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Tone Poems

4.5 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 7, 1994
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Editorial Reviews

TONE POEMS
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 7, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Acoustic Disc
  • ASIN: B000003915
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,608 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Pharoah S. Wail VINE VOICE on January 14, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This cd has not been well received here I see. The explanantion? The explanation is that on this cd David and Tony step away from high-speed burns on the fretboard and they choose to play great classics from the traditional American repertoire as well as David's own compositions.

There are a hundred cds on which to find Tony and David sizzling off hotter solos, and to fault this cd for not being another cd like that is a mistake. They have both certainly played "faster" elsewhere, but you'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere where they play "prettier" than David does on MILL VALLEY WALTZ, or than Tony does on I AM A PILGRIM. This cd has one of my favorite versions of Bill Monroe's classic WATSON BLUES, and the traditional American songs GOOD OLD MOUNTAIN DEW and WILDWOOD FLOWER have never sounded better.

The liner notes could hardly be considered "so exhaustive that only the most dedicated reader can get through them". There are one or two paragraphs explaining the history of each vintage instrument that appears on this cd. The notes are even split up, with the guitar Tony plays always being on the left of the booklet, and David's mandolin from the same track always being on the right of the booklet.

Ever since this cd originally came out I have considered it to be one of their essential albums, and these two have many great albums out there. I easily prefer TONE POEMS over TONE POEMS 2.
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Format: Audio CD
David Grisman and Tony Rice are two of the best musicians playing today, and "Tone Poems" proves that this is no idle claim. Yes, the CD has a theme: play vintage-sounding tunes on vintage instruments; and yes, it comes with a 39-page booklet. Before this CD, I never paid any attention to the actual instruments played, but I do now! The booklet is likely to be most useful to musicologists and guitar/mandolin afficionados, but even a cross-fingered tone-deaf dolt like me can appreciate the instruments' beauty and diversity.
Most of the tunes are Grisman originals with an authentic old-time flavor. While most tunes are traditional folk songs, styles range from bluesy (Watson's Blues) to jazz (Django Reinhardt's Swing '42) to that mandolin classic, O Solo Mio.
Don't expect blazing finger work up and down the fretboard, although this CD offers that too. This music is less like a frantic trip down the freeway and more like a quiet early morning stroll down a country road. Wouldn't you rather be there right now?
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Format: Audio CD
I have been a fan of the music of David Grisman and Tony Rice for more than twenty years. The first time I heard them perform together was on Grisman's 1979 album Hot Dawg and Rice was the band's guitarist. On this outing, it's just Grisman (mandolin) and Rice (guitar) doing what they do best. They are two of the best practioners of their craft on their respective instruments. [If you want to adjust yor speakers, Rice plays through the left speaker and Grisman the right.] Their objective, however, is not to dazzle you with their speed--although they do at times--but rather "redirect some of the attention being paid to vintage guitars and mandolins back to their musical values" as Grisman points out in the liner notes.
The music can be reflective ("The Prisoner's Waltz"), playful ("Good Old Mountain Dew") or invigorating ("Sing '42"), but it's all played with style and taste. There's an informal, front porch feel to the music here and it all makes for enjoyable listening. Sit back and enjoy! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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Format: Audio CD
The whole idea sounded kind of gimmicky, but I bought it because I'm a Tony Rice fan who had become intrigued with the mandolin. I guess I expected that I'd listen to it once and then it would disappear into the dust-gathering depths of my CD collection. Even after the first listen I sort of still felt that way. But I've been going back to it more and more. This is beautiful music. The more I listen to this CD the more I like it. My favorites tunes here are Wildwood Flower (you'll want to take up the mandolin after listening to that one), Turn of the Century, Dawg After Dark, and Morning Sun.

I noticed a few other reviewers complaining that Tony and Dawg don't reer back let er rip on this disc. I'm not sure what they mean, unless they're complaining that the music is played at less than furious tempos. If so, this seems a silly criticism. There's certainly some improvising going on, though the solos aren't long. But the emphasis is on musicality rather than raw speed.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have had this CD for several years and listen to it often. It is superb music. I have seen David Grisman in person and he is an excellent performer. This CD is the kind you can intently listen to (which I normally do with all music) or you can put it on for dinner music (which we occasionally do.) I would recommend this to anyone who loves good acoustic music. I have just ordered Tone Poems Vol. 2 and Tone Poems III based on the quality of this CD. Buy it; you'll love it.
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Format: Audio CD
Some reviews of this are correct when they say there aren't any mind-blowing solos (though Rice does let loose a little in "Sam-Bino"). The music is indeed sweet, though. What's most interesting for me, though, is the clear differences in sound. I'm not much of a mandolin fan, so I can't tell an enormous difference there. The guitars, though, are almost shockingly different in their tones. With the extensive liner notes, it all adds up to a great CD.
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