Quartet San Francisco – QSF Plays Brubeck – ViolinJazz Recordings

by | Sep 7, 2009 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Quartet San Francisco – QSF Plays Brubeck – ViolinJazz Recordings JCCD106 (Distr. by Allegro) ***** [8/31/09]:

(Jeremy Cohen & Alisa Rose, violins; Keith Lawrence, viola; Michelle Djokic, cello)

Versatile violinist Jeremy Cohen celebrates the 50th anniversary of Dave Brubeck’s “Time Out” album with this sparkling first-time collection of Brubeck tunes for string quartet on his own label. Actually, one of the dozen tracks is Paul Desmond’s “Take Five,” and the closer is “What Child Is This” – not composed by Dave but once featured on one of his Christmas albums.  Cohen reports that he was a bit nervous having his quartet perform a couple of their string quartet versions of Brubeck hits for Dave himself at a Bay Area festival in 2005, but Dave love the tunes re-imaging in the completely different context of the four strings.

The cover art for the CD is by artist Frank Stella, another of whose paintings graced the cover of the “Time Out” LP. The four string crossover specialists originally got together in 2001 to found the Quartet San Francisco, and they had Grammy nominations for their previous albums in 2006 and 2007. They again recorded at the ultra-low-noise studio of Skywalker Ranch in Nicasio, CA.  The QSF’s sound reminded me of the original Kronos Quartet album on Reference Recordings, which also were short jazzy quartet numbers, though by many different composers and originally written for quartet.  Five of the tracks here come from arrangements of tunes hear on the 1959 “Time Out” album, with other selections from “Time Further Out,” “Time In,” and “Jazz Impressions of Eurasia.”


TrackList:

Three to Get Ready, Strange Meadowlark, The Golden Horn, The Duke, Take Five, Kathey’s Waltz, Bue Rondo a la Turk, Bluette, Unsquare Dance, It’s a Raggy Waltz, Forty Days, What Child Is This? (bonus track)

– John Henry

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