David Grisman has a habit of bringing like-minded musicians into his Acoustic Disc studio and recording eclectic, intelligent music. While noted for his skilled mandolin playing, he has also shown an interest in musical history. Like the Tone Poems series, Traversata travels into the past to re-introduce lost treasures. This time he's joined by fellow mandolinist Carlo Aonzo and guitarist Beppe Gambetta for 15 Italian-American instrumentals from the early 20th century. Also similar to the Tone Poems series, a straightforward mix produces a clean sound and makes it easy to keep tabs on the players. There's a bouncy version of Nick Lucas' "Pickin' the Guitar" that reminds one of a tasty tune by Norman Blake or Doc Watson. Grisman and Aonzo quietly compliment one another on the melancholy "Study for Two Mandolins," while Gambetta offers nice lead work on Eddie Lang's "April Kisses." Traversata flows with ease from track to track, creating a rich tapestry of acoustic music. Detailed liner notes give information on musicians, composers, and the music itself. Traversata was a term used by turn-of-the-century Italians to describe their journey to the United States, and this album represents a similar musical journey shared by these three artists. This is a lovely recording, respectful of its source material and inspiring in its execution.
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AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.