Turtle Island String Quartet

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Danzon Review

by Ken Dryden

The Turtle Island String Quartet are well known for their wide range of interest in different fields of music, cross pollinating elements of jazz, Latin, and classical music with seemingly little effort. They also squeeze every musical possibility out of their instruments, whether bowing, playing pizzicato, or tapping out percussion lines on them. This studio date opens with jazz guitarist Steve Erquiaga's wild reworking of the old standard "On Green Dolphin Street," highlighted by Mark Summer's incredible cello solo. Summer's "Girl From Pathetique" blends Antonio Carlos Jobim's bossa nova hit "The Girl From Ipanema" with Tchaikovsky's "Pathetique" Symphony." Clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera guests on several tracks, including the old standard "You've Changed," his captivating composition "Wapango," and also a dramatic interpretation of "A Night in Tunisia," all of which were arranged by violinist David Balakrishnan. This outstanding date should be snapped up without hesitation.

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