348

radio.string.quartet.vienna with Klaus Paier: Radiotree

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
radio.string.quartet.vienna with Klaus Paier: Radiotree

Following their high octane homage Celebrating The Mahavishnu Orchestra (ACT, 2007), Austrian conservatoire rebels radio.string.quartet.vienna return, in part, with a salute to their fellow countryman, keyboard player Joe Zawinul, who passed in 2007. The quartet, augmented by accordionist Klaus Paier, offer striking interpretations of three of Zawinul's compositions—the iconic "In A Silent Way," from Zawinul's years with trumpeter Miles Davis, "Cannonball," Zawinul's own homage to alto saxophonist and sometime band mate Cannonball Adderley, and "A Remark You Made" which, along with the ubiquitous "Birdland, was one of the most enduring tracks on Weather Report's





Heavy Weather (Columbia, 1977).



A fourth track, "Hosent'raga," was written by the Austrian vibraphonist Werner Pirchner, who shared Zawinul's culturally inquisitive world-jazz vision, and who died in 2001. The other six tracks were composed by Paier.



A generation younger than the pioneering jazz-playing string quartet, Kronos Quartet, radio.string.quartet.vienna's brasher take on the genre makes for compelling listening. They play fast, attacking the strings with percussive emphasis, they play dirty, bending notes and roughing up textures, and they play loud. "In A Silent Way" is practically the only track to deviate from this template (and to hear the tune in its unadorned, unprocessed, acoustic state only confirms its greatness).



"Cannonball" and "A Remark You Made" are given more expansive readings, the first moving between meditative and explosive passages, the second expansively arranged by Paier and wearing its emotions on both arms. Fiercer still are Paier's "FlyUp" and Pirchner's "Hosent'raga," which are both played with a whirlwind intensity reminiscent of Mahavishnu Orchestra guitarist John McLaughlin at his most abandoned, or perhaps the dervish-like fervour of eighteenth century Italian violinist Niccolo Paganini (if his legend is to be believed). Paier's "Tarantella," an appropriately wild arrangement of the upbeat Italian dance, inhabits similar, if more mellifluous, territory, and contains especially stirring and hard swinging violin and accordion solos.



Elsewhere, Paier's composing tends towards the derivative, its influences, perhaps unsurprisingly, including Argentinian new-tango accordionist Astor Piazzolla's work with string groups. But it's the playing that's the thing here, and the playing is magnificent, in-your-face and emphatically of the times we live in. Exciting and adventuresome, a real sonic blast, Radiotree opens up new possibilities for jazz and string quartets.


Track Listing: FlyUp; Musical Journey In Three Movements; In A Silent Way; Tarantella; Cannonball; Humoreske; Prelude & Circulo; So The Story Run; Hosent'raga; A Remark You Made.

Personnel: Bernie Mallinger: violin; Johannes Dickbauer: violin; Cynthia Liao: viola; Asja Valcic: cello; Klaus Paier: accordion, bandoneon.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: ACT Music | Style: Fringes of Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 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 Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Skarkali" CD/LP/Track Review Skarkali
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "The Long Road" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Road
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 30, 2016
Read "Live InTokyo" CD/LP/Track Review Live InTokyo
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 12, 2016
Read "Night Music" CD/LP/Track Review Night Music
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "Play All the Notes" CD/LP/Track Review Play All the Notes
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 8, 2016
Read "Intersection" CD/LP/Track Review Intersection
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 9, 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!