radio.string.quartet.vienna: Zawinul Report
Known for its wildly creative and cliché shunning attitude, the Viennese string quartet takes the highly influential music of their American compatriot Joe Zawinul and Weather Report and makes it totally their own. Prepare to be exhilarated!
Basically Radio String Quartet Vienna is a classical string quartet, except that they look at the genre like Jimi Hendrix looked at guitar or Kimmo Pohjonen looks at accordion. In other words, they hunt new sounds fearlessly and tackle material also from jazz, rock, pop and folk, and never deal with it the ordinary way. In the liner notes to their Celebrating The Mahavishnu Orchestra album (2007), John McLaughlin says: “From the first note I was struck how this group had appropriated my music and made it their very own. They even got the atmosphere, which was present all those years ago”, and goes on praising their improvisational abilities.
On their latest album, last year’s Radiodream, RSQV grabs, on top of leader Bernie Mallinger’s originals, compositions by Gershwin, Liszt and Henry Mancini plus the Billie Holiday classic Strange Fruit with stunning results.