For starters, few can match the sheer genius of Dave Apollon on the mandolin. For decades, he melded pop sensibilities, eastern roots, and an obvious knowledge of traditional American folk musics into something truly unique. And the results are astounding: Apollon could play everything from show tunes to exotica to jazz. These facts make the release of this double-CD anthology so welcomed. Apollon and his crew mixed the '50s kitsch of Mickey Katz, Lawrence Welk, and Lou Monte with the effortless instrumental proficiency of David Grisman (who produced this effort) to create a fun and memorable collection of songs. The sound quality isn't the best, and his later, Hollywood and Vegas-era tunes don't have the punch of his '30s output of standards. Still, if you've had any inkling for a nonbluegrass mandolin CD, this is the one worth buying.
23. Spanish Fantasy