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The Pizza Tapes

71 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 25, 2000
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$13.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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The Pizza Tapes + Grisman & Garcia + Shady Grove
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Legend has it that a pizza delivery boy lifted Jerry Garcia's cassette tape of two evenings' worth of jam sessions between guitar virtuosos Garcia and Tony Rice, and it's been making the rounds of underground trading circles ever since! And its first legit release lives up to the Dead collector hype: Jerry sings for the only known time the tunes Long Black Veil; House of the Rising Sun, and Man of Constant Sorrow , while the three jam out on So What and Summertime .

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Chances are, the most devoted fans of these three musicians have heard these tunes before, thanks to the crafty pizza-delivery boy who filched the tapes from Garcia's kitchen soon after they were recorded in 1993. That said, the warm, intimate performances here are very much worth an official CD release. The sessions came about when Tony Rice was in Northern California to record the delightful duet-collection Tone Poems with David Grisman. Garcia stopped by to hang out and jam with his old buddy Grisman and with Rice, one of his guitar idols. The disc retains all of the joy and spontaneity you'd expect from such an informal setting--Grisman even elected to leave in the between-song banter, which mostly consists of genuine overflowing mutual praise. The music itself, primarily traditional folk songs, is quite engaging thanks to Garcia's affecting, soulful, pained vocals and to the picking of all three. The contrast in flat-picking-guitar styles makes for an interesting combination: while Rice is technically superb, marvelously quick, and of remarkably clarion tone, Garcia is much more emotional and visceral, feeling his way along. There are a handful of exploratory, off-the-cuff jams that add to the impulsive nature of the whole project. Had the threesome actually intended this to be released, it probably wouldn't have the appeal it does, for this is the product of friends and music lovers, not recording artists. --Marc Greilsamer

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 25, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Acoustic Disc
  • ASIN: B00004SBZ6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,085 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Eddie Finn on April 25, 2000
Format: Audio CD
David Grisman succeeds once again in his effort to capture high-quality acoustic music, jam-session style. This is a very cozy, intimate recording, with quite a bit of the friendly between-songs banter preserved.
Of particular interest is Rice's playing; jazzy chords and dancing leads wrapped around the melody played by Grisman and Garcia. Tony's playing adds so much color and complexity to these arrangements - compare this CD's rendition of "Shady Grove" to the version of "Shady Grove" on Grisman and Garcia's previous release (also titled "Shady Grove").
Jerry sings in his incredibly endearing Teddy Bear voice on all the vocal tracks - some say Jerry's voice is an acquired taste, if so I've acquired it. No vocals by Tony, who I believe at the time of this recording was still able to sing. David's playing, as always, is at times ornamental, at times a driving force, and ever tasteful.
There's a lot of sadness here. Jerry's gone. Tony doesn't sing anymore. And the song selection ("Man of Constant Sorrow", a stately, mournful rendition of "Amazing Grace", etc.) adds to the low-key vibe. But somehow, ultimately, this is a joyful recording - for instance, check out the interplay on Miles Davis' "So What". I'd recommend this one to those who enjoy acoustic music, traditional tunes, and expert musicianship.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Pharoah S. Wail VINE VOICE on May 30, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Is this an "album" where everything is precise and calculated? No. Is this as good and fun and intimate as a first-and-only-time recorded meeting between friends and acquaintances who just happen to be high-caliber (make that legendary) acoustic-picking musicians can be? Yes.
The music is fun and loose and as is the ACOUSTIC DISC way, the recording quality is absolutely perfect. It's quite interesting to hear the stylistic differences of Rice and Garcia side-by-side like this. Tony is definitely the better rhythm guitarist but both men display great personality and tone during their lead-guitar playing. Tony still had his voice when this was recorded but Jerry does all the singing.
Since some of you may have young children I decided to also say that Grisman left some of the chatting and fooling around that happens between the songs. As anyone who has seen Tony Rice in concert or has read interviews with Jerry Garcia knows, they aren't above using the occasional curse word. I just thought I'd let some of you know that so you can scan the disk for the spots where the "F" word pops up before your kids find it. I hope that doesn't stop anyone from buying this cd. It is an excellent, intimate snapshot of three friends enjoying life and the music they played makes us the true winners! Whether you're a fan of one or of all these guys you'll really find a lot to love about this cd. David Grisman once again releases a winner (and plays beautifully).
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD
So, you don't own The Pizza Tapes yet? Well, what are you waiting for? A great album by some of music's best. Those familiar with Garcia, Grisman, and Rice will know what I mean. I came to enjoy folk and acoustic music through my love of the Dead and Garcia, and I will always have Jerry to thank for that.
This, like previous Garcia/Grisman releases, showcases the great rapport between the two, and Rice is a welcome addition. They all move beautifully through these tracks, weaving a tapestry of music you will be hard pressed to not absolutely love. I mean you will dig this music. Not all folk like on Shady Grove either, they go to many different places here.
I was going to cite my favorite tracks, but realized that I would have to list them all. The jams are superb, reason enough to purchase the disk. And the conversations and interplay between the three that Grisman included are a welcome addition.
If you love the Dead, buy this cd. If you love JGB, buy this cd. If you love Grisman, buy this cd. If you love Rice, buy this cd. If you love music, buy this cd. You won't be disappointed.
I'll shut up now. Add to shopping cart.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "rainbowcrow" on August 7, 2000
Format: Audio CD
It's almost eerie - something's just not right about this record. It shouldn't be possible to produce a record at once so rich in sound quality and so warmly intimate and spontaneous in tone. Yet somehow, Grisman pulled it off, and the result is one of the best recordings I've heard in a very long time. For me, this record is the essence of music - three people kicking back, laughing, and making music together for their own pleasure. The joy and the electricity in the atmosphere are extraordinary, and extraordinarily well-captured on tape. I could go on and on with the superlatives, but instead let me comment briefly on the contents of recording.
First, the "appetizers," i.e., the bits of between-song banter included on the disc: I personally don't find these distracting in the least - rather, they set the tone and make me feel as if I'm sitting right there in the living room, laughing and playing and having a wonderful time. Thank goodness that Grisman decided to leave these on the album.
Second, there some incredible gems on this record. The first two cuts are good, and then the record really starts taking off. Shady Jam and Shade Grove are stunning. Long Black Veil is a kick, and Little Sadie is an unexpected treat. So What is a joy. The only weak track - and it is only weak in comparison with the high standard set by the rest of the record - is the rather uninspired version of Drifting too far From the Shore.
In conclusion, the previous Garcia/Grisman release, Shady Grove, was a very enjoyable record coving similar terrain. But as good as Shady Grove was, for me, The Pizza Tapes takes it to a whole new level. What a treasure!
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