Mike Marshall & Turtle Island Quartet reunite on new disc due out March 18th
Five of the most versatile string players of our time join forces on a new album from Adventure Music, set for release on March 18, 2014. On their first collaborative project, titled simply Mike Marshall and the Turtle Island Quartet, the inventive quintet throw aside all notions of genre and delight in the myriad sonic colors of our world.
Nearly impossible to sum up in a single adjective, Mike Marshall and the Turtle Island Quartet’s first album together embodies the joyous, eclectic spirit of American string master Grammy®-nominated Mike Marshall and Grammy®-winning Turtle Island Quartet. This collaboration, that is well into its third decade, reveals finely tuned music-making featuring original works penned by Marshall and TIQ founding violinist David Balakrishnan, as well as Brazilian flavor from Egberto Gismonti, K-Ximbinho, and Chiquinha, and Darol Anger’s arrangement of the aptly titled Robert Johnson blues tune, “Crossroads.”
Balakrishnan’s existential opus “Interplay,” which opens the disc, digs into the three major threads of the violinist/composer’s heritage: European classical music; American popular and folk music genres like jazz, blues, rock, bluegrass; and Indian classical music. The four original charts from Marshall—“Egypt,” “House Camp,” “Gator Strut” and “Sweets Mill”—span wide-ranging styles and moods, with peaceful melodies and sparse rhythms giving way to expansive improvisations and epic grooves. Exotic flavor combinations—think Indian/bluegrass, Celtic/country, contemporary classical/Latin—abound, all connected with the players’ characteristic deep soulfulness and exceptional chops.
The album was recorded in Berkeley in 2011 and 2012, and is produced by Marshall.
The Turtle Island Quartet, since its inception in 1985, has been a singular force in the creation of bold, new trends in chamber music. Winner of the 2006 and, most recently, the 2008 Grammy® Award for Best Classical Crossover Album, Turtle Island fuses the classical quartet esthetic with contemporary American musical styles, and by devising a performance practice that honors both, the state of the art has inevitably been redefined. Cellist nonpareil Yo-Yo Ma has proclaimed TIQ to be “a unified voice that truly breaks new ground – authentic and passionate – a reflection of some of the most creative music-making today.”
The Quartet’s birth was the result of violinist David Balakrishnan’s brainstorming explorations and compositional vision while completing his master’s degree program at Antioch University West. The journey has taken Turtle Island Quartet through forays into folk, bluegrass, swing, be-bop, funk, R&B, new age, rock, and hip-hop, as well as music of Latin America and India… a repertoire consisting of hundreds of ingenious arrangements and originals. It has included over a dozen recordings on labels such as Windham Hill, Chandos, Koch and Telarc, soundtracks for major motion pictures, TV and radio credits such as the Today Show, All Things Considered, A Prairie Home Companion, and Morning Edition, feature articles in People and Newsweek magazines, and musical partnerships with famed artists such as clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, guitar legends such as Leo Kottke and the Assad brothers, The Manhattan Transfer, pianists Billy Taylor, Kenny Barron and Ramsey Lewis, the Ying Quartet and the Parsons Dance Company.
Grammy®-nominated Mike Marshall is one of the world’s most accomplished and versatile string instrumentalists in America today. A master on mandolin, guitar, mandocello and violin, Marshall has been creating adventurous instrumental music for over 35 years.
Whether playing his own acoustic music with Edgar Meyer, Bela Fleck or Chris Thile, Brazilian choro music with Hamilton de Holanda or Baroque classical with German mandolinist Caterina Lichtenberg, Mike is able to swing gracefully between all of these musical styles with a unique blend of virtuosity, depth and musical integrity that is rare in the cross-cultural musical world of today.