283

Altavoz/Jack Quartet at Americas Society, February 10, 2010

Ernest Barteldes By

Sign in to view read count
Altavoz/Jack Quartet
Americas Society
New York
February 11, 2010

Modern Contemporary music by an up-and-coming group of young Latin American composers known as Altavoz was presented at this highly intriguing evening at Americas Society on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Performed by the Jack Quartet (Christopher Otto, Ari Streisfeld, John Pickford Richards and Kevin McFarland), the selection included material that was like listening to the soundtrack to the chaos of modern life, with all its nuances and confusion.

The set opened with Jose-Luis Hurtado's "L'Ardito e quasi stridente gestro," a number that kicked off with a flurry of dissonant notes that sounded like the white noise we hear every day in big cities around the world set to music. There were a lot of quick slaps on the instruments, fast pizzicato notes that climaxed with a long period of silence, that lasted until the musicians put down their instruments.

On Mauricio Pauly's "Every new volition a mercurial swerve" began with a series of distorted sounds that seemed like falling bombs—low and high notes played dramatically, followed by an eerie quasi-silence broken by the cello, which emulated a high-flying propeller airplane. After a brief break, the group returned with Jorge Villavicencio Grossman's more melodic "String Quartet No. 3: Musica funebre y nocturna," a Debussy-like tune written around a series of interchanging loops, finger-picked solos and finally a fierce crescendo.

The quartet closed with Felipe Lara's highly complex "Corde Vocale—String Quartet # 1," a number that featured twisting notes, lots of string-plucking and screeching notes. This was clearly the hardest number to follow, as it seemed to represent some sort of controlled chaos (Lara hails from the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world) that exists within the composer's mind.

Jack Quartet is formed by a group of highly accomplished musicians, and taking this kind of project proves that they are up to the challenge. One of the group's members admitted that this was not easy to play, but that he felt that going through the challenge was a very positive experience. The same can be said about the audience, which was both surprised and satisfied by what they heard, judging from the enthusiastic applause both players and composers received at the program's end.


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Redwood City Salsa Festival 2017 Live Reviews Redwood City Salsa Festival 2017
by Walter Atkins
Published: October 17, 2017
Read AJAZZGO Festival in Cali, Colombia Live Reviews AJAZZGO Festival in Cali, Colombia
by Mark Holston
Published: October 13, 2017
Read CEO Experiment With Kurt Rosenwinkel at The Sugar Club Live Reviews CEO Experiment With Kurt Rosenwinkel at The Sugar Club
by Ian Patterson
Published: October 11, 2017
Read "Jazzahead! 2017" Live Reviews Jazzahead! 2017
by Henning Bolte
Published: May 11, 2017
Read "Wayne Shorter Quartet at SFJAZZ" Live Reviews Wayne Shorter Quartet at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "Mike Zito at the Iridium" Live Reviews Mike Zito at the Iridium
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Kim Nalley's Tribute to Nina Simone" Live Reviews Kim Nalley's Tribute to Nina Simone
by Walter Atkins
Published: March 31, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.