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Ethel


Price: CDN$ 21.83 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Jan. 1 2011)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: SRI Canada
  • ASIN: B0000CBL95
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #101,136 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Hard Wood
2. Spiritual
3. Shuffle
4. The River
5. March
6. The Blue Room And Other Stories
7. Tarantella
8. Uh...It All Happened So Fast
9. Be - In

Product Description

Product Description

Amazon.ca

Ethel is the name of a new quartet of string players devoted, for the most part, to performing music by their contemporaries; in a way, they're very much like the Kronos. Their absorption in music of all kinds gives them a wonderful edge. They run the gamut, professionally, from being in the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Steve Reich Ensemble to backing up The Who's Roger Daltrey and Sheryl Crow. On their debut album, we hear John King's "Sweet Hardwood," which is deeply rooted in blues and is played with great, gutsy, feeling; a four-movement piece by John Kline that is in minimalist tradition and whose rhythms are infectious; a strange, brief work ("uh…it all happened so fast") by one of their violinists, Todd Reynolds, which begins down, dark and cavernously in the low strings and develops with great vibrancy; and Evan Ziporyn's 1991 "Be-in," in which they're joined by Ziporyn on bass clarinet (its lyrical chugging manages to be both reassuring and jittery at once). When it's over, you want to hear it again. The music and performances on this CD are both earthy and poetic and worth listening to often. --Robert Levine

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD
The newest music being written these days obliterates the notions of "genre" that have been at the heart of the recording industry for decades, encouraging us to view "Pop," "Jazz," "Folk," and "Classical" as separate realms, with occasional "cross-overs" (i.e. Andrea Bocelli). But those categories only exist in the realm of the industry, not in the work being written today by people like Evan Ziporyn, Phil Kline, and John King. This music doesn't just cross over: it blows up the wall that separates high art pretense from musical pleasure. The tunes here are smart, but as listenable as anything in the pop bins (and more so than a lot of pop out there). To put it simply, Ethel rocks: these four can play anything! If Kronos opened a door to welcome the string quartet into the 21st century, Ethel has gone through that door, and is pickin' and grinnin' on the front porch. Not one dull moment, and how many New Music recordings can you make THAT claim for?
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By "nycmusicfan" on Oct. 27 2003
Format: Audio CD
After hearing these guys on Weekend Edition I rushed out to the store and grabbed this. It's one of the most exciting discs I've heard all year. They were saying on the interview that they're not like Kronos - and they're not! They've got so much soul, spirit, and energy - the sounds on this disc range from blues and jazz-influenced to more "classically" oriented pieces that show off their chops. Don't miss this one!
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By A Customer on Oct. 27 2003
Format: Audio CD
After hearing these guys on Weekend Edition I rushed out to the store and grabbed this. It's one of the most exciting discs I've heard all year. They were saying on the interview that they're not like Kronos - and they're not! They've got so much soul, spirit, and energy - the sounds on this disc range from blues and jazz-influenced to more "classically" oriented pieces that show off their chops. Don't miss this one!
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By Jeremy Webber on May 16 2004
Format: Audio CD
My mom is the one who writes the grants for Ethel, so I'm constantly updated on this remarkable quartet. And they really are remarkable. They refuse to be labeled as Chamber music, because they really are not. They are something way above that. Electrified strings may sound a bit ridiculous, but the combined sound is intoxicating. Buy this album.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Wow! Oct. 27 2003
By "nycmusicfan" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
After hearing these guys on Weekend Edition I rushed out to the store and grabbed this. It's one of the most exciting discs I've heard all year. They were saying on the interview that they're not like Kronos - and they're not! They've got so much soul, spirit, and energy - the sounds on this disc range from blues and jazz-influenced to more "classically" oriented pieces that show off their chops. Don't miss this one!
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Classical musicians transcending genre limitations May 21 2005
By Ellen Etc. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I also saw this high-powered quartet opening for Joe Jackson & Todd Rundgren. Joe and Todd were brilliant to bring Ethel on their tour. What an astonishing pleasure it must have been for Todd and Joe to hear a few of their songs arranged like that. (The two stars were far from upstaged, in my opinion; performing with Ethel shows their confidence and care for their audience, and the tone was set from the first note for a magically enchanted show.) One of the guys in Ethel described themselves as "classical musicians gone horribly wrong," which may be true enough in a symphony hall, but in a rock concert venue they've gone 360 degrees RIGHT, starting with classical and spiralling through the rock landscape to end at a place that transcends both.

Mary Rowell, the cello player, embodies the Jackie du Pré school of performance (as seen in the movie "Hilary and Jackie"); they all do, actually, with full-body performances that allow them to inject energy and vitality into their fusion-influenced sounds.

They're doing for classical what Gram Parsons did for country music: bringing in a rock-and-roll sensibility that reinvigorates both genres.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Cross-