David Grisman and Martin Taylor had such a good time creating their Tone Poems II album they decided to not stop there. That first album was a showcase for a stellar collection of great acoustic jazz guitars, mandolins, mandolas, and mandocellos – as well as the fretmen’s fine playing. This new album is simply more of a good thing.
While Tone Poems II featured just the two veterans, this new set also includes bassist Jim Kerwin and drummer George Marsh. The quartet covers classics such as “Autumn Leaves,” “Makin’ Whoopee,” and other songs from Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, and others.
Like many of the albums on Grisman’s own Acoustic Disc label, this CD has magic in its tracks. The recording quality is pristine and warm, as befitting Grisman’s long campaign as a self-proclaimed “acoustic activist.” But he has also managed to capture the sound of something more: a group of friends having fun with what they are doing – and this shines like a halo above the music.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Nov. ’99 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.