Song:My Favorite Things
Album:A Love Supreme: The Legacy of John Coltrane
Though violin and bass have always been a part of jazz, I think most folks would agree that string quartets are mainly for classical music. This started to change in the 80s with groups like the Turtle Island Quartet. They are from San Francisco. Violinist Darol Anger was a member of The David Grisman Quintet for ten years. Grisman is a renowned jazz violinist best known for his albums with Jerry Garcia. In the early 80s, Anger played with violinist David Balakrishnan in the group Saheeb. The two met Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra cellist Mark Summer at a recording session and formed the Turtle Island Quartet in 1985. The group has had several violists over the years. They first recorded for Windham Hill in 1985 and became known for performing jazz standards. They left Windham Hill in 1995 and after a couple of albums for Koch, they signed with Telarc for the 2005 album 4 + Four. By this time, Anger left the group and moved to Maine. He was replaced by Danish violinist Mads Tolling. They got a lot of buzz for this 2007 John Coltrane tribute album. And they won a Grammy for best Classical Crossover Album. Tolling left Turtle Island after the 2010 CD Have You Ever Been...? which was a Jimi Hendrix tribute. Also, Telarc closed in 2010. He was replaced by former Atom String Quartet violinist Mateusz Smoczynski for their latest CD Confetti Man on Azica Records. The Turtle String Quartet will begin touring soon. Check them out if they are coming your way. Here's the Turtle String Quartet performing My Favorite Things in Espinho, Portugal July 6, 2008.