David Baker: Calypso (from Sonata for Jazz Violin and String Quartet)
Calypso (third movement from Sonata for Jazz Violin and String Quartet)
The Oregon String Quartet and All That Jazz: Jazz and Rock Influences in the Contemporary American String Quartet (Koch International Classics KCH 7672)
Diane Monroe (jazz violin), Kathryn Lucktenberg, Fritz Gearhart (violins), Leslie Straka (viola), Steven Pologe (cello).
Composed by David Baker.
Recorded: Eugene, Oregon, 2006
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
About the time African-Americans originated jazz, Afro-Caribbean musicians invented calypso, likewise testing the limits of free expression in a segregated society. David Baker's "Calypso" (1987) features violinist Diane Monroe, whose jazz bona fides are longstanding. More surprisingly is the jazz facility of four University of Oregon School of Music faculty members, in particular Steven Pologe, strumming his cello with the élan of a Trinidadian street guitarist at Carnival. Whether Baker—himself a cellist and former jazzman—has improved conventional notation, or classical string players have newly developed jazz chops, the result is an uplifting celebration of music as universal language.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz