Live at Jazz Alley 11/2/07

David Grisman Quintet

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Live at Jazz Alley 11/2/07 Review

by Ken Dryden

The first of two nights featuring the David Grisman Quintet at Jazz Alley is a typical for self-labeled practitioner of "Dawg Music," which blends bluegrass, jazz, Latin, folk, and more. By 2007, the mandolinist's group had changed, with the departure of guitarist Enrique Corea and fiddler/percussionist Joe Craven, replaced by guitarist Frank Vignola and drummer George Marsh, though bassist James Kerwin and flautist Matt Eakle remain. The sound is a bit different with the new instrumentation, though every bit as satisfying as the previous band, marked by tight ensembles and lively improvising all around. The music includes works that have been a part of the mandolinist's repertoire for decades in addition to newer compositions. Grisman has long been passionate about the music of gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and the master is well-represented with a fine interpretation of "Nuages" that focuses on mandolin and guitar, along with a breezy setting of "Swing '42" that showcases Grisman, Eakle, and Vignola. The funky "Acousticity," dedicated to James Brown, was recorded during Marsh's previous stint with the band, this updated arrangement features Eakle's alternately soulful and bird-like flute, along with Kerwin. A promising young guitarist named Grant Gordy is added for the extended workout of Grisman's funky "Pneumonia" (spelled "Newmonia" on this recording). "Tracy's Tune" is of a slightly later vintage; its lyrical, soft samba has a special intimacy.

blue highlight denotes track pick