The Uptown String Quartet was originally part of Max Roach's Double Quartet before having its own life. Comprised of violinists Diane Monroe and Lesa Terry, Maxine Roach on viola and cellist Eileen Folson, the group ranks as the second major improvising string quartet ever, after Turtle Island. On this consistently enjoyable and often-surprising CD, the band plays a wide range of music including several ancient folk songs, John Carisi's "Jelly Roll Rag," Oscar Pettiford's classic "Tricotism," Scott Joplin's "Easy Winners" and some modern originals by Max Roach, Odean Pope, Fred Tillis and Cecil Bridgewater. Listeners who have a resistance to hearing violins play jazz are well advised to check out this colorful effort.
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