One cannot underestimate the ability of modern bluegrass musicians to explore new territory. If you have any doubt, check out Rob Ickes' new CD. Ickes is used to breaking new ground. If you grow up in the bluegrass hotbed of San Francisco to become the 10-time IBMA dobroist of the year, you know no boundaries. With this breakthrough CD of Dobro and piano duets of jazz standards, Ickes carries on the tradition.
Ickes doesn't just dabble in the genre, he takes it head on. The Dobro's sustain resonates with piano jazz licks like they were made for each other. It sounds like a natural, yet to date only Mr. Ickes and pianist Michael Alvey had the vision to put the two together. Unusual in modern music, but it may well be a first.
Robinella sings several sultry cuts. Her rendition of Hank Williams's You Win Again all but had bar glasses clinking in the background. A fine version of Duke Ellington's Caravan on the same disc speaks to the diversity of influences on the project.
Here's to a new genre; Dobro and piano jazz. Nicely done.