David Royko had a nice feature on Andy Statman in yesterday’s edition of The Chicago Tribune. It was written primarily to preview and promote a Statman show in Chicago on February 5, but includes an overview of his music career, and highlights the two disparate styles of music that pull at his heartstrings.
Statman first came to prominence as a mandolinist who, while schooled in bluegrass, was pushing the envelope of the music’s outer edges in the 1970s. At the same time, he was immersed in the study of klezmer music on the clarinet. It is a rare combination, and rarer still to find a musician who can be widely recognized as a virtuoso in both styles, and on both instruments.
“Andy Statman is one of the greatest mandolinists of this–or any–era, and has been a hero of mine for decades,” says jazz mandolinist Don Stiernberg. “He thinks at the speed of light and can play whatever he thinks of. As an improviser he is fearless, and his musical vocabulary has no limitations. Andy really pulls everything together–technical mastery in service of spirit-driven music, highly personal musical statements stemming from thorough knowledge of traditions. Everyone should hear him play, not just those interested in the mandolin or various styles of music he’s associated with. There’s no one else like him and his depth and unique approach are something to behold.”
Read the full article on the Tribune site.