David Grisman is Cooler Than You

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A while back I wrote a feature on the amazing Jon Stickley and his futuristic trio of boundary-breaking musicians. While we were talking Jon mentioned how much he loved the first David Grisman Quartet album. It was time I went back and checked some of that out, so I dug up this video of the group playing “E.M.D” and wrote down some notes as I watched it.

  • How about that lineup? It’s a band full of bandleaders. (RIP Rob.)
  • :08 – Love the counterpoint during the head. Definite jazz influences in both the melody and how Wasserman treats the bassline.
  • :21 – I’m weirdly interested in picking styles. Interesting to note here how Grisman has a more “open” hand placement where someone like Thile keeps it close and tight.
  • :33 – Again, Wasserman is a flat-out master. His transition to a walking line for O’Connor’s solo is easy to miss.
  • 1:11 – Here comes Tony.
  • 1:24 – Great shot of one of the best picking hands ever to work a flattop.
  • 1:29 – Ok. What’s the verdict on planting your pinky? I tend to go back and forth, but usually I let it float.
  • 1:35 – Ooooh. That break. Unbelievable.
  • 2:03 – Yeah, you can tell Dawg knew how to play over these changes. He’s completely relaxed and making all the turns.
  • 2:14 – I feel like I need a red velvet jacket. Like right now.
  • 2:29 – What show is this from? Hee-Haw?
  • 2:43 – Wow. Look how much Tony angles his pick forward.
  • 2:50 – There’s so much swing in Tony’s lines. Hillbilly bebop.
  • 3:11 – So that’s where Thile got that from.