Mike Mainieri

An American Diary, Vol. 2: The Dreamings

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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.

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