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Quartet San Francisco: Whirled Chamber Music (2007)

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Quartet San Francisco: Whirled Chamber Music How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Whirled Chamber Music is another delightful CD from the group that was double-Grammy nominated for Latigo, its 2006 debut. This time, the pitch-perfect Quartet San Francisco applies itself to a wider range of material, compiling what could easily be the most cheerful and brilliantly-executed release of 2007.



"The walls between genres have come down, writes violinist/arranger Jeremy Cohen. "We feel passionate about this mix of American genres—blues, funk, jazz, tango, bluegrass, and rock—and we perform each work from within the style in which it was conceived. The tradition of chamber music has taught us to play from our hearts with the highest playing standards we can apply. So when the music says swing, we swing. When the music says groove, we groove.



In fact, grooving and swinging are precisely what they do, whether interpreting Chick Corea ("Spain ), David Grisman ("Dawg's Bull ) or Duke Ellington ("The Mooche ). The two violins, viola, and cello are equally convincing with their sensuous "Harlem Nocturne, a mischievous "Bei Mir Bist du Shoen, and the funk tunes from The Average White Band and Tower of Power.



Boomers will take special pleasure in the seven jubilant and rather goofy compositions by Raymond Scott. Described as "composer, bandleader, pianist, arranger, engineer, electronica pioneer, musical philosopher, inventor, [and] control freak, Scott never wrote specifically for cartoons, but many of his creations ended up on the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts of the 1940s and 1950s. Those of us who grew up with these classics will quickly recognize "Powerhouse, his most famous composition, which was played whenever machinery appeared on screen. The "Toy Trumpet may bring another moment of Bugs Bunny déjà vu, while "The Penguin has resurfaced more recently, on The Ren and Stimpy Show.



It's likely that purists will not appreciate this CD. That's fine: they can stand guard at the gates, defending the sacred boundaries of jazz or chamber music, while music-lovers with more open ears clink their glasses and enjoy the party.

Track Listing: Powerhouse, Spain, The Mooche, Pick up the Pieces, Tanguori, Boy Scout in Switzerland, Peter Tambourine, I Hear Music, Harlem Nocturne, Dawgs Bull, Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen, The Penguin, Celebraiton on the Planet Mars, Gee Officer Krupke, The Toy Trumpet, Under the Sea, Siberian Sleighride, What is Hip?.

Personnel: Jeremy Cohen: violin; Kayo Miki: violin; Emily Onderdonk: viola; Joel Cohen: cello.

Record Label: ViolinJazz Recordings

Style: Beyond Jazz


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