David Grisman Quartet - Dawgnation - CD
David Grisman has been blending jazz, bluegrass, klezmer, gypsy, classical and Latin music since 1975, when he formed the David Grisman Quintet expressly to play the fusion of these styles he dubbed Dawg music.
The quintet has gone through numerous line-up changes over the years, but the version that performs on Dawgnation has been together on and off for seven years and is perhaps the most cohesive yet. Grisman and his bandmates--guitarist Enrique Coria, fiddler/percussionist Joe Craven, flautist Matt Eakle and bassist Jim Kerwin--have no trouble shifting from the Gypsy-flavoured melody of "Vivace" to the swaying Latin rhythms of "Mellow Mang" and then moving on to the double-mandolin-driven tune "Twin Town".
Each of the band members plays a duet with Grisman, which allows them to showcase their individual abilities and gives a glimpse into their contributions to the overall sound. The 13 Grisman originals on Dawgnation may lack the propulsive drive of some of his earlier efforts, but the quintet's inspired ensemble playing and inventive solos more than make up for the lack of speed.