Ralph Farris (viola), Dorothy Lawson (cello), Todd Reynolds and Mary Rowell (violins) are the musicians, whose range of professional experience runs the gamut from playing with groups like the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Steve Reich Ensemble to backing up pop performers Sheryl Crow and Roger Daltrey. While this is Ethel's debut CD, the foursome has tracks on an earlier Cantaloupe recording of Julia Wolfe's string quartets. The new all-Ethel album features music from a similar slice of New York's avant-garde: John King, Phil Kline, Evan Ziporyn (who guests on bass clarinet) and Reynolds himself. While comparisons to Kronos Quartet are inevitable, a more accurate comparison may reference the Soldier String Quartet (founded by neuroscientist/composer David Soldier).
Ethel pushes the rock edge, and they have a genuine ability to dig into hardcore blues, as particularly evidenced by the third movement of John King's Sweet Hardwood, titled "Shuffle." Both subtlety and sheer visceral exuberance are found in this recording, and the CD's close-mic production values further energize the music. It's an exciting debut CD from the downtown Manhattan/Brooklyn music scene, and a "must have" for new music fans.
Ethel plays the Schwartz Center Sat., Nov. 1. $15.
I love this! Wise words from Methuzulah, ATL has the talent, unify and lead by…
Dave Grohl encouraging people to buy shit. What a shock.
I MADE TRACKLIST, MOTHERFUCKER!
What does it mean to be Record Store Day ambassador? I don't know. I've never…