Musician - 12/96, p.92
"...Grisman is that rare musician who can lay claim to inventing an utterly new style of music....elements of bluegrass, swing, bebop, modern jazz, classical, Latin, rock, and Eastern European folk....sound quality remains remarkable....it'll knock your socks off."
DGQ-20 is a 3-CD set that culls performances from 20 years of the David Grisman Quintet and David Grisman Quartet. All tracks are previously unreleased.
David Grisman Quartet/Quintet: David Grisman (mandolin, mandola); Tony Rice (vocals, guitar, mandolin); Mark O'Connor, Mike Marshall (guitar, mandolin, fiddle); Eric Silver (guitar, mandolin, banjo); Jon Sholle, Dimitri Vandellos, John Carlini, Rick Montgomery, Enrique Coria (guitar); Todd Phillips (mandolin, mandola); Darol Anger, Jim Buchanan (mandolin, fiddle); Joe Craven (mandolin, mandocello, violin, percussion); Matt Eakle (flute); Joe Carrol, Bill Amatneek, Rob Wasserman, James Kerwin (bass); George Marsh (drums, percussion).
Additional personnel: Al "Jazzbeaux" Collins (vocals); Jerry Garcia, Diz Disley (guitar); Andy Statman, Jethro Burns (mandolin); Stephane Grappelli, Matt Glaser, Svend Asmussen, Vassar Clements (violin); Norton Buffalo (harmonica); Ray Brown (bass); Hal Blaine (percussion); Kronos String Quartet.
Includes liner notes by Pamela Abramson and David Grisman.
Back in 1976, mandolinist David Grisman was one of the pioneers of what would come to be called "new acoustic music," a groovy, swinging fusion of bluegrass, hot jazz, and pop played primarily by young virtuosos from California. It was a scene that gave rise to such giants as Tony Rice, Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, and Mark O'Connor, and brought established artists like fiddler Vassar Clements and French jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli to new prominence. But David Grisman's mandolin was the signature sound of the genre, and still is -- that's him you hear picking away between NPR news segments, and you've heard him in movie soundtracks and on hundreds of other people's records over the last twenty years. Of all the musicians who emerged from the new acoustic music scene, only Grisman had a subgenre named after him: "Dawg Music."
This three-disc set brings together live recordings, alternate takes, and previously unreleased compositions from Grisman's tape vault. It charts the changes in his quintet from the earliest days, when it nurtured the fiery talents of the young guitarist Tony Rice and fiddler Darol Anger, to its modern incarnation, which features a percussionist and flutist. Some of the titles -- "Swing '39," "Ricochet," "Rattlesnake" -- will be familiar to new acoustic music aficionados, as will Grisman's penchant for punning titles based on his nickname ("Dawgma," "Dawggy Mountain Breakdown"). Others are more obscure, some of them deservedly so, as in the case of "Shasta Bull," an ill-conceived soda jingle. But most of these 39 tracks are delightful; among them are the two numbers the DGQ performed with Stephane Grappelli on the Tonight Show in 1979, a beautiful three-mandolin arrangement of "Ricochet," and a live version of "Mondo Mando" that features Jethro Burns and the young Kronos Quartet. Highly recommended. ~ Rick Anderson