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Album Review

Bassist Dominic Duval joins cellist Thomas Ulrich, new music violinist Jason Hwang, and violist Ron Lawrence to make the C.T. (Cecil Taylor) Quartet on this compelling selection of largely improvised works. If the string ensemble is not your everyday idea of vibrant excitement, you may be stunned by the expressiveness, intensity, and creativity displayed on this recording. With a tip of the hat to some of the more innovative classical composers of the 20th century, The Navigator is about the furthest thing from easy listening imaginable. Most of the dozen cuts are themes sketched by Duval, with plenty of room for individual contributions. Thus, "Pizzicato" explores pointillistic possibilities; "Eventide" reflects a somber, if soothing mood; and "Havoc" is a wild romp through string heaven. Not to be missed, the exquisite, powerful, and joyful group interplay found here is a rare pleasure.

The Navigator, C.T. String Quartet
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