Into the Cauldron

Into the Cauldron

4.0 1
by Chris Thile, Mike Marshall
     
 

Sharing a love of collaboration, lyricism, and challenging instrumental dialogue, mandolin virtuosos Chris Thile and Mike Marshall merge their talents on Into the Cauldron, a scintillating collection of originals and covers. Thile, of newgrass up-and-comers Nickel Creek, and Marshall, from the See more details below

Overview

Sharing a love of collaboration, lyricism, and challenging instrumental dialogue, mandolin virtuosos Chris Thile and Mike Marshall merge their talents on Into the Cauldron, a scintillating collection of originals and covers. Thile, of newgrass up-and-comers Nickel Creek, and Marshall, from the Modern Mandolin Quartet, push each other's stylistic boundaries on this multilayered instrumental disc, which finds them rethinking everything from song structure to melody lines on Charlie Parker's "Scrapple from the Apple" and Bach's "Goldberg Variations," engaging one another in musical tête-à-têtes that spotlight both the tenderness and the feistiness in their fretwork. The two play the beautiful twin melody lines in the traditional "Fisher's Hornpipe" flawlessly and at breathtaking speed, sacrificing none of the soulful tune's feeling. A more adventurous journey, Thile's self-penned "Stranded in Kodiak" can be heard in movements, starting with a delicate opening stanza that gives way to a frenzied middle section of insistent single-note cries and the howl of hammered chords, before a final, peaceful passage of lightly strummed chords resolves the drama. "Something Quite Trifling," co-written by Marshall and Thile, is anything but, as one picker responds to the other's graceful, darting solo with an equally brazen flight up and down the neck, while throwing in an attention-getting quote from the evergreen pop song "Lover Come Back to Me." It pays to listen closely throughout, as the pair have made sure to keep the background nuances as intriguing as the solos. Into the Cauldron demands repeated listening and pays off bountifully.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jesse Jarnow
On Into the Cauldron, mandolinists Mike Marshall and Chris Thile weave a vision of stunning precision. Both are extremely articulate players, and their instruments wrap around each other, each note sounding clearly and beautifully. In terms of material, the album is fairly typical post-David Grisman/Béla Fleck fare -- a mix of genre-spliced original material, jazz standards ("Scrapple from the Apple"), classical arrangements ("The Goldberg Variations [Var. #1]"), and world influences ("Desvairada"). The duo excels in their arrangements, using two mandolins (and, sometimes, a mandolin and mandocello) to create a full and rich sound. In terms of pretty much everything but the execution, the album might seem like textbook 21st century "newgrass." But the execution is everything, and the record is well worth hearing. The album is capped by a beautifully harmonic-only reading of the traditional "Shamrock Shore," which seems to consolidate all of their technical achievements into a piece of ethereal perfection.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/13/2003
Label:
Sugarhill
UPC:
0015891396729
catalogNumber:
3967
Rank:
185050

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