Mobile Fidelity - MFSL2-430 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - 821797243018
Numbered Limited Edition - Pressed at RTI
Half Speed Mastered on the Mobile Fidelity The Gain 2 Ultra Analog System
To say highly recommended is an understatement. This is the best LP I have heard this year. Dagogo Review
This is a completely outstanding reissue in every way -- musically, sonically, and pressing/packaging-wise. Most people are probably familiar with the music, which is a beautiful meeting of acoustic Dead and Grismans bluegrass/jazz. The sound quality is stellar
The soundstage is quite wide and deep thanks to hard-panning of Garcia's and Grisman's guitar and mandolin respectively, upfront in opposing channels, while bass and drums stay more centered and discreet deeper back. On the latter, I would have welcomed a bit more bass presence in the equation, and as a consequence the tonal balance is slightly more ascending, treble oriented, and crystaline than the Dead's earthier, warmer, Warner Bros recordings from the early-1970s 5/5 Soundart
Jerry Garcia achieved monumental accomplishments over a prolific career, yet the guitarist never sounded better than on his first official collaboration with longtime friend and fellow instrumental maestro David Grisman. Indeed, contemporary interest in roots music can be directly traced to this stellar Grammy-nominated 1991 collaboration. Putting distinctive rustic spins on pop standards, blues classics, and folk staples, the kindred musical spirits’ earnest authenticity and relaxed intimacy are matched only by virtuosic playing and superb production. As realistic, warm, close-up, and immersive as any acoustic album, Mobile Fidelity’s reissue raises the bar on the meaning of reference-standard.
Mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity’s 180g 2LP of Garcia/Grisman takes a record forever renowned for breathtaking sonics to another level. Originally released on Grisman’s fabled Acoustic Disc label and recorded at his plush studios, the album now sounds even more realistic—with distinctive tones, palpable air, smooth vocals, three-dimensional soundstaging, balanced imaging, and timbral extension that mirror the feeling and experience of hearing live music in a small space.
Unadorned with any post-production tricks or overdubs, Garcia/Grisman breathes with naturalism and presence. You will effortlessly detect the full body of the instruments, witness the woody grain textures, and get lost in the surprisingly velvety qualities of Garcia’s lullaby-like singing. Mobile Fidelity’s meticulous pressing also marks the first time this delightfully joyous affair has been issued in analog form. You will never hear a better-sounding Americana-styled recording.
Pals since the mid-1960s, Garcia and Grisman bonded over their love for traditional folk and bluegrass. The two teamed up amidst what became a gold rush of top-notch productivity and creativity for Garcia. Partnering with bassist Jim Kerwin and percussionist/fiddler Joe Craven, the pair approaches every passage with innate ease, as if either musician could finish the others sentence. The affable chemistry and soothing interplay wash over a selection of songs as notable for their diversity as the way Garcia and “Dawg” turn them into the equivalent of old friends you haven’t seen in years.
Exquisite melodies and jewel-shaped notes decorate the simple, convivial structures of tunes that hop, jump, skip, skitter, and bop. The atmosphere is reminiscent of the legendary gypsy-jazz exchanges between Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, and equally sharp. Swirling with Middle Eastern modality, the closing 16-minute-plus rendition of Grisman’s rippling “Arabia”—complete with a section based on a Cuban fold theme—is alone enough worth the price of admission to this sensational session. But there’s so much more.
The quartet delves into Celtic themes (“Two Soldiers”), jazz-grass (“Grateful Dawg”), old-world ballads (“Russian Lullaby”), and Appalachian flavors (“Walkin’ Boss”) with nonpareil skill and soulfulness. Garcia and Grisman’s tandem picking throughout epitomize sublime. And for many listeners, the duo’s revised version of the Grateful Dead staple “Friend of the Devil” ranks as the finest-ever recorded, the pace patient, the narrative vocals heartfelt, and the synchronous solos tailor-made for the enveloping progression. Better yet, it’s all captured in astonishing fidelity.
Numbered, Limited Edition • 33rpm Speed Edition
• Mastering by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab • Specially Plated and Pressed on 180 grams of High Definition Vinyl
• Special Static Free - Dust Free Inner Sleeve • Heavy Duty Protective Packaging
• Mastered from the Original Master Tapes • Pressed at RTI
Jerry Garcia and David Grisman Garcia/Grisman Track Listing:
1. The Thrill Is Gone
2. Grateful Dawg
3. Two Soldiers
4. Friend of the Devil
5. Russian Lullaby
6. Dawg’s Waltz
7. Walkin’ Boss
8. Rockin’ Chair
GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ is a proprietary cutting system built and designed by legendary design genius Tim De Paravicini, with consultation from one of MFSL’s founding fathers – Stan Ricker, an audio engineer responsible for many of MFSL’s most heralded past releases.
The GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system is comprised of a Studer™ tape machine with customized reproduction electronics* and handcrafted cutting amps that drive an Ortofon cutting head on a restored Neumann VMS-70 lathe. (*It is worth noting that independent studies have confirmed that the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system can unveil sonic information all the way up to 122kHz!)
First and foremost, we only utilize first generation original master recordings as source material for our releases. We then play back master tapes at half speed enabling the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system to fully extract the master’s sonic information. Our lacquers are then plated in a specialized process that protects transients in the musical signal. (Due to this process, there may be occasional pops or ticks inherent in initial play back, but as the disc is played more, a high quality stylus will actually polish the grooves and improve the sound). We further ensure optimum sound quality by strictly limiting the number of pressings printed for each release. These limited editions, in addition to being collectors’ items, ensure that the quality of the last pressing matches the quality of the first.
As you can imagine, all these efforts involve a tremendous amount of time, technology, cost and effort. The introduction of GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ maintains Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab’s position as the world’s leading audiophile record label, where a passion for music with extraordinary sound quality matters most.