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Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, Tony Rice

The Pizza Tapes – 2000 (Acoustic Disc)

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

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CDs by Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, Tony Rice

Legend has it that a pizza delivery boy "lifted" a cassette of these historic 1993 jam sessions from Jerry Garcia's kitchen counter, ultimately leading to their commercial release by David Grisman.

A recording featuring these three musical icons in an informal setting, how can this recording be anything but good? With Rice's virtuoso guitar work, Grisman's stellar mandolin playing, alongside Garcia's vocals and workman-like guitar, this is as good as advertised.

Songs include lots of traditional favorites, "Rosalie McFall," "Little Sadie," "Shady Grove" and "Louis Collins," country standards like "Always Late" and "Long Black Veil" and even a fine version of Bob Dylan's "Knocking on Heaven's Door." Between the songs are what Grisman has called, "Appetizers," or short segments of live banter (some even labeled "spicy") among the players, which really adds to the intimate nature of the recording.

This is truly a fun CD. Rather than a highly produced recording, this is essentailly a live acoustic jam session between three musical friends, complete with some stops and re-starts on certain songs. The music is great, and the album is packaged in a way that makes you feel that you are really listening to something special.