Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

140

Jim Connolly and The Gove County String Quartet: Jim Connolly and The Gove County String Quartet

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Jim Connolly and The Gove County String Quartet is the debut of the Santa Barbara-based composer's newest ensemble. Leader of the mercurial chamber music septet The Gove County Philharmonic, contrabassist Connolly largely eschews the Philharmonic's eccentricities in favor of a more refined approach.

While the larger Philharmonic tends towards cinematic flourishes and a circus-like atmosphere that invokes Kurt Weill by way of Carl Stalling, Connolly's string quartet reveals an even richer vein of lyricism.

Drawing inspiration from his heritage, Connolly's compositions for string quartet owe a great deal to such American composers as Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber and Charles Ives. A classic songwriter at heart, he focuses squarely on folksy sing-song melodies and rhythmic momentum for the basic foundations of his work.

Connolly regularly uses the wide dynamics, quicksilver tempo-shifts and non-linear development commonly employed by many contemporary composers. But where many of his peers allow dissonance and angularity to dominate, Connolly concentrates instead on harmonic counterpoint and the purity of a strong melody.

Influenced by folk, gospel, country and other strains of Americana, his compositions overflow with pastoral atmosphere and bittersweet nostalgia. No stranger to popular music, he even summons a melodic kernel from the Beatles' "Across The Universe" in "Pinocchio."

Rich in harmonious detail, Connolly's compositions are not without subtle surprises. Sprightly Raymond Scott-inspired asides and strident Bartokian episodes alternate with regal passages of Bachian austerity. More episodically varied than the minimalists and more conceptually conservative than the post-serialists, Connolly's work shares similarities with new tonalists such as Aaron Jay Kernis, Michael Torke and George Tsontakis.

A beautiful record, Jim Connolly and The Gove County String Quartet expands beyond the free-wheeling antics explored by his seven-piece Philharmonic, resonating with a sense of timeless maturity.


Track Listing: Even Dust Sparkles on the Moon; Pinocchio; Forgetting the Names of Trees in the Polish Woods; On Rue Clark; Patience Makes the Ocean Blue; Noodling for Flatheads; Hymn for John; Peter and Amy; Crows would steal the Stars if they could fly that high; Time Rides the Ferris Wheel; Once, For the Last Time.

Personnel: Jim Connolly: contrabass; Sally Barr: violin; Laura Hackstein: violin; Kirsten Monke: viola.

Title: Jim Connolly and The Gove County String Quartet | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: pfMentum


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Celebrating William Parker at 65 CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating William Parker at 65
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Eternal Life CD/LP/Track Review Eternal Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Aqustico vol 2" CD/LP/Track Review Aqustico vol 2
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 25, 2017
Read "Cherry ‎– Sakura" CD/LP/Track Review Cherry ‎– Sakura
by John Sharpe
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "First Gathering" CD/LP/Track Review First Gathering
by John Sharpe
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "Signaling" CD/LP/Track Review Signaling
by Troy Dostert
Published: May 11, 2017
Read "Resting in a Fold of the Fog" CD/LP/Track Review Resting in a Fold of the Fog
by John Eyles
Published: March 16, 2017
Read "Incidentals" CD/LP/Track Review Incidentals
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 29, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!