May 2000

The Other Quartet
13 Pieces
Knitting Factory

It may profess adherence to no "school," but The Other Quartet's 13 Pieces includes Stravinsky's canon-like "Piece for String 4tet No3" (note their enigmatic identification) and Elliott Carter's "Canon for Three," plus originals across a range of spontaneous and written soundscapes. In three settings we find a collective work, "Calling the White Crane," rendering aspects of this bird's sound. Each member manipulates texture convincingly, perhaps the band's strongest suit. Tenorist Ohad Talmor and trumpeter Russ Johnson create a passionate tapestry for "Symphony No4. 1st Mvt," which Talmor seems to have adapted from Anton Bruckner. While some might find the tone rows and abstractions of these short works cerebral, the CD bristles with refreshing surprises: Johnson's "Beyond Urizen" refuses confinement to its straight ahead passages; the ensemble's flexible textures are well-represented in its fullness of the horns and Jim Hershman's guitar; and drummer Michael Sarin and Talmor's key pads are simpatico on "Florian and Lena."

Originally published in May 2000
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