Roger Kellaway

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After a long hiatus following the death of cellist Edgar Lustgarten, the Roger Kellaway Cello Quartet resurfaced in 1993 as a nearly all wood sextet with a whole new bag of cross-idiomatic music. Emil Richards (marimba) and Chuck Domanico (bass) return from the old group, and there are two busy percussionists (Joe Porcaro and Bob Zimmitti) who take on a long list of foreign and domestic instruments, including standard trap drums. Fred Seykora is the new cellist, and though he doesn't command as imposingly lyrical a tone as Lustgarten did, he more than serves Kellaway's purposes, which, in any case, don't necessarily center around the cello. Thinking of You, Eve, and Un Canto Per La Pace revive Kellaway's rollicking barrelhouse boogie feeling; he hadn't played this way in much too long, and it's great to hear it again. Eleventide is Zen-like in its repetitive ostinatos for piano and marimba and skewed clockwork rhythms, and the title track uses a tabla for a freely translated Indian feeling. The CD concludes with a three-part suite, Winter, whose best music occurs in the central syncopated Latin episode. In some ways, this may be the best cello group album Kellaway has come up with yet, for the material from several periods in his career is strong and he gives himself an even wider palette of possibilities with the extra percussive help.

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