Album Review

Ethel – “S/T ” – [Cantaloupe Music]

Max Level   1/26/2006   A Library, CD

NY string quartet tackels work by four composers. Difficult to characterize the CD as a whole because the tracks themselves differ greatly in flavor. So I guess I’d call it “various styles”. The CD begins with a choppy piece, then moves into dirge-like blues, an insistent motif that recalls Phillip Glass, something that could have come from a Hitchcock thriller, and much more. Track 9 adds bass clarinet, played by the composer of the piece. It fits well and just that one addition really opens up the group’s sound. Ethel’s members are wonderful players and they don’t seem to take themselves too seriously. They come across as down to earth and likeable.

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