The notes to this recording make much of its ostensible association with "Jazzgrass." The title of the disc, Wild Rice, is a nod to Tony Rice, one of the founding fathers of the trend to blend jazz and bluegrass. I am not going to go so far as to define this as jazz. I am going to commit that it is a damn fine recording of two very talented and very different guitar players.
Paul Bourdeau wrote nine of the twelve selections on the recording. His playing is contradictory, being both impressionistic and muscular, as are his songs. Shane Simpson, on the other hand, is more finesse-oriented. The most beautiful piece on the disc, "Malcolm’s Manifesto," is his composition, revealing a hopeful sadness that is both poignant and expressive.
Wild Rice, while misrepresented, is a very fine recording. It will appeal to those proponents of David Grisman, Bele Fleck, Tony Rice, Jerry Douglas, and Nickel Creek. This is a super springtime soundtrack.
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