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Review: Grant Gordy, Grant Gordy

Grant Gordy
Grant Gordy
[Self-released (2010)]

It’s not inconceivable that years from now Grant Gordy’s eponymously titled debut could become a cult classic, one of those rare records worth scouring the country for. The Denver-based/David Grisman Quintet guitarist has crafted such a modern acoustic masterpiece that it brings to mind such titans as Dawg bossman Grisman, Tony Rice, Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, Casey Driessen, and Strength in Numbers. Granted (no pun intended), he’s a splendid, nimble-fingered flatpicker but what’s really on tap here is an impressive array of compositions that span a cerebral gamut of newgrass (“Goodbye Liza Jane”) to frenetic jazz bop (“Digging Hargreaves”) to Django swing (“Motif for Leif”) to even neo-classical. The gorgeous “Blues to Dawg” is Gordy’s successful attempt at writing a Grisman-styled composition; one so good that the father of ‘Dawg’ jazz contributed his signature mandolin playing and later adopted into his Quintet repertoire. As a composer, what stands out are Gordy’s impressionistic, boundless sketches that feature an equally talented ensemble that includes Canadian banjoist Jayme Stone, fiddler Alex Hargreaves (Mike Marshall’s Big Trio/Punch Brothers) and mandolin whiz kid Dominick Leslie. Indeed, there’s never a dull moment with the plethora of virtuosic solos and echoing of melody lines between the various players. The arrangements run deep; they take seed, blossom, flourish wildly and eventually retract, only to germinate the cycle all over again. [www.grantgordy.com]

—Dan Willging (Denver, CO)

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