Pizza Tapes

The Pizza Tapes

5.0 2
by Tony Rice
     
 
Jerry Garcia was a pickin' fool. In order to sate his hunger for acoustic music making when he was off the road with the Grateful Dead, the guitarist would head over to his friend David Grisman's house, where Garcia and the master mandolinist would jam the night away, often

Overview

Jerry Garcia was a pickin' fool. In order to sate his hunger for acoustic music making when he was off the road with the Grateful Dead, the guitarist would head over to his friend David Grisman's house, where Garcia and the master mandolinist would jam the night away, often recording the results. THE PIZZA TAPES -- thus named because cassettes of the sessions supposedly were stolen and circulated by a pizza delivery man -- captures music from two nights that found Garcia and Grisman joined by guitar virtuoso Tony Rice. The impromptu results are a wonderful example of how sympathetic and open-eared players can turn spontaneous sounds into unexpected art. Never meant for release, these recordings capture three like-minded pickers trying their hands at favorite tunes, be they from the worlds of folk ("Shady Grove"), American pop song ("Summertime"), jazz ("So What"), country ("Long Black Veil"), rock ("Knocking on Heaven's Door"), or free-form improvisation (the various "appetizers" that dot the album). The mood is loose and playful, the playing serious and satisfying. Where Rice's solos are fleet and perfectly articulated, Garcia's playing is earthy and inventive; Grisman's sparkling mandolin lines are characteristically clean and ever supportive. Garcia's vocals may be a tad ragged, but his heartfelt readings transcend technical limitations. There's also plenty of revealing conversation, recorded mistakes, and delightful kidding around between three guys absolutely delighted to be in each other's company -- the "appetizer" that catches them playing commercial jingles is a particular gem. The last thing on the minds of Garcia, Grisman, and Rice was making music for the ages, but the fact that they did makes THE PIZZA TAPES even more rewarding.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Jerry Garcia and David Grisman released two albums on the latter's Acoustic Disc label during the last years of Garcia's life, and since his death in 1995, Grisman has culled a series of albums from other sessions the two recorded together. Shady Grove (1996) presented traditional folk and country material, while So What (1998) contained jazz compositions. The Pizza Tapes (so named because Garcia' s cassette of the sessions supposedly was stolen by a pizza delivery boy and circulated clandestinely) chronicles two nights worth of sessions that Garcia and Grisman shared with guitarist Tony Rice. The Grisman albums with Garcia have become increasingly informal as he has delved into picking dates that may have been intended as rehearsals or just get-togethers, and The Pizza Tapes carries that trend further. There's lots of conversation (delineated by the five "Appetizer" titles), along with false starts, mistakes, and fragments of songs, and there is some repetition of tunes (though not performances) from previous albums. "Shady Grove" and "Louis Collins" from Shady Grove are here, as is "So What" from So What. But the two guitarists show a genuine rapport as they range from pop/jazz standards like "Summertime" to folk songs like "Man of Constant Sorrow" and folk-rock fare like "Knockin' on Heaven's Door." "I'm having a great time," declares Garcia enthusiastically, and his pleasure comes across. Dead Heads long ago found that Garcia was at his best away from the formal restrictions and pressures of recording, and the same thing seems to hold for the Garcia/Grisman albums. Rice, meanwhile, more than holds his own.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/25/2000
Label:
Acoustic Disc
UPC:
0715949104121
catalogNumber:
41
Rank:
3611

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Pizza Tapes 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
ITCOTKC More than 1 year ago
This CD offers a glimpse of what happens when old friends get ogether and jam on some well known and some lesser known tunes. I thought that the version of "Amazing Grace" was especially poignant.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago