With this sparsely yet intricately arranged and fascinating collection by two of the world's greatest mandolin players, Adventure Music continued to live up to its name in the early 2000s as one of the world's top purveyors of world (with a special emphasis on Brazilian) music. Meeting when they were both artists in residence at a mandolin festival in Lunel, France, Mike Marshall and Hamilton de Holanda quickly overcame the obvious cultural and language barriers to realize a shared sense of musical and geographic boundary breaking. Well known for his work with David Grisman
, St�phane Grappelli
and B�la Fleck, among others, Marshall taps magically into his bluegrass roots on spirited tracks like "Blackberry Blossom" and Fleck's "Big Country." Yet the real focus of this work is the fun he and de Holanda -- one of the leading figures of Brazilian instrumental music by the age of 30 -- create on brisk Brazilian pieces like the seductive and snappy opening track "Recita de Samba" and "Brejeiro," which blends melodic strumming with percussive tapping on the strings. Their lightning quick repartee and plucky energy on this song and de Holanda's bubbly composition "Pra Siempre" dare the eager listener to keep up. Amid the gleeful madness there are more reflective and heartfelt moments, like de Holanda's "Valsa Em Si," which add some mood variation. Marshall contributes two sweeping pieces of his own in the seven-minute plus epics "Egypt" and exotic (and slightly autobiographical) "Ham & Mike." The set includes a bonus DVD featuring live video footage of three of the songs.