Notes & Reviews:
June24, 2014 marks the release of Time for Three's fourth album and debut on Universal Music Classics, which is self-titled Time for Three. The new album showcases not only the trio's melody-rich string weave but also its uncommon flair for collaboration, with the group teaming with pop singer songwriter Joshua Radin, jazz saxophone icon Branford Marsalis, young classical cello star Alisa Weilerstein and ukulele ace Jake Shimabukuro, among others.
Time for Three, the trio's upcoming UMC debut, sees the group explore the interactive possibilities of string instruments, projecting their onstage magnetism into pure aural allure. The album also presents the collaborative essence of the group in the most organic fashion. As Tf3's Nick Kendall points out, they have a personal connection to each of the guest artists. The trio blends its warm sound with the dulcet voice of Joshua Radin in new arrangements for four of his signature songs: "Everything Will Be All Right," "What If You,""Winter" and "Closer." Kendall says: "We were big fans of Joshua and met him in a New York restaurant - then we began to imagine how our instruments would provide the ideal bed for his voice, so that it's like an oboe rising out of a string orchestra." Cellist Alisa Weilerstein was an acquaintance for years, with Kendall and violin partner Zack De Pue having studied with her father, violinist Donald Weilerstein, co-founder of the Cleveland String Quartet. But the trio's first musical meeting with Alisa was on the album's arrangement by composer Kenji Bunch of the all-time Rachmaninoff favorite Vocalize - with Alisa singing lead on her cello. "It's a 21st-century version of the piece we all know and love," De Pue says, "and we hope to perform it with not only Alisa but with cellists from orchestras all over the world."
With Branford Marsalis - a member of the first family of New Orleans jazz - the trio performs the "Queen of Voodoo" on the album, with the track a stylistic gumbo of American music in which the composer, Tf3's Ranaan Meyer, imagined the band busking in the Crescent City. Marsalis has been an avuncular presence for the trio since the three musicians were put together with the saxophonist at a benefit concert, where "he schooled us," Kendall recalls. Meyer adds: "He represents something serious and real - great performer who has a real sense of what an audience wants." The centerpiece of Time for Three is a concert favorite of the trio's, "Chaconne in Winter." It's perhaps the ultimateTf3 mash-up, with Bach's totemic" Chaconne" melded with Bon Iver's "Calgary" in an arrangement by Steve Hackman, a friend and collaborator of the group's from the Curtis Institute.
Time for Three also includes a meeting with Indianapolis folk-pop sister duo Lily& Madeleine on Meyer's arrangement of the timeless "Danny Boy," plus a collaboration with Hawaiian ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro on Kendall's "Happy Day." Other originals on the album are Kendall's "Roundabouts" and Meyer's "Banjo Love," another live favorite. With Tf3 also offering a fresh instrumental of Coldplay's rock tune "UFO," the album represents an eclectic, but natural, mix. Kendall explains: "Like most young people in America now, the three of us grew up listening to all kinds of music - ' 90s hip-hop, grunge, bluegrass - and we've always played a wide variety of music.Notes & Reviews:
Recording information: Gould Rehearsal Hall, Curtis Institute of Music, Philad (01/07/2014-01/08/2014); MSR Studios, New York, NY (01/07/2014-01/08/2014); Park Avenue Artists Studios, New York, NY (01/07/2014-01/08/2014); Pat Dillett Studios, New York, NY (01/07/2014-01/08/2014); Studio Space 143, Honolulu, HI (01/07/2014-01/08/2014); The Lodge Studios, Indianapolis, IN (01/07/2014-01/08/2014); Uptime Studios, New York, NY (01/07/2014-01/08/2014); Gould Rehearsal Hall, Curtis Institute of Music, Philad (11/09/2013-11/10/2013); MSR Studios, New York, NY (11/09/2013-11/10/2013); Park Avenue Artists Studios, New York, NY (11/09/2013-11/10/2013); Pat Dillett Studios, New York, NY (11/09/2013-11/10/2013); Studio Space 143, Honolulu, HI (11/09/2013-11/10/2013); The Lodge Studios, Indianapolis, IN (11/09/2013-11/10/2013); Uptime Studios, New York, NY (11/09/2013-11/10/2013).
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