The winners are:
MARCH 12 TRIVIA QUESTION
Let’s talk Tony Rice, but let’s talk about when Tony left bluegrass behind. After playing with JD Crowe and the New South and making the landmark Rounder 0044 LP (featuring “The Old Home Place”), Tony was invited by mandolinist David Grisman to join his new band in California, to play acoustic string JAZZ. Tony moved to California and was immediately confronted with a whole new kind of music – not bluegrass in any way, shape, form or manner!
How was Tony able to play such advanced flat top guitar jazz, contributing mightily to the groundbreaking 1977 LP “The David Grisman Quintet”? Grisman called this new music “Dawg Music”.
A. Tony woodshedded with old Charlie Christian jazz records and figured it out.
B. Tony studied with his hero Clarence White.
C. Tony studied with jazz guitarist John Carlini.
D. Tony “sat in” with Woody Allen’s weekly jazz shows in Manhattan and absorbed the genre.
E. Tony found a jazz guitar teacher in Hollywood – Neil Levang from the Lawrence Welk show.
F. Tony just jumped into jazz “cold” and adapted his style and skills until it worked. Hey, he’s Tony Rice!
G. Tony studied (informally) with Jerry Garcia.
Thankfully Tony returned to bluegrass, but he also continued to play and record jazz with his own band The Tony Rice Unit. (Some of it is pretty far out!)
Additional Bowden Comments
Thanks and congrats to all the players and winners! Good to see the group growing, slowly.
The correct answer was C. John Carlini. John is a well known all purpose musician, arranger, producer, etc around NYC and NJ. He’s a well known jazz guitarist but also plays roots music including bluegrass. There’s a very fine article in the new Bluegrass Unlimited magazine about John and his work with Tony. I submitted this Trivia question BEFORE the new BU arrived in my mailbox. I chuckled at the coincidence. Please read the article. John says he learned as much from Tony as Tony learned from him — particularly Tony’s concepts of “attack” on the guitar strings. I learned from the BU article that John was also the “music director” for the entire David Grisman Quintet!
Answer A about Charlie Christian was thrown in because Charlie was known as one of the first jazz guitarists to really get “chromatic” — using al 12 notes in the scale and throwing in lots of sharps and flats not part of the melody. He’s foundation to jazz guitar I understand.
Answer B is partially right that young Tony Rice knew and hung around a bit with the older Clarence White, and Tony did worship him. Tony was living in California when he was just a kid, and got to see all the West Coast bluegrassers early on.
Answer D about Woody Allen’s weekly jam/performances at a Manhattan club was a red herring. Tony never had anything to do with that as far as I know.
Answer E is correct in that Lawrence Welk employed an excellent jazz guitarist named Neil Levang. Again Tony had nothing to do with him as far as I know.
Answer F was what I thought at the time Tony made the jump to Grisman’s Quintet. I thought he was just genius and super-guitarman enough to do it all on his own. I thought that until I read about John Carlini (decades ago). It actually raised my respect for Tony in that he sought a Teacher.
Answer G was for the DeadHeads, in that Jerry Garcia originally wanted to play banjo with Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys (but chickened out), was friends with David Grisman, lived in the San Fransisco area, and had a unique sort-of-jazz guitar style. No doubt Tony met and picked with him, but there is no record of Tony studying with Garcia.
Again thanks to all the contestants, and keep playing Bluegrass Trivia!
C. Tony studied with John Carlini.
The correct answer to this week’s trivia question is “C” Tony studied with jazz guitarist John Carlini.
Where do I pick up the keys for the brand new car that I must have won? 🙂
Looking at my copy of the Pizza Tapes CD with Jerry Garcia, David Grisman and Tony Rice, I am going to say it is :
G. Tony studied (informally) with Jerry Garcia
BTW there is a nice audio on youtube of Tony Rice and band playing at The Parting Glass in Saratoga and they are joined by the great Frank Wakefield, who has been living there for some time.
I’m going to rule out (d) right off the bat and hedge my bets by picking two: (f) and (g). Tony’s Manzanita album is a pretty good argument that he knew what he was doing.
It’s all music.
The great John Carlini.
Another great player like Grisman, from the North East. Pretty sure NJ
Who’s the other really nice mandolin player,
that used to play with Ben Freed, back in the day at Capulets in Brooklyn, teenage friend of Grisman, who moved out west to help run Acoustic Disc?
His name & the name of that great early 80’s
I’m going with F
B. Studied w/ Clarence White
I’m sorry I can’t answer Mr. Sassano’s question about another mandolin player. Anyone?