Reaching for lyricism and gentler textures as a reaction to the fiery sounds of bebop, the renowned musicians who performed on the seminal recording, Birth of the Cool, consider it a tipping point towards the style that became known as “Cool Jazz.” The living embodiment of cool, Miles Davis, and his colleagues, Gil Evans, Gerry Mulligan, John Lewis, etc., set the table for a slew of legendary groups that shared their vision. From the Modern Jazz Quartet and Gunther Schuller of third stream music, to the west coast sounds of the Dave Brubeck Quartet with Paul Desmond, to the iconoclastic melodic lines of pianist Lennie Tristano and his disciples Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh, their particular brand of innovative genius echoed into the myriad jazz fusion blends of the seventies and eighties. Ultimately, this created the perfect conditions for an audacious group of four string players equally grounded in jazz improvisation and classical technique, to split the Eurocentric string quartet atom.
In addition to employing their signature groove-based rhythmic techniques to transform classic selections from the recording of Birth of the Cool such as Israel, Venus De Milo, and Jeru into jazz string quartet masterpieces, the two time GRAMMY® winning Turtle Island Quartet will take a wide swath through the many other avenues traversed by these intrepid explorers of cool. Perennial favorites such as Dave Brubeck’s Blue Rondo A La Turk and Gerry Mulligan’s Bernie’s Tune conjoin with Miles Davis’s dreamy Miles Ahead, and the Modern Jazz Quartet’s darker Django. The program will also feature original compositions that share the cross genre musical stamp endemic to this hallowed mode of jazz music making.