Thursday, 23 April 2015

CD Reviews (The Straits Times, April 2015)

String Fever / MARIN ALSOP
Naxos 8.572834 / ****

String Fever is the New York-based crack string ensemble founded by celebrated American conductor Marin Alsop in 1981. This recording captures its 1983 and 1997 performances of jazz standards and oldies in very idiomatic modern arrangements, mostly by the American Gary Anderson. The ensemble which comprises six violins, three violas, three cellos, one double-bass and drums is both suave and versatile, shining in the titular It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing) and colouring the blues in Mood Indigo, both by Duke Ellington. 

The longest track is the Manhattan Medley, which brings together Rodgers and Hart's Manhattan and Harry Warren's Lullaby Of Broadway and 42nd Street. The big band sound of Glenn Miller is joyously relived in Joe Garland and Andy Razaf's In The Mood, even without the winds and brass. Likewise, one will not miss the piano in Dave Brubeck's infectiously rhythmic Blue Rondo A La Turk. There are further melodies by Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, Benny Goodman and Horace Silver, but one regret is the short playing time of under 50 minutes. If one enjoys performances by Singapore's own re:mix with Foo Say Ming, this disc of high quality crossover is likely to tickle and please.


re:mix directed by FOO SAY MING
Esplanade Concert Hall
7.30 pm, Sunday 26 April 2015
Tickets available at SISTIC

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