Thanks to the pioneering work of musicians like the Kronos Quartet and composers like John Zorn if the barriers between the music of academic origin and those of popular roots were finally pulled down with effects that are seen both in concert programs and in the composition of the audience. Among the many groups born after this opening you report this quartet of musicians, students of the prestigious Juilliard School, named Ethel String Quartet, and described as the first string quartet post-American classic.
Founded in 1998 by the violinist Todd Reynolds (replaced in 2005 by Cornelius Dufallo) and Mary Powell (who left the band after recording the last album, replaced by Jennifer Choi), violist Ralph Farris and cellist Dorothy Lawson, the group already has to his credit numerous collaborations with musicians and composers from different backgrounds (including two rock icons such as Joe Jackson and Todd Rundgren, and jazz musicians such as Don Byron, and Muhal Richard Abrams). Only three albums released under his own name, including Heavy , which follows after six previous years, the Light . In music, the quartet merge many of the contemporary avant-garde currents, particularly concentrated in New York, where the group resides and works in conjunction with many of the musicians with whom he collaborates. Just to the Big Apple's new work is dedicated, organized as a tribute to the city and its music through a series of sonic snapshots that illustrate the relationship that links each writer in New York.
Jazz has an important part in this work, thanks to the compositions by Don Byron (who elaborates his conception of black music with a tribute to Marvin Gaye), John Halle (which was inspired by certain themes monkiani) and John King (who faces directly to the roots with a blues). But the swing is also present in the compositions of Raz Mesinai and Kenji Bunch, who in his "String Circle" refers to country and bluegrass mix Bartok with Mark O'Connor.
There is also room for a more relaxed atmosphere as the dreamy "Wed" by David Lang, and conclusive "Rounds" of Brazilian Marcelo Zarvos, closer to some minimalist music, which shows the great adaptability of the musicians of the quartet style different between them, which are always played to perfection.
Overall, we are faced with another beautiful reality of contemporary music, with works like these that seems ever more alive and stimulated, can still plenty of nice surprises in store.