RINGER OF THE WEEK
Usually, if something is "new" or original, it actually means cacophonic. Here is an album that is creative, original and wonderfully melodic.
John Stowell plays nylon string and fretless baritone guitars along with trombonist Dave Glenn. OK, a bit unorthodox, but then the mix of the Hawcaptak String Quartet comes in to really mix and match some wonderful ideas. Consisting of Maria Sampen/v1, Steve Miahky/v2, Tim Christie/va and Norbert Lewandowski/cel, the HC comes in like the best of guests, at the right time, saying the right thing and never overstaying their welcome or interrupting. Many of the pieces are simply duets between Stowell and Glenn, lyrical and pretty like "Social Butterfly" and "Fun With Fruit", but the strings come in for elegant introductions, or to add some modern tones as on "When Jasper Grows U p" or the elegiac "Ghost In The Corner". They know when to arc, pick or pluck lovely in support of Glenn on "Remembering Laurie Fink" and impressionistic for "Violin Memory". Sublime and seductive in its pastoral charms, like a morning light through the windowsill.