Extraordinary Early Reviews, as Unexpected, Uplifting Album by Quattro - ‘Popzzical' - Defies Easy Labels
(Published: June 07, 2013)
"Flying, soaring, breaking free of forms while paying homage to them. In a musical world of too much sameness, the individuality and creativity of this young group is not to be missed"
"Blindingly talented" -- The music is "Bursting with intellect, passion and virtuosity, but sounding like nothing you've heard before"
Extraordinary Early Reviews, as Unexpected, Uplifting Album by Quattro Defies Easy Labels
Extraordinary early reviews have greeted Quattro's A-typical CD, ‘Popzzical'. Critics have said the music is "bursting with intellect, passion and virtuosity, but sounding like nothing you've heard before" -- the group is "blindingly talented." "This young group is not to be missed."
Every once in a while, a worthy group comes along that defies easy labels and categorization - it doesn't fit into a preconceived ‘box', and so it slips through the cracks. Quattro is collection of artists who deserve a closer look and listen - ‘Popzzical' is not a Classical project. It's not a Latin Pop project. It's not a Contemporary Jazz project. It's all of the above and not exactly any one of those, simultaneously. Yes, their joyful release contains instrumental tracks. But it also includes wonderfully uplifting vocal songs, in both English and Spanish. It's the kind of ‘full-of-surprises' project that can bring a smile to your face and make you appreciate a fresh approach to genre-bending music, delivered by a foursome of brilliant young artists.
Take everything you know about Classical, Latin Pop and Contemporary Jazz, and then listen to the track ‘Good Day', followed by ‘Silky', and ‘Obsesion', you'll see why Quattro is described as a hip and innovative group. Audio samples here: http://snd.sc/10yGEzg
Recent coverage, here:
BLOGCRITICS - CD REVIEW
By jack Goodstein 5/3/13
If you are one of those anal personalities that needs to have your music fit snugly into precise categories, Popzzical, the new Quattro album, will drive you nuts. The dozen tracks on the album run the gamut from modern rearrangements of classical music to Latin American pop and contemporary jazz. There are instrumentals and there are vocals, sometimes in Spanish, sometimes English. Simply put, Quattro is a unique group that refuses to be cubby-holed.
There was a time when an album that defied categorization would have been the kiss of death for a band. In the age of the record store, when albums were stocked according to genre, where would it go? How would customers find it? What would they ask for? And if you wanted Latin pop, there was no guarantee you also wanted a new version of a theme from a Vivaldi concerto. On the other hand, in the age of iTunes and the MP3, where you can buy the individual songs you like, it may well be another story. And with any luck, listeners who like the Latin pop may discover that the Vivaldi isn't all that bad. After all, good music is good music.
The four members of Quattro are cellist Giovanna Clayton, guitarist Kay-Ta Matsuno, violinist Lisa Dondlinger, and percussionist Jorge Villanueva. All four are credited with vocals. The music is either composed and/or arranged by members of the band.
If your taste in music is eclectic, there is a lot to like in Popzzical. Two of the three classical rearrangements, "Fusion" (based on "Summer") and "Obsesion" (based on "Winter"), two of the movements from Antonio Vivaldi's The Seasons, are the kind of popularization of classical music that may have serious music fanatics tearing their hair on the one hand, but may well garner some new listeners who get to hear it for the first time and like what they hear. The same would be true for "Solstice," which is based on Fritz Kreisler's "Preludium and Allegro," and features Dondlinger's sweet violin. Matsuno adds some interesting work on guitar. All three pieces emphasize the quartet's consummate musicianship. "Good Day" is a jumpy pop rock tune that seems to have absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the songs on the album. It's a fun tune with sweet harmonies. "Mi Conguero" shows the band's electricity when it comes to Latin American music. Indeed, you can hear it in all the Latin selections, even ballads, whether in Spanish like "Intacta" or even in English, as in the haunting "Baila." Matsuno's jazzy licks on "Hana Bi," on the other hand, take the band in a different direction and make for a dynamic close to the album.
