New album from the Maureen Choi Quartet unites classical and jazz in harmonious marriage
September 23, 2011 (Detroit, MI) Written by Robert Sutton. It's like a siren's call, a lush, hypnotic melody that reels in the senses and then stimulates them. The sound of Maureen Choi's violin has that kind of effect. On the Maureen Choi Quartet's self-titled latest album, the worlds of classical and jazz unite in a harmonious marriage, and her gorgeously expressive violin is the bridge that connects them.
Choi is the type of violinist whose performances plumb the emotional depths of the artist; her playing is introspective, probing her heart for her innermost feelings and then revealing them to the world. On the opening cut "Caravan," Choi's swirling, scorching violin reaches a level of intensity that conveys the height of passion. Her band - pianist Rick Roe, bassist Rodney Whitaker, and drummer Sean Dobbins - match her fiery energy with inspired contributions of their own. Collectively they produce a thumping beat beneath Choi's whirlpool of sound; Roe's punchy piano, Whitaker's jamming bass, and Dobbins' forceful drums create a stone-solid foundation.
Choi displays impressive range as well. Her playful violin on "No More Blues" is in contrast to the sweltering heat of the track before it. On "At Last," the sweeping romanticism of Choi's playing is dreamy and spellbinding; it's like slow dancing under the pale glow of the moon. "Feelin' Good," on the other hand, is actually darkly seductive, and Choi delivers her most haunting performance on the record.
Repeated spins of the album unveil its layers of excellence, from Roe's rambunctious piano on "Sunny" to Whitaker's pulsating bass lines on "On Green Dolphin Street" to Dobbins' crashing drums on "Donna Lee." Throughout it all Choi's violin remains a constant and dominant presence like the transcendent shimmer of stars in the blackest of skies.
More Information: http://www.maureenchoi.com