Five of the most versatile string players of our time join forces on a new album from Adventure Music, set for release on March 18, 2014. On their first collaborative project, titled simply Mike Marshall and the Turtle Island Quartet, the inventive quintet throw aside all notions of genre and delight in the myriad sonic colors of our world.
Nearly impossible to sum up in a single adjective, Mike Marshall and the Turtle Island Quartet’s first album together embodies the joyous, eclectic spirit of American string master Grammy®-nominated Mike Marshall and Grammy®-winning Turtle Island Quartet. This collaboration, that is well into its third decade, reveals finely tuned music-making featuring original works penned by Marshall and TIQ founding violinist David Balakrishnan, as well as Brazilian flavor from Egberto Gismonti, K-Ximbinho, and Chiquinha, and Darol Anger’s arrangement of the aptly titled Robert Johnson blues tune, “Crossroads.”
Balakrishnan’s existential opus “Interplay,” which opens the disc, digs into the three major threads of the violinist/composer’s heritage: European classical music; American popular and folk music genres like jazz, blues, rock, bluegrass; and Indian classical music. The four original charts from Marshall—“Egypt,” “House Camp,” “Gator Strut” and “Sweets Mill”—span wide-ranging styles and moods, with peaceful melodies and sparse rhythms giving way to expansive improvisations and epic grooves. Exotic flavor combinations—think Indian/bluegrass, Celtic/country, contemporary classical/Latin—abound, all connected with the players’ characteristic deep soulfulness and exceptional chops.
The album was recorded in Berkeley in 2011 and 2012, and is produced by Marshall.