One of the fascinating things about this recording (and most of David Grisman’s music) is the way he seamlessly draws on a variety of musical influences to create his own unique sound.
One influence that’s very clear is the old 1930s Quintet of the Hot Club of France (featuring the incomparable Django Reinhardt on guitar and the equally talented Stephane Grappelli on violin).
In fact an aging but still virtuoso Grappelli joins Grisman (mandolin), Tony Rice (one of the most talented acoustic guitarists since the great Django himself), and Mike Marshall (2nd mandolin) for two songs, including a sparkling rendition of the old Hot Club classic, ˝Minor Swing.˝ The same group (but with Darol Anger replacing Grappelli on violin) shines again on ˝Dawgology,˝ a great Grisman takeoff on another old Hot Club classic, ˝Djangology.˝ On top of the acoustic swing music pioneered by Reinhardt and Grappelli in the 1930s, Grisman and Rice add a strong bluegrass element, along with their own unique sound.
This is some of the most energetic and creative music you can find, and a lot of fun to listen to.
If you aren’t already familiar with Grisman and Rice, this CD gives a fine sampling of their music. (Actually you can hardly go wrong with any recordings featuring Grisman and/or Rice.) And if you’re interested in checking out some of the remarkable old recordings by Reinhardt and Grappelli, a great place to start is the wonderful collection called ˝The Classic Early Recordings in Chronological Order.˝