Now here's something you don't hear a whole hell of a lot (if ever, because I never have) - jazz mandolin! I had to pick up the disc to figure out what kooky instrument was fronting on the first track, it sounded so cool, and there it was: "mandolin". Then I looked at the cover of the damned box (I usually do that last, for some weird reason), and saw the name of the band. So I really shouldn't have been so surprised.
But anyway, having this mandolin matched up with the awesome double bass and rhythm section here is pure brilliance. It's also really hard to really talk about - there's not a whole hell of a lot out there to compare this with. This is one of those cool jazz bands where there is no real showboat in the group, or perhaps it's that everyone in the band is a showboat and they just take turns being in the spotlight.
Masefield (mandolin) and Dahlgren (bass) play off each other so well it's like hearing a conversation in music, while Fishman (percussion) keeps the beat like some quiet parent keeping an eye on two rambunctious children, ready to jump in and take control at any second. My jazz-geek dad and my boyfriend are going to have to arm wrestle each other for this one when I'm through with it.
by Holly Day.