Pinning down mandolin player David Grisman's trademark "dawg music" is akin to describing the United States as a "melting pot." It is, and so much more.

Pinning down mandolin player David Grisman's trademark "dawg music" is akin to describing the United States as a "melting pot." It is, and so much more. Encompassing all elements of Americana, from bluegrass and jazz and including Latin, classical, and klezmer influences that have become part-and-parcel of the American experience, the Grisman Quintet create idiosyncratically pleasing, all-acoustic music that jumps through genres at will. Improvisation plays a large part in its ability to transcend any single influence, as mandolin, percussion, guitar, violin, flute, and acoustic bass add their cultural and stylistic voices to material ranging from the gentle, Latin-tinged "Argentine Trio" to the country-meets-surf tango of "Bluegrass at the Beach." It might take well-trained ears to fully comprehend the range of styles that go into the quintet's music, but if you listen attentively, you will likely find a bit of yourself someplace in the mix.—SG

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