Quadro Nuevo – Grand Voyage – Justin Time

by | Sep 7, 2012 | Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews

Quadro Nuevo – Grand Voyage  [TrackList follows] – Justin Time JTR 8552-2 *****:
(Mulo Fancel: saxophone, clarinets/ Robert Wolf: guitar, bouzouki, piano, steel drum/ Andreas Hinterseher: accordion, vibrandoneon, bandoneon/ D.D. Lowka: acoustic bass, percussion/ Evelyn Huber: concert grand harp, hammered dulcimer)
Never mind the Spanish name of the group, Quadro Nuevo is actually a German acoustic quintet which plays a wide spectrum of world music, Their name focuses on the concept of four because it began as a quartet. While their sounds are European-centered, they venture into various ethnic musics, tango, flamenco, gypsy jazz, valse musette, you name it. After their founding in 1996, the original four musical adventurers traveled the world to perform, discovering all the local musical cultures wherever they appeared. This is their 12th recording and their sixth for the Montreal-centered Justin Time label.  They have played over 1500 concerts all over the world in the past decade.
Grand Voyage was recorded over three years, and you can see by the TrackList below the variety of unusual environments in which the recordings were made. For example, the track “Secret Garden” was recorded on a terrace in the middle of a noisy metropolis in Kuala Lumpur, but after 11 PM at night, when it suddenly became very quiet. The track “Goaz boq Muzik” was recorded in an old Transylvanian castle, inspired by the music of the gypsies in Romania who had invited the quartet to play with them—the same culture from which Django Reinhardt came.
In spite of the contrasting recording environments, the sonic quality of the CD is high, as are the performing skills of the group’s members. The variety of instrumentation, including bouzouki, steel drum, bandoneon, dulcimer and concert harp, add a great deal to the group’s unique sounds. The final and 18th track on the CD is a lavish orchestral version of the Turkish number which opens the album: “Die Reise nach Batumi.”
1 Die Reise nach Batumi – recorded in Istanbul –
2 Cançao do Mar – recorded in Israel –
3 Cien Años – recorded in The Alps –
4 Krim – recorded in Ukraine –
5 Samba para Parapente – recorded on Corsica –
6 Aus der Stille der Nacht – recorded in Hungary –
7 Nature Boy – recorded in New York –
8 Die Abenteurer – recorded in London –
9 Lethe – recorded in Tallinn –
10 Antakya – recorded in Antakya –
11 Meteora – recorded in Greece –
12 Secret Garden – recorded in Kuala Lumpur –
13-15 Mosaïque Tunisienne – recorded in Tunisia –
16 Goaz boq Muzik – recorded in Transylvania –
17 Dopo lo Spettacolo – recorded in Munich –
18 Die Reise nach Batumi (orchestra version)
– recorded at NDR Hannover –
—John Henry

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