6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2007
I stumbled upon this album when my music software recommended this album to me a few months ago. I checked it out and instantly fell in love. As a big fan of strings and jazz, Basquiat Strings are a match made in music heaven. This disc contains so much stringy jazzy goodness it has been on hot-rotation on my iPod ever since. All tracks are fantastic, with some great arrangements of jazz classic. Ben Davis is a talented arranger and composer, not to mention a great cellist. It is heart-warming to hear a group of such talented people making great music.
I recommend this album to anyone whole appreciates good music. And try and catch them live at a venue near you, you won't regret it!
Basquiet Strings meet Seb Rochford - the drummer with uk hybrid jazzers :acoustic ladyland and polar bear and famous for his outsized hair, here teams up with cellist and leader ben davis and his bright young thing string players in attempt at "jazz" meets strings collab.
the other amazon uk reviews have variously i feel got it wrong. as a huge fan of both jazz and 20th Century string quartet music i bought this for a song on amazon intrigued to see what this collaboration project sounded like. well to me the string quartet sound dominateds above all else despite the drummer + double bassist adding some rhythmic variety and momentum on 3 or 4 tracks. unfortunately this hybrid sound echoes for me a misguided attempt at a uk kronos quartet with eastern + 20th C string textures dominating over any "jazz" elements.
for a young uk ensemble - its brave, non-mmainstream music and an interesting attempt but ultimately a rather monochromatic ,string led cd ,where the loosely jazz covers here (a few only) really get lost amongst the often moody minor key string writing. a miss alas... if you want moody string music i recommend the rather more wide ranging Shostakovich, Britten and Ligeti. and for explosive jazz / drumming possibly late John Coltrane with Rashid Ali or Sunny Murray. Rochford, Davi and co. fail to ignite here. a brave attempt but a failed one all the same.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This album is, as stated above, absolutely fantastic. The band step outside the form of modern pop jazz, such as katie melua, and other such bland acts, to become something far more interesting. An highly listenable album, every song is a new discovery, with each playthrough highlighting a different crescendo or moment where emotion swells to take hold. Strongly reccommended to the younger, into bands such as sufjan stevens and sigur ros, and the older, confirmed jazz/classical fans. In short, a must.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 27 April 2008
Who would have thought that a string quintet, with a little subtle help from percuission can produce music of such driving energy and tight precision. This is a revelation - I wished I had played in a string group like this in my 20's! There's none of that sugar sweet sloppiness that can be associated with Jazz on string instruments, just pulsing intelligent inventiveness which holds you attention throughout. I look forward to the next one, in fact can I play violin on it please?