When Robert Wolf, Mulo Francel, D. D. Lowka and Heinz-Ludger Jeromin (his place has since been taken by Andreas Hinterseher) were commissioned to write a film score little did they know that fate would play a hand in that meeting. Having completed the assignment, the four found that there was chemistry between them. They decided to put that to advantage and out of that sprung Quadro Nuevo in 1996.
Quadro Nuevo plays a heady blend of world music and jazz. It often goes into the past to wax nostalgic, turning it around with some jazz harmony, and in doing so, find inspiration in the tango, the waltz, bossa nova, flamenco, and folk music. On this CD, the group delves into the world of movie themes and come up with a treasure trove that is downright enchanting.
The music spans a wide gallery of international films. The selection gives the quartet an opportunity to showcase its masterful command of an array of styles.
"La Srada" is an eloquent ballad abetted by Evelyn Huber's harp. Jeromin opens the melody on accordion with a rich saturation of notes, as Wolf adds a gentle cascade on guitar. The melody then breaks into the upbeat, and the finger-snapping pulse it races into high gear to complete the hypnotic weave.
Francel waltzes in on the "Main Theme" from Zwei in Einer Grossen Stadt (1942). His improvisation extends the borders of the tune, setting the tone for Wolf and Jeromin while Lowka keeps the waltz time pegged down deliciously on his bass.
"The Themes," from The Hit (1979), were composed by Paco de Lucia, with whom Wolf played before the quartet was formed. Wolf is in his element on this flamenco tune, with the crisp and heady beat driven by percussion and palmas. Francel blows loud and clear as he weaves his way in and through the melody with just enough emphasis to stamp his class act.
The Pegasus String Quartet brings a distinct sense of orchestration to "Der Wind Hat Mir ein Lied Erzahlt." The achingly becoming melody is captured in the sweeping splendor of the strings as they soar and dovetail. Francel turns the music into a memorable experience as he moves across instruments to texture a precise moment.
The music is rhythmic and lyrical, played with unabashed assurance. Quadro Nuevo captures the mind and the soul in one fell sweep.
Personnel: Mulo Francel: tenor sax, soprano sax, C-Melody sax, clarinet, alto and bass clarinet;
Robert Wolf: guitar; Heinz-Ludger Jeromin: accordion; D. D. Lowka: acoustic bass; Evelyn Huber: harp (1); William Galison: harmonica (3, 16); Wolfgang Lohmeier: percussion (7); Montse Suarez: palmas (10); Jose Morato: palmas; Andrea Binder: French horn (15); Pegasus String Quartet: Daniel Nodel: 1st violin (5); Andrea Karpinski: 2nd violin (5); Christine Horr: viola (5); Hanno Simons: violoncello (5).