de man ia (de Grassi, Manring, Garcia Trio)
“de man ia”
Michael Manring needs no introduction here, obviously. However, I felt myself humbled. Before popping this in, I thought I knew exactly what to expect. I expected to be wowed with the technical prowess and pure capabilities of the players, but I didn’t expect it to be necessarily iPod material (don’t get me wrong.. I adore Manring (and also believe him to be one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever met). I’m humbled by his music and abilities but it’s never been exactly what I listen to in the car. It’s what I listen to.. to check out Michael!). This CD is different.
First.. Alex de Grassi and Christopher Garcia are absolutely phenomenal! de Grassi is every bit an interesting player as Michael in every way. Simply beautiful and very inventive (with a killing tone!). Garcia is a dream percussionist. Great tone, versatility and a masterful ear for placement and dynamic.
The trio does not “feature” anyone, but rather, features the trio and the music. Each member has a distinct voice and a masterful approach and (most importantly to me) the whole of the trio never overpowers the music. When I come across trios like this (3 virtuosos collaborating) I often find, to my dismay, that in an attempt to really showcase the band, the music takes a back-seat. NOT so here.
These guys have put this music first and foremost and therefore have developed some of the most “musical” music I’ve heard in some time (if you know what I mean?). This is the best group effort I’ve ever heard with Michael. The music is inventive, but never over-the-top or “for musicians only”. The playing is spectacular. I’m a BIG fan of the bass/guitar/percussion trio (side note: if you haven’t yet, check out Marc Johnson’s “Right Brain Patrol” and Dave Holland/Eubanks/Cinelu’s “World Trio”… NOW). If you like that stuff, you’ll LOVE this.
Just incredible. I almost forgot how wonderful Manring can be within the context of a group. And this is far and away my favorite Manring recording to date!!