John Renbourn/Stefan Grossman: The Three Kingdoms


Format: Audio / Video | Recorded Performance
"This is the fourth recorded collaboration between acoustic guitarists John Renbourn and Stefan Grossman, recorded in 1987 and produced by Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones. As on its three predecessors, the appeal lies in the contrast between Renbourn's traditional British folk style and Grossman's jazz and folk-blues leanings. Ideally, as on 'Rites of Passage' and 'Keeper of the Vine,' Renbourn concentrates on an intricate, folk-based pattern that Grossman decorates with bluesy embellishments. The two have a previously expressed interest in adapting jazz classics to their two-guitar approach, and they do so here on the standard 'Round About Midnight,' then recall their earlier work on tunes by the late Charles Mingus with the mournful 'Farewell to Mr. Mingus.' Since they play differently, their guitar lines can be identified and appreciated separately even when they are intermingling." – All Music Guide

Many acoustic guitarists probably have some degree of acquaintance with the work of John Renbourn and Stefan Grossman, but for the unfamiliar, here's a short history: In the 1970s Stefan toured regularly, sometimes on double-bills with Renbourn. Fate stepped in when, through a promoter's error, it was advertised that these two legends-in-the-making would be performing guitar duets. Though they hadn't worked as a duo before, the guitarists decided to give it a go, and the seeds were planted for a series of fantastic duet albums. The playing on this album as well as Under The Volcano and their eponymous debut, is a fascinating melting pot of European and American musical styles, and the pair achieves a sound as elegant as it is expansive. Though their individual contributions to the world of guitar playing had been weighty before their partnership, these duet albums serve to take both guitarists' playing to new heights, and their enduring compositions still sound fresh today.
Published on: 07 March 2012
Language: English
Catalogue No: SGGW149