Flinner’s musical résumé impressive | AspenTimes.com
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Flinner’s musical résumé impressive

Stewart Oksenhorn

Having only just passed the 30-year mark, Matt Flinner’s résumé has become unwieldy in its size.Flinner, a Rocky Mountain native born in Pueblo and raised in Salt Lake City, was a childhood banjo prodigy, playing bluegrass festivals before hitting his teens and winning the banjo contest at Winfield, Kan. in 1990.Switching to mandolin, Flinner went on to join the funk-grass quartet Sugarbeat; become part of the Judith Edelman Band, playing on and producing Edelman’s recent “Drama Queen” CD; and co-found the acoustic trio Phillips, Grier & Flinner. His debut CD under his own name, 1998’s “The View From Here,” earned glowing reviews.Flinner continues to climb to the top rung of acoustic players in Nashville, which he now calls home. His new CD, “Latitude,” features the mandolinist playing with the cream of bluegrass instrumentalists: bassist Todd Phillips, guitarist David Grier, fiddlers Stuart Duncan and Darol Anger, and dobroist Jerry Douglas.Through the set of self-written tunes, Flinner and company make a strong contribution to the modern acoustic music – a combination of bluegrass, folk, Celtic and jazz ideas – that has been created by the likes of Béla Fleck, Mike Marshall, Tony Furtado and others.Flinner performs with his group – electric guitarist Gawain Mathews, bassist Sam Bevin, and drummer Brian McRae – tonight at Hannibal Brown’s.The playing on “Latitude” is routinely exquisite. Flinner steps up right away on the opening title track, playing fast, well-articulated mandolin runs on the uptempo tune. On “Sam I Am,” the group gets into an old-timey swing groove, with outstanding fiddle playing by Anger. “New Cimarron” shows Flinner’s versatility, as he begins with a quieter approach to his mandolin; “Altitude,” a more spacious tune, further shows the range of ideas here.


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