International Review of Music
by Brian Arsenault 4/26/ 2013
Sometimes a Reviewer's Just Lucky
Ok, so you know there are four of them on Poppzzical. Mixed gender (two of each), mixed ethnicity, mixed musical backgrounds. So, of course, all American in all our splendid, confusing mishmash of cultures that often produces remarkable music.
There's a violin, often gypsy-like (Lisa Dondlinger). She can play for Pavarotti or Dancing with the Stars.
There's a cello, also an amazing Latin influenced voice (Giovanna Moraga Clayton). Uh, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, New West Symphony).
Are you starting to get the picture? They can match the exuberance of their own crafted "Good Day" - "try to bring me down will be time wasted" - with some Vivaldi done as classical sound with jazz shifts.
There's a guitar which can lead and support, strum and sing (Kay-Ta Matsuno) who can play for Baby Face or Natalie Cole and a whole bunch of other folks too numerous to name here.
Finally there's percussion work born in Tijuana, Mexico (Jorge Villanueva) who's played on movie scores, in Latino bands and co-owns a film and TV scoring company.
So, as you can imagine, there's a lot going on in this album they've made.
"Silky" is happy and melancholy at the same time. There's a guitar solo that resembles a violin piece. Or is that a violin with cello as bass. Or both. Ha, I don't care. It's music that's unique. I can't think of any assemblage that sounds like Quattro.
Their Spanish language soul and Latino dance music. If I could samba I would have on "Mi Conguero." That may even be the wrong dance but it's the right feeling.
The album closes with "Hana Bi" and the guitar and violin take flight together. The cello soars after them.
And maybe that's it: flying, soaring, breaking free of forms while paying homage to them. In a musical world of too much sameness, the individuality and creativity of this young group is not to be missed.
SOMETHINGESEREVIEWS / ALL ABOUT JAZZ
- By Nick DeRiso, 4/22/13
It's classical. No, wait. It's contemporary jazz. Sure, but that's not exactly it, either. Latin pop? That, too. In fact, Quattro's deliciously uncategorizable forthcoming album Popzzical includes all of that, but ultimately fits somewhere in between.
Quattro, featuring cellist Giovanna Clayton, violinist Lisa Dondlinger, guitarist Kay-Ta Matsuno and percussionist Jorge Villanueva, amaze and delight across the whole spectrum of sound on Popzzical, available through their Web site this week.
A peek into their respective CVs shows how they got to this amazing new place, with Dondlinger having played with both Luciano Pavarotti and Christina Aguilera, Clayton with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and an impressive series of TV shows, Matsuno with David Foster and Bob Mintzer, and Villanueva with Abraham Laboriel and Solange Knowles. Popzzical, which features vocals in both English and Spanish, ties all of those strands together.
"Baila" twirls and sways, while "Fusion" effortlessly blends orchestral flourishes with algebraic convolutions that would bring a twinkle to Pat Metheny's eye. "Good Day," on the other hand, is pure unadulterated string-laden pop - as sun filled as anything the Beach Boys ever attempted. Moments later, they're working in half-lit introspection on "Sequire Amandote," only to gather themselves again for the transformative joys of "Solstice."
"Silky," however, might be Popzzical's greatest triumph, a song that begins with this touchingly baroque stoicism before soaring toward this impossible vista. From there, the blindingly talented Quattro takes a series of instrumental turns - each of them bursting with intellect, passion and virtuosity, but sounding like nothing you've heard before.
THE RECORD JOURNAL (CT) - CD review
By Jim Pasinski, 5/2013
Next up is the international foursome known as Quattro with their latest release, "Popzzical." They mix in elements of classical music with jazz, pop and salsa music to create a unique, but inviting sound.
The album starts off with "Balia" as Quattro add some Spanish flair to their music. They dive head first into "Fusion," which was written by Antonio Vivaldi as Quattro arrange the music to suit their style. The song "Good Morning Woodmere" has a calming, but up-tempo feel as they continue to surprise the listener with all this great music. The jazzy-pop of "Good Day" shows another side to this group's overall appeal, but their strengths lie in the contemporary sound of "Seguire Amandote." Quattro also take on Frtiz Kreisler's "Preludium and Allegro" in their version of "Solstice," before closing the album with the up-tempo, fun sounding "Hanna Bi."
Quattro music is composed and/or arranged by group members Giovanna Clayton, cello and vocals; Jorge Villanueva, percussion and vocals; Lisa Dondlinger, violin and vocals and Kay-Ta Matsuno, guitar and vocals. Their April 24th CD release will be accompanied by a StageIt concert that same day, and followed by a U.S. tour.
Here's a clip of the band's unique take on the holiday classic ‘Carol of the Bells':http://www.youtube.com/wa... .
Many people feel that the live concert experience is where Quattro is best appreciated, so keep an eye out for these upcoming performances:
May 24th - Stageit concert, LA
May 25th Bellavino Wine Bar, Westlake Village, CA
May 26 Café Cordiale - Sherman Oaks, CA
July 14 Festival of the Arts, Laguna Beach
July 19th Heritage Square, Oxnard, CA
July 21st Upstairs at Vitello's Studio City, CA
July 28th Festival of the Arts, Laguna Beach
August 23rd Festival of the Arts, Laguna Beach
August 31 New West Symphony event sponsored by the City of Westlake Village
Sept 15th New West Symphony event sponsored by the City of Calabasas
About the Artists:
Giovanna Moraga Clayton was destined to have a life and career as a musician. The daughter of professional musicians, she attributes her unique style to her upbringing in a multi-cultural household where she was influenced by a wide variety of music spanning from Celia Cruz to Carole King to Tchaikovsky. Giovanna currently holds positions with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the New West Symphony as well as being an in demand cellist in the Los Angeles recording scene having recorded on hundreds of film scores, soundtracks, tv shows and records. Her TV credits include the Oscars, Grammy's, Billboard Awards, AMA's, Soul Train Awards, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, The Tonight Show, Oprah and Jimmy Kimmel. Vocal credits include Alice Cooper Dragontown, Lifetime television and Disney channel voice overs.
Lisa Dondlinger has quickly become one of the most versatile young violinists in the music industry today. She has performed and recorded with top artists ranging from Christina Aguilera to Luciano Pavarotti, and plays in the house band for television shows such as American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, The Tonight Show and many others. Lisa has been honored to play on many award shows including The GRAMMYS and the Academy Awards and is active in the film industry, playing on scores such as the Academy Award winning Life of Pi. She is currently performing with Celine Dion in her latest production: Celine.
Kay-Ta Matsuno was born in Osaka, Japan, and moved to Boston, MA to study at Berklee College of Music when he was 20. The broad capacity of his playing style (from Gospel, R&B, country, jazz, and rock) helped him to start his career as a session guitarist in Los Angeles. His list of credits includes:David Foster, Baby Face, Natalie Cole, Keiko Matsui, Lalah Hathaway, Amerie, Chante Moore, Jackiem Joyner, Daniel Bedingfield, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Steve Porcaro, Virgil Donatti, Tony Macalpine, Jody Watley, Amber Riley (from Glee) Bob Mintzer (from Yellow Jackets), he also co-wrote australian Pop star Cody Simpsons new single "Be The One".
Jorge Villanueva has won over audiences with his captivating style and unique combination of percussion instruments - Born in Tijuana, Mexico, Jorge's current engagements include touring with various artists such as Beth Hirsh of "Air", Diego Amador, Alex Acuña, Abraham Laboriel, Israel Varela, Debi Nova and Solange Knowles. He worked on the soundtrack for the movie "One Last Score" with director/actor Matthew Modine and also the Dance film "Go For It". He performed as a drummer in several latino shows of TV Azteca, Univision and LA TV, playing with top latino artists including Christian Castro and Alexander Pires. Jorge is co-owner of Elefekto Music, film and tv scoring company.
Visit www.quattrosound.com , facebook.com/quattrosound, twitter.com/quattrosound
Booking: I AM Music Group, Kevin Clayton, firstname.lastname@example.org
More Information: http://www.quattrosound.com