The new CD with the ETHEL string quartet, "Oshtali" (Azica ACD 71258; distr by Thunderbird Records), is a very refreshing concept framed by solid performances. Essentially, this disc is a collection of short string works by student composers from the Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy in Norman, OK. All of the composers represented are of full or part Chickasaw and are high school or college students. Jerod Impichchaachaaha Tate is the composer in residence of the Chickasaw Nation as well as the academy coordinator and tutor to all these budding composers. This recording is the first of its type and well worth exploring. Truth be told, if approached from a new composition perspective, the results are mixed. The pieces are of varied sophistication and provide different levels of listening satisfaction (for any listener to be sure) All of the young composers are to be commended for having some clear talent and for probably receiving some fine tutelage from Mr. Tate. Just for myself I found some of the works stronger and more attention getting than the rest. Of particular note are "Fantasia" by Joseph Cruise Berry, Jonathan Bomboy's "Innominate","River of Our Times" by Amanda Shackleford and both of the offerings by Dylan Bennett, "Holhchifo Ki'Yo" and "Seven Seas". In general, the more successful pieces are those that sound the least derivative but all are solid efforts and what an impressive accomplishment - and benefit - to high school students to have anything recorded at such an early age! The recording and performances are very good. This disc is worth having mostly as a novelty but history is full of brilliant composers who, at one point, were all unfamiliar or something of a "novelty". It is rather nice to have the earliest available recording by someone who could be a future "star". I am also motivated to find out more about Jerod Tate and his music as well!