Among the top young string quartets now working the chamber-music circuit worldwide, Philadelphia’s award-winning Jasper String Quartet has made a habit of mixing canonical classics and freshly created fare. For its newest album, Unbound, the group opted try something novel, and to make a statement in the process. Using Judd Greenstein’s Four on the Floor as the centerpiece, the quartet – violinists J Freivogel and Sae Chonabayashi, violist Sam Quintal, and cellist Rachel Henderson Freivogel – surrounded that work with six additional pieces, all by living composers: three men and three women.
In addition to the Greenstein piece, Unbound, includes music by Caroline Shaw, Missy Mazzoli, Annie Gosfield, David Lang, Donnacha Dennehy, and Ted Hearne. The disc is due on March 17 via the audiophile label Sono Luminus in association with New Amsterdam Records – who’ve graciously allowed us to share the entire album in advance: right here, right now.
In a press statement, the Jasper players explained exactly what they’d hoped to achieve on Unbound:
“Seeking out new pieces to contribute to this conversation is as important, if not more so, as rediscovering the sublime human experience of a Beethoven quartet. The seven pieces on this album represent a collection of treasures we’ve discovered from this century. One of these pieces, Annie Gosfield’s ‘The Blue Horse Walks on the Horizon,’ was written expressly for our quartet. The rest we unearthed as we sifted through the vibrant and varied landscape of music being created today.
“We sought to find a set of pieces that were both enchanting on their own and together represent a cohesive aesthetic. From the immense technical challenges of Judd Greenstein’s ‘Four on the Floor,’ the meditative contemplation of David Lang’s ‘almost all the time,’ to the raw emotion and vivid imagery of Missy Mazzoli’s ‘Death Valley Junction,’ these pieces represent an incredible diversity of sound and style. Yet they all reside comfortably in this wonderful tradition of string quartets, of which we are lucky enough to be a part.”
The Jasper String Quartet maintains a busy concert schedule; you can see the group perform on March 16 in Philadelphia; on March 19 in Beacon, NY; on March 28 at Le Poisson Rouge (where your paid admission gets you two complementary download tracks from Unbound); and on March 30 at Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium. You can preorder Unbound using the link in the Bandcamp player or via the New Amsterdam website, or find it at your favorite retailer on March 17.
Among the top young string quartets now working the chamber-music circuit worldwide, Philadelphia's award-winning Jasper String Quartet has made a habit of mixing canonical classics and freshly created fare. For its newest album, Unbound, the group opted try something novel, and to make a statement in the process.
Reading down the list of collaborators Douglas assembled for the New York debut of Metamorphosis at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Appel Room on March 3, you knew instantly this would be no risk-averse affair. Alongside Douglas in the front line were trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and saxophonist Oliver Lake, each an iconic bandleader who hailed from one of the formidable regional collectives that fomented stylistic revolutions during the late '60s.
http://thelogjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/IMG_0600.jpg24483264Steve Smithhttp://thelogjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/TheLogJournal_300px.pngSteve Smith2017-03-10 19:00:252017-03-11 00:20:16Performance Response: Dave Douglas Metamorphosis
I can’t think of any more profound contradiction to the Grammys than Morton Feldman’s Quartet No. 2. You may have heard that our album 'Serious Business' was nominated this year in the Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble category. Our good buddies (and Chicago neighbors) in Third Coast Percussion took home the prize for their superlative Steve Reich album… and we took home some indelible memories.
http://thelogjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Spektral-Joe-Mazza.jpg10001500Doyle Armbrusthttp://thelogjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/TheLogJournal_300px.pngDoyle Armbrust2017-03-09 22:56:172017-03-09 23:15:33Spektral Quartet: Celebrity for a Day, Feldman for Six Hours
On March 10 and 11, scholars from various academic disciplines and institutions will gather at Yale University for an interdisciplinary conference that will explore coverage of the arts in African American newspapers and magazines between Reconstruction and the end of legalized Jim Crow segregation in the 1960s. Over the course of two days and 12 panel sessions, participants will delve into the many ways in which the arts appeared in a perhaps paradoxically flourishing black press during this era.
http://thelogjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/conference-image.jpg5261200Lucy Caplanhttp://thelogjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/TheLogJournal_300px.pngLucy Caplan2017-03-07 18:32:292017-03-07 18:34:17Finding Relevance and Revelation in Jim Crow-era Black Press Arts Coverage