The scope of Grant Gordy's freshman release is ambitious, to say the least. Swinging echoes of Django Reinhardt, dense guitar melodies worthy of Bill Frisell, Doc Watson-inspired flatpicking and counterpoint experiments straight out of a Debussy suite all find a place across the thirteen instrumental tracks. It's a brainy musical mix that requires some careful listening, but the effort is worth it. For the most part, Gordy's cerebral fusion of jazz, blues, folk, world and classical ingredients works. Even at its most intellectual and abstract moments, his guitar playing maintains soul and vitality. It helps that Gordy is supported by a crew of top-notch bluegrass and studio musicians. His combination of musical chops and contagious energy makes slower songs like "Little Grapes" and "Mana Sissoko" bearable while expanding the straightforward bluegrass standard "Goodbye Liza Jane" and deepening the Django-inspired echoes on the swing tribute "Motif for Leif."
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