...this blog captures in order the albums as I pull these gems off the shelf and groove to them .....

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mike Marshall - Gator Strut (2004)

Mike Marshall - Gator Strut SACD

    Mike Marshall is an musical innovator and one that you can not simply categorize in any one genre.    This range of styles and approaches is clearly evident on "Gator strut" which has folk, bluegrass, twang bar, rock, jazz, classical, rock and honky tonk genres teeming all around. 

   Marshall has assembled a fine group of top notch musicians to play along with his mandolin including violinist Darol Anger, bassists Todd Phillips and Rob Wasserman, guitarist Tony Rice,  Jerry Douglas on the dobro, Béla Fleck on banjo,  David Balikrishan on violin and pianist Barbara Higbie.   Marshall plays mostly mandolin on the album and no question he is deservedly a showoff!

 The end result is the sound of a chamber twang string ensemble and features some fantastic instrumentation.  The album is sonically original as few albums feature mandolin, violin, banjo and guitar.   No question these instruments and musicians are all amazing and the sound of each instrument is so well played.  At times this album reminds me of Jean Luc Ponty both in approach and in form.

  The SACD was skillfully mastered by Shawn Britton at Mobile Fidelity and he did truely an amazing job.   The clarity here is stunning and no question this is a signature disc and one that you can play to show off your stereo.   But as good as the sound is, I really like the album and all the music.  Marshall does a great version of Lennon and McCartney's "Because" and a fantatsic mandolin interpretation of Bach's Partita in E Major.

  I highly recommend this disc to all loves of music.......regardless of your likes.

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