David Grisman - The David Grisman Rounder Record (1976)

David Grisman is an American mandolin player.
David Grisman grew up in New Jersey. He started music early, orginally playing both piano and sax, before he discovered folk music in the late 50s and took up the mandolin, quickly becoming something of a virtuoso. By the 60s he was in New York and part of the Greenwich Village folk scene. He joined the Even Dozen Jug Band in 1963, and was also in the band of bluegrass musician Red Allen. By 1967 he was in the progressively minded rock group Earth Opera (with Peter Rowan). After their breakup he moved to San Francisco, where he befriended Jerry Garcia, and guested on The Grateful Dead's American Beauty album. In 1973 and 1974 he was in two high-profile bluegrass supergroups, Muleskinner and Old And In The Way, the latter with Garcia, and both with Rowan again.
His debut solo album eventually came out in 1976, on Rounder Records. The David Grisman Rounder Record (re-titled The David Grisman Rounder Compact Disc on later re-issues) was recorded with a high-profile cast of bluegrass musicians, with the lineup of Grisman (mandolin), Vassar Clements (violin), Tony Rice (guitar), Bill Keith (banjo), Jerry Douglas (dobro) and Todd Phillips (bass). The vocals were handled by Grisman and Rice with Ricky Skaggs (who also played some extra violin on some songs). Stylistically, it was mostly straight bluegrass, but certain experimental numbers hinted at something more, stretching out into sophisticated and complex jazz-influenced jams. Indeed Grisman was never content with just playing traditional bluegrass, and later came to be known for his unique fusion of bluegrass and jazz. The beginnings of that sound can be found here, an excellent progressive bluegrass album with some splendid instrumental chops from start to finish.

|> The David Grisman Quintet (1977)
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