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David Royko Psy.D


Tony Trischka, Jayme Stone, CD reviews

CHICAGO TRIBUNE


Tony Trischka: Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular

(Rounder)

Jayme Stone: The Utmost (jaymestone.com)


It was no accident that Tony Trischka became Bela

Fleck’s teacher--by the time the student sought him

out for tutelage in the 1970s, Trischka had already

become the major figure in the world of progressive

banjo. Since then, through a series of solo albums, he

has explored the roots of the instrument all the way

back to Africa and fronted a rocking electric band.

His latest is aptly titled Double Banjo Bluegrass

Spectacular, that last word being, if anything, an

understatement. Paired with Fleck, Earl Scruggs, Steve

Martin (yes, the comic/actor), Alison Brown, Noam

Pikelny, Scott Vestal, Kenny Ingram, Tom Adams, and

Bill Emerson, and backed by bands that include pickers

like Sam Bush and Chris Thile, this

mostly-instrumental album is a stunner, anchored by

bluegrass but stretching well into newgrass territory,

with “Twilight Kingdom,” featuring Fleck, standing as

perhaps the most spectacular of all. Newcommer Jayme

Stone is a banjoist who has learned well the lessons

of Trischka and Fleck, and has come up with a

distinctive approach to newgrass. What sets him apart,

besides his fine composing, is Stone’s use of trumpet

and English horn in his ensemble. The slightly

introspective quality of Stone’s group on “Tungsten,”

with Kevin Turcotte’s tasty yet understated trumpet,

is reminiscent of moody jazz masterpieces like Booker

Little’s Out Front, about as far from bluegrass as

Kentucky is from New York.

David Royko

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