Mike Marshall

Mike Marshall and Darol Anger with Vasen

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The pairing of Americans -- mandolinist Mike Marshall and violinist Darol Anger -- and Swedes -- Väsen -- is a meeting of minds and styles. Both are well grounded in their native traditions, but also versed in original acoustic music. They show their breadth here, taking in traditional tunes from Sweden ("Penknife Killer") and the U.S. ("Yew Piney Mt."), along with several original pieces and a touch of Braziliana on "Os Pintinhos." There's style and wit in the music, as you'd expect from musicians this good. More interesting is the perfectly natural way they all mesh together and complement each other, finding a middle ground that's far more than a simple compromise. There's plenty of delicacy in a piece like "Forslund," but throughout the disc there's a very strong sense of melody, the stock in trade of everyone here. There's no need for anyone to be showy, and it's only at odd moments like the sly fiddle run on "Misch Masch" that you remember these are all virtuosos. So even though it doesn't particularly hew to any tradition, there's enough of a sense of the past to anchor this wonderful slice of new acoustic music.

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