[Pre-Order] Stefan Grossman and John Renbourn – 3 CD Combo

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Stefan Grossman and John Renbourn – 3 CD Combo

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Stefan Grossman and John Renbourn – 3 CD Combo



John Renbourn & Stefan Grossman:

Recorded in 1978, this is John and Stefan’s landmark first duet album finally available on CD along with a PDF tab/music booklet.

“To label John Renbourn an English-folk guitarist, or Stefan Grossman an American-blues guitarist, amounts to the same: nothing. Renbourn, who’s best known for his Pentangle association and fine solo albums, has played medieval, early classical, traditional, blues, regional English folk and contemporary jazz compositions. Stefan Grossman, who’s also cut a pile of solo albums, has played classic and contemporary ragtime, delta blues, boogie, and regional American folk compositions, among others. Yet the performers and last Tuesday night’s capacity crowd at the Other End shared a single mindedness that makes one music of all this eclecticism: a passion for the acoustic guitar and its infinite expressive possibilities. The evening was not only one of the most musically exhilarating in my experience, but one of the most educational as well – a relaxed class on styles and technique and a distillation of British and American sensibilities…

…They included a few numbers from their elegant new hybrid album, Stefan Grossman & John Renbourn. The album is all instrumental, all – except for a Mingus composition – original. Though it’s much more bluesy, lilting, and sly, it reminds me of John McLaughlin’s acoustic album, My Goal’s Beyond, with its gentle-jazz whispers and dramatic pauses. If one has ever picked or, plucked, the album is an invitation to figure out new ways to contort the fingers. If one hasn’t, the liner notes skillfully decode who is playing which guitar line and when, As the concert did, the album pulls together the improbable and comes up with a surprising complement, rather like ordering a measure of ordering mead to quaff with your hot dog. And why not?” – Jan Hoffman – The Village Voice

Track Listing: (click on tracks for mp3 sound samples)

1. Snap A Little Owl

2. Bermuda Triangle Exit

3. Theme from Charles Mingus’ The Shoes Of The Fisherman’s Wife Are Some Jive Ass Slippers

4. Luckett Sunday

5. Why A Duck

6. The Drifter

7. Looper’s Corner

8. Luke’s Little Summer

9. Spirit Levels

10. The Way She Walks

11. Woman From Donori

(All tunes except for “Spirit Levels” have been transcribed and included in a pdf tab/music booklet on the CD)

Under The Volcano:

“The material is a mix of traditional and original, the playing superb. Grossman and Renbourn combine their talents and mix of styles here to produce appealing instrumental music of rare beauty and taste.” –

On their duet records, John Renbourn and Stefan Grossman meet on the common turf of American blues and Celtic fiddle tunes and airs. Under The Volcano is collection of seven duets, including an extended four-part work for which the album is named, and one solo by each of the players, the album has what has come to be the characteristic sound of the duo. Reflecting what Stefan quite accurately describes as “an interweaving of styles,” it is quite difficult, and somewhat pointless, to tell which of the two is playing the lead in most parts of the album.

The original compositions are at once down-home and high-flown, brimming with contrapuntal funkiness, and the music manages to sound both loose and precise. Grossman and Renbourn contribute equally to the composition and arrangement of the traditional material. They aren’t uptight about overdubbing or using the occasional electric guitar texture. But the lingering impression is one of crisp, snapping strings and air being moved by wooden-boxed guitars.

Track Listing: (click on tracks for mp3 sound samples)

1. Idaho Potato

2. Medley: Sheebeg An Sheemore & Drunken Wagoner

3. Under The Volcano

a) Resurrection of Blind Joe Death

b) Four for the Roses

c) Montagu’s Pact

d) Rights of Man

4. Medley: Bonaparte’s Retreat & Billy In The Lowgrounds

5. Swedish Jig

6. Water Gypsy

7. All Things Parallel Must Converge

8. The Blarney Pilgrim

9. Mississippi Blues No. 3

(All tunes except for “Bonaparte’s Retreat” have been transcribed and included in a pdf tab/music booklet on the CD)

The Three Kingdoms:

“This is the fourth recorded collaboration between acoustic guitarists John Renbourn and Stefan Grossman, recorded in 1987 and produced by Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones. As on its three predecessors, the appeal lies in the contrast between Renbourn’s traditional British folk style and Grossman’s jazz and folk-blues leanings. Ideally, as on ’Rites of Passage’ and ’Keeper of the Vine,’ Renbourn concentrates on an intricate, folk-based pattern that Grossman decorates with bluesy embellishments. The two have a previously expressed interest in adapting jazz classics to their two-guitar approach, and they do so here on the standard ’Round About Midnight,’ then recall their earlier work on tunes by the late Charles Mingus with the mournful ’Farewell to Mr. Mingus.’ Since they play differently, their guitar lines can be identified and appreciated separately even when they are intermingling.” – All Music Guide

Many acoustic guitarists probably have some degree of acquaintance with the work of John Renbourn and Stefan Grossman, but for the unfamiliar, here’s a short history: In the 1970s Stefan toured regularly, sometimes on double-bills with Renbourn. Fate stepped in when, through a promoter’s error, it was advertised that these two legends-in-the-making would be performing guitar duets. Though they hadn’t worked as a duo before, the guitarists decided to give it a go, and the seeds were planted for a series of fantastic duet albums. The playing on this album as well as Under The Volcano and their eponymous debut, is a fascinating melting pot of European and American musical styles, and the pair achieves a sound as elegant as it is expansive. Though their individual contributions to the world of guitar playing had been weighty before their partnership, these duet albums serve to take both guitarists’ playing to new heights, and their enduring compositions still sound fresh today.

Track Listing: (click on tracks for mp3 sound samples)

1. The Three Kingdoms

2. ’Round Midnight

3. Dollartown

4. Catwalk

5. Cherry

6. Rites of Passage

7. Medley: Kiera’s Dream & Parson’s Mud

8. Keeper of the Vine

9. Minuet in D Minor (from the Anna Magdalena Notebook)

10. Farewell to Mr. Mingus

11. Medley: Abide With Me & Old Gloryland

(All the tunes are transcribed in tab/music in the 46 page PDF booklet on this CD.)

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