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The Rise of the Cellorettes

Artist: cellorhythmics

Date of Release: 01/01/2005

Catalogue no: 185

Label: WCM (Working Classical Music)

Price: £10

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

 

So long Phoenix

6.48

2

 

The Rise of the Cellorettes

4.26

3

 

Good Vibrations

5.12

4

 

Essex Road

5.22

5

 

October Zero Four

3.45

6

 

Cellatina

5.16

7

 

Starcatcher

4.51

8

 

Ferrabosco's Secret

3.44

9

 

Hideaway

4.22

 

 

 

 

Appearances by

James Hesford

"What strange musical roots! Blues, Soul, Progressive Rock, Jazz and 70's pop music. When you are going somewhere else with a classical instrument it is important to be honest about where you're coming from and this is as honest as I can get." James Hesford

The Rise of the Cellorettes is the 2nd Album from the cutting edge cello band Cellorhythmics.
Alfia Nakipbekova - Cello. James Hesford - Cellos/Violins/Harmonicas.
Marc Layton Bennett -Drums/Percussion
Andy Garbi - Vocals (track 7)

 

Reviews

 

10/10/0005 Musician (magazine)

The Rise of The Cellorettes
Talented pair James Hesford of Yorkshire and Alfia Nakipbekova, originally from Central Kazakhstan, have recorded a dexterous album of their ‘progressive chamber music’ ably supported by Marc Layton Bennett on percussion and Andy Garbi on occasional vocals. Described as “rousing, intense and joyous” by no less an authority than Charlie Gillett, the duo instantly capture the listener with the contemporary riffage of the opener “So Long Phoenix”, which is swiftly followed by the rocking title track. In addition, their adventurous production of Brian Wilson’s “Good Vibrations” displays a deft understanding of harmony and arrangement, which gives the whole glorious classic a completely fresh dimension all of its own.

 

05/05/0005 Euan Dixon (Jazz Views)

The Rise of the Cellorettes
Label
WCM

Alfia Nakipbekova (cello) James Hesford (cellos, violins, harmonica) Marc Layton Bennett (percussion, drums) Andy Garbi (vocals-track 7)
No recording date given, copyright 2005-04-04

Here is another hard to classify but hugely enjoyable recording from the cello-playing duo that made such an impression on me last summer with their debut recording “Invasion”. As before their core territory is a sort of classical and jazz inflected fusion but this time with the addition of percussion they move a little closer to the world of Vanessa May, the classical crossover violinist. Some may be a bit sniffy about this but when the result is so entertaining who cares. Not everything has to be loaded with gravitas to be worthwhile and since Cellorhythmics manage to have fun without sounding facile or superficial their music is deserving of the type of serious consideration accorded to the species of contemporary chamber music that appears on ECM or Leo Records.

The first thing is not to be put off by the slightly noir cover art which depicts an estranged couple (presumably the principle artists) standing on the platform at Canary Wharf station in the gathering dusk, a single cello standing between them. There is certainly no angst or alienation in the music for although the first piece begins with a sinister Morricone type harmonica refrain it soon moves into a positive mode with an airy wide open spaces theme that wouldn’t be out of place as the theme music to an on the road movie. Things get considerably brasher with the second track “The Rise of the Cellorettes”, piece full of hard rock energy played with a staggering brio whilst track three brings an even bigger surprise with a version of the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” that sounds totally idiomatic, as though it was written in the first place for strings other than guitars.

Not everything is as bright and bushy tailed as these openers however and if like me you were moved by the reflective beauty of their more elegiac pieces on the first recording then you will find things here to satisfy the pensive mood albeit at not quite the same level of profundity. In “October Zero 4” the cellos are played pizzicato and achieve the delicacy of Japanese classical music whilst “Essex Road” opens with a Lark Ascending like prelude before developing in to an arching pastoral theme riding on world-beat percussion. “Starcatcher” recalls Arvo Part’s minimalism and “Ferrrabosco’s Secret” is a sombre pavanne that ends with a muffled funereal drumbeat. Plenty to ponder here but the most satisfying piece from a jazz point of view comes right at the end with “Hideaway”, a tune that utilises the vamp from Jimmy McCracklin’s R&B hit, “The Walk” and allows space for Hesford to unleash his improvisational technique; it’s a real foot tapper too and reminds me of a similar piece by my all time favourite cello playing jazzist, Fred Katz, whose 1956 feature album on Pacific Jazz entitled “Zen” could well have been an inspiration for Cellorhythmics more modern realisations. Whether or not Katz in person or spirit has any guiding hand in these proceedings is purely speculation on my part and in any case inspiration is one thing that Nakipbekova and Hesford have in abundance on their own account given the diversity of their musical interests and achievements. That they have stitched their musical influences together so effectively to create a musical tapestry of such variegated hues and genres without ever sounding either portentous or banal is a testimony to their scholarship, technique and instincts as entertainers. On the strength of this and their previous recording it’s time for them to hit the concert trail, methinks.

For more info on this enterprising couple and their fascinating music visit www.cellorhythmics.com

Reviewed Euan Dixon

 

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