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Album Review

Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead and David Grisman were friends for over 30 years. On an occasional basis they would get together and jam, and Grisman would tape the results. Sometimes they would play rock, folk music, country, or free improvisation, but the music on this CD put out by Grisman's Acoustic Disc label is strictly straight-ahead jazz. Joined by two (or sometimes three) sidemen from the mandolinist's regular band (bassist Jim Kerwin, Joe Craven on percussion, and, on two numbers, flutist Matt Eakle), the co-leaders perform three versions of "So What," two apiece of "Bag's Groove" and "Milestones," and one of Grisman's "16/16." Garcia is quite credible as a jazz improviser without attempting to be a virtuoso; he apparently loved the music and does not sound at all like a rock player. The versatile Grisman effectively updates his swing style, and the rhythm section is driving and supportive despite being quite light in volume. Even with the repetition of titles (only the last version of "So What" sounds like a rehearsal rather than a regular recording session), the music holds one's interest throughout. A nice surprise that is well worth checking out.

Customer Reviews


Wow, this is a beauty. I am not going say that I have a vast knowledge of jazz and/or bluegrass, but this recording session is just fantastic. When you get a group of musicians who play from the soul, you get stuff like this. It is jazz, no it's bluegrass, no it's bluejazz, I mean JazzGrass- lol! It sounds good, and it shows that these guys loved both jazz and bluegrass and we all already knew that...this is just a nice reminder.

Nice take on some jazz standards

This album has been in my collection for years, and it never gets old. The interplay between Garcia and Grisman shows that they were having a good time recording these tracks, and there is some great music here. "So What" has been a favorite Miles Davis tune of mine for years, and the versions that are presented here give the standard tune a breath of fresh air. My personal favorite is "16/16". That track just never gets old. You might say I have a bias towards anything Garcia, but I just love to hear him stretch out on his acoustic with David Grisman strumming along. These two musicians had a special chemistry that came across in their recordings, and out of all of their duets, this album is their best.


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...
Full Bio