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Rarely is it that you come across totally instrumental albums, and though it is now 2018 this 2017 release featuring mandolin, mandola (Andrew Collins), mandocello, bass (James McEleney) and mandolin, guitar (Mike Mezzatesta) trio,that's beautifully aided by the Phantasmagoria String Quartet of John Showman 1st violin; Trent Freeman, 2nd violin; Ben Plotnick, viola and Eric Wright on cello combine a finely woven, string steeped piece showing traces of contemporary bluegrass, newgrass stylists Bela Fleck, David Grisman, Sam Bush, Tony Rice and Chris Thile among others as boundaries are breached in a subtle and artful fashion.
And It Was Good contains eight tunes, and with the likes of airy “Seed Of Its Own Kind” and the darting, ever probing “Stars, Sun & Moon” forming a high benchmark the listener soon becomes absorbed in the creative beauty of the Trio’s music. If you thought the former was plied with adventure they are arguably more daring on twin-fiddle (Mike & Andrew) doused “Fish & Fowl”. Not to be outdone they likewise perform more magic on the intriguing “Everything That Creeps”, aptly entitled “Rest”, and with more heady mandolin leading the way prior to twin-fiddles and smart finger-picking (Mike), “And it Was Good” has it all. Not least the upright bass (James); you could not wish for a better tune to close up shop. Some of the interplay were mind blowing. I felt compelled to reach for the repeat button!
Though marvellous, some might claim there are occasions they might over cook the piece. More to my line of thinking is instrumental albums are't everyone’s cup ‘o tea. On the other hand you can’t fault the complexity and grace of the double-sided delight “Light From The Darkness”. The tune breaks away in powerhouse style, and as instrumentals go you will have to go a long way to sample a tune as wonderful and innovative or as darting opening half. I just love the mandolin.
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