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Walking On The Moon

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 11, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

After two acclaimed albums of bluegrass-laced acoustic explorations and following on the heels of his extended stint with Leftover Salmon, award-winning mandolin player Matt Flinner finds a striking new framework for his formidable instrumental improvisational gifts on the Matt Filnner Quartet. Fusing elements of jazz, funk and blugrass into an accessibly yet original hybrid, the Matt Flinner Quartet is a rare band that must be heard.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 11, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Compass Records
  • ASIN: B000087DRS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #480,404 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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Compositionally mature, this project is the fusion (pun intended) of acoustic mandolin and sophisticated electric guitar. Backed by electric bass and drums, Flinner struts his stuff and evokes tight ensemble comradery in this edgy environment. Bluegrass it ain't. Tasty... it is.
Their arrangement of the tradtional jazz standard "Caravan" is deliciously insane. This one redefines what a mandolin can do.
In ANY environment.
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I have always respected Bela Fleck as a banjo player, and he has been impressive playing straight bluegrass, progressive bluegrass, and completely unclassifiable work that incorporates everything from jazz to classical. However, I have never been a big fan of the Flecktones. The concept of a hybrid of bluegrass, jazz, and funk in a jam-band format is appealing, but the synthesized drums and the too-clean horns give the Flecktones an almost smooth-jazz feel. I realize that it is borderline heresy to make such an accusation, but that is just how the Flecktones sound to me-- better in concept than in execution. However, Matt Flinner takes the same basic concept and runs with it here, to much greater success.

The format is a slightly odd quartet: Flinner on mandolin, along with bass, drums and electric guitar. Flinner's secret weapon on this album is guitarist Gawain Mathews, who may be familiar to some for his occasional work with Tony Furtado. Mathews is a fusion-influenced guitarist whose tone recalls John Abercrombie and John Scofield. Combine that with the set list on this album and it sounds like a recipe for another Flecktones-style fusion that runs the risk of approaching smoothness. However, this album rocks harder than anything the Flecktones can pull off, largely because of the brilliant interaction between Flinner and Mathews. Nothing demonstrates the potential of this band like the third track. Gawain and the rhythm section lay down the rhythm from The Meters' Cissy Strut, and then Flinner plays the melody from the Ellington classic, Caravan, on top. It sounds like it would be cheesy, but it isn't. It just grooves, like the rest of the album.
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In this album, Matt Flinner proves his ability to even further break down the unhelpful stereotypes of the mandolin. But not only has Flinner successfully crossed a vast expanse of musical and cultural boundaries, he has found a common ground between two worlds of music, creating something that someone from either side of this musical spectrum between bluegrass and funk/jazz can appreciate and admire. It is certainly a treasure to find such an album without a trace of condescension, only a focus on making "good" music. And that's what it is. Darn good music too!
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