Mandolin masters Chris Thile and Mike Marshall share their talent and abundant spontaneous wit in a live concert/recital setting on Live Duets. These two performers turn in a true tour-de-force that will make you forget any preconceived notions you may have about the stereotypes or limitations of these acoustic instruments. To say this disc absolutely rocks is an understatement - it furiously boils.
Thile is the former child prodigy who recorded his first album at the age of 12 and is now barely in his 20s. His success with his band Nickel Creek, which included a performance at the Grammy Awards, has been astounding. Of Thile the Chicago Tribune said, "To say Thile is as staggering a talent as has ever come out of bluegrass would be too limiting." They were right.
Marshall is not only an accomplished mandolin player, but also a skilled guitarist and violinist as well. He has recorded and performed with some of the world’s true heavyweights, including Stephane Grappelli, Mark O’Connor, Bela Fleck, David Grisman and Joshua Bell.
Thile and Marshall have been working together for a few years now and the fruits of their association pay extended dividends in this recording. From the first note of "Shoulda Seen It Comin’" to the last note of "Tanja," these virtuoso musicians do more than just display the wares of their work, they exhilarate, invigorate and stimulate each other to new heights I’m sure they didn’t even know they could achieve.
As one would expect with acoustic instruments that don’t have a lot of sustaining ability, most of the music is up-tempo and furious. They rip off lines like nobody’s business on "Carpathian Mt. Breakdown" that will make you hit the reverse button often in astonishment and delight. Fast and furious, however, is not everything this group is about. Their taste and style is most evident on "Shoulda." Trading lines and then playing in unison, these musicians mix elegance and grace in equally measured doses before building their solos into surprising territories. For a change of pace the nicely textured "I’d Go Back If I Could" is as sweet as sweet can be. Don’t miss this one.