The Dover Quartet is reviewed by JAZZ2LOVE

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Album Review: The Curtis Session from the Dover Quartet

Album: The Curtis Session
Artist:  The Dover Quartet
Label:  Bimperl Entertainment & Media

The elevating ride that string instruments produce is taken to a new level of creativity by the Dover Quartet whose latest release The Curtis Session features compositions that the quartet composed while riffing ideas at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.  Comprised of violinists Joel Link and Bryan Lee, viola player Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, and cellist Camden Shaw, the Dover Quartet create four movements based on the theme of “Dreams from Life Awake.”  The foursome demonstrate their ingenuity to play irregular meters while countering each other’s performance, creating sonic formations that resemble a Jenga tower as each member builds on the other’s notes and phrases.

Like a glade of spires and valleys, abstract figures along “Dreams from life awake: I. reverberation-exploration-flow” rise and dissolve spontaneously along the progressions, keeping the composition in a state of flux.  A series of crescendos and lulls are displayed in an arbitrary manner; yet, the erratic patterns emote a melodic phrasing that appeals to the listener’s senses.

Strategically placed chords through “Dreams from life awake: II. tenderness-love-warmth” emerge and withdraw at random, soaring into lofty flurries then deflating into pockets of tranquility.  The brisk seesawing of the strings in “Dreams from life awake: III. evolution-growth-transformation” demonstrates the group’s nimbleness and reflexive movements to build on each other’s contributions to the composition.  The quartet’s synchronicity along “Dreams from life awake: IV. determination-energy-resolve” is precise, adding to the unique quality of the track to turn an assortment of obscure arrangements into swells of pleasurable aesthetics.

Encapsulating their flash of spontaneous creativity at the Curtis Institute in a recording, the Dover Quartet demonstrate their ingenuity and flare for making lyrically moving jaunts out of irregular meters and reflexive counter parts.  The music is active and energetic, interspersed with moments of tranquility which make for a recording that has never-ending surprises.

Joel Link – Violin
Bryan Lee – Violin
Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt – Viola
Camden Shaw – Cello

Kari Gaffney

Kari Gaffney

Since 1988 Kari-On Productions has helped artists get an even footing in the industry through jazz promotion in the genres of Jazz, World & Latin Jazz through Jazz Radio and Publicity. Why do we do both, because they compliment each other, and we care about fiscal longevity for the artist.

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