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Matt Flinner Quartet: Walking On the Moon

While certain instruments just seem to have an innate beauty to them-the piano and the saxophone come to mind-others don’t have it quite so easy. That being said, the mandolin, because of its treble-heavy sound, to me was always an instrument that needed to prove itself. It has done so before in the hands of David Grisman and Sam Bush, and now once again in the hands of Matt Flinner.

Walking on the Moon, the new release from the Matt Flinner Quartet, provides a showcase not only for Flinner’s incredible chops but also for his thoughtful and sometimes quirky compositions. His technical wizardry is on display from the opening track, “Men From Boise,” and as is the case throughout most of the tunes, Flinner’s jazz sensibility and phrasing are unmistakable. Other uptempo tunes such as “Exfoliator” and “Walk the Plank” build off of the energy set forth in the opener, and they are well balanced by slower, more nuanced tunes such as “Ice Queen” and guitarist Gawain Mathews’ “Troubled Sleep.”

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