There aren’t too many serious musicians who don’t know David Grisman’s work, in part or in whole.
I’m especially fond of his “Tone Poem” series.
A multi-instrumentalist, Grisman is most famous for his mandolin playing. In this series he has teamed himself up with some of the best for duets and trio arrangments of songs and instruments (“voices”) that are authentic (or near authentic) to an era.
In Tone Poems he teams up with renowned flatpicker Tony Rice — for a mostly flattop guitar and mandolin.
In Tone Poems II he teams up with Martin Taylor, a world famous Scottish jazz player for some jazz standards and some old archtops. In TPIII it’s Mike Auldridge and Bob Brozman for some series resonophonic slide playin’.
The recordings are carefully done with minimalist mic’ing, and no compression. They’re meant to convey the voices of the instruments in the hands of some masters.
Each recording comes with a nicely printed booklet that shows off the instruments played on each track, and some historical background.
A fine listening experience, that may allow you to catch the history bug and learn more about an era and the voices used to produce music at that time.
Don’t miss these!
This article can also be found at Archipelago, Daniel Berlinger’s weblog.