Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Kronos Quartet

  • Music of Bill Evans [Landmark, 1986] B
  • Pieces of Africa [Elektra/Nonesuch, 1992] Neither
  • Floodplain [Nonesuch, 2009] A-

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Music of Bill Evans [Landmark, 1986]
This ain't jazz, it's chamber music, and where the same not-quite-swinging strings worked up an agreeable tension on Monk Suite, here the compositional mesh is too neat--Evans damn near wrote chamber music to begin with. On the cute tunes there's an endearing novelty effect, but all the impressionistic watercolors gain is a gravity of tone that will challenge the assumptions of nobody interested enough to listen. B

Pieces of Africa [Elektra/Nonesuch, 1992] Neither

Floodplain [Nonesuch, 2009]
Usually this staunchly eclectic string quartet forges alliances with non-Western musicians I'd as soon stand alone or works with Western composers who aren't to my taste. This collection of traditional music, classical music, pop songs, and special commissions from a broadly conceived Middle East is different. Dumb me found out from the notes that it was the two pop songs that always rang my chimes--one from Egypt circa 1940, the other from '70s Iraq. In the wrong mood, some of the others can seem too solemn, histrionic, drawn-out--slow. But there's nothing here that doesn't suit the right mood. There are cathedrals in Sicily that overlay Christian imagery on Islamic design in buildings that can accommodate all comers. This album brought them back. A-