David Grisman and his Acoustic Oasis label have just released a digital Deluxe Edition of his classic Tone Poems album, recorded as a set of instrumental duets with Tony Rice in 1993.
This was a concept project at the time, designed as an audiophile recording celebrating the unique sonic qualities of nearly three dozen vintage instruments, primarily from the 1920s and ’30s.
The songs were chosen for their simple melodies, and the arrangements were intentionally sparse, free from the sort of hot picking that had attracted fans to these two’s music in the decade prior. Some voiced disappointment initially, before recognizing that the album was more about the guitars and mandolins than the performers.
Tone Poems’ popularity spawned two later records, one with David exploring acoustic jazz with Martin Taylor on guitar, and another the vintage resonator guitar with Mike Auldridge and Bob Brozman.
People who have followed Grisman’s career closely will know of his reputation as an acoustic purist, and of his disdain for the sort of audio compression used in creating MP3 and CD format files. Like a good many “old school” recordists, the old Dawg wants to deliver his music as closely as possible to how it sounds live – or in the studio.
So for this Deluxe Edition, he has created a new digital master from the original analog tapes, captured in the high definition audio format (24 bit at 96K). He’s also added six new tracks that were not included on the ’94 release: three alternate takes and three additional songs.
It is being offered for download sale, only from the Acoustic Disc web site, where it is available in MP3 ($8.95), FLAC ($10.95), and HI-DEF FLAC ($12.95).
More details and a pair of audio samples can be found online.