apart as Aaron Copland and Frank Zappa. This diary entry has an even broader scope, including folk material from the Philippines and Yemen, as well as original pieces inspired by Australian aborigines, gypsies, and the Navajo and Apache tribes. Mainieri's use of the term "American" is therefore expansive, and subtly provocative. But the session never comes across as stilted political correctness or contrived world music. It swings. And in the process, it communicates with the listener in a genuine, unaffected way. ~ David R. Adler, Rovi


Born: 04 July 1938 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

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

Mike Mainieri, a talented and distinctive vibraphonist, has had a productive and diverse career. He first played vibes professionally when he was 14, touring with Paul Whiteman in a jazz trio called Two Kings & a Queen. He played with Buddy Rich's bands for a long period (1956-1963) and then became a busy studio musician, appearing on many pop records. Mainieri had opportunities to work with Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, and Wes Montgomery (1967-1968), among many others, and played in the early...
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An American Diary: The Dreamings, Mike Mainieri
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