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: Jim Connolly and The Gove County String Quartet 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.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: pfMentum | Style: Classical


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Pasar Klewer" CD/LP/Track Review Pasar Klewer
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Kirkastus" CD/LP/Track Review Kirkastus
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 28, 2016
Read "April" CD/LP/Track Review April
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 29, 2017
Read "Crowded Solitudes" CD/LP/Track Review Crowded Solitudes
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 6, 2016
Read "Equal Poise" CD/LP/Track Review Equal Poise
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 17, 2016
Read "Intuitus" CD/LP/Track Review Intuitus
by John Eyles
Published: April 23, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!