Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, Stuart Duncan
"The Goat Rodeo Sessions" (CD)

In 1999 Edgar Meyer released "Short Trip Home," an album of his unique blend of jazz and bluegrass music with Mike Marshall, Sam Bush and the classical superstar Joshua Bell.  In my mind, for this new generation of genre-bending acoustic musicians, "Short Trip" and 1996's "Appalachian Waltz" were high-water marks that benefited from a combination of virtuosity, song-writing and mass appeal.

Ever since then all of the musicians involved have busied themselves with other projects (Nickel Creek,  the Silk Road Ensemble) but have consistently found time to record together.  None of these projects really got very high above the horizon (for a myriad of reasons, I'm sure) until now.  "Goat Rodeo" (2011) is a return to the kind of star-powered virtuosic pyromania that proves irresistible to music-lovers, regardless of their pedigree. It is doubtless that this album will be recalled fondly in the upcoming rewards season.

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