The Stellari String Quartet Gocce Stellari

The string quartet are one of those European musical conventions that have as much to do with the classical music identity as the symphonic orchestra, and have been the drawing board for some of the larger orchestral inventions of the form. As improvisation slowly crept back into this somnolent world, sophisticated harmonic invention, coupled with the phenomenal mastery of the strings, promised new vistas of creation. It's quite satisfying to hear John Edwards, Charlotte Hug, Marcio Mattos and Philipp Wachsmann live up to this promise. Gocce Stellari is a live CD of improvisations, all titled after stars in the galaxy, and the coldness of that sight with the heat of that reality is an apt metaphor for the precision and passion that flow from this release. The conviction and focus are most impressive. This music could have been written, and while that comment has been used as a classist disclaimer, it is used here to highlight the fact that the unity of sound achieved is no different than if one mind wrote the dots on the page, or four musicians sat together and created. This quality is a given for all great jazz-based improv ensembles. This CD gives evidence of that transcendent flow from the European house. (Emanem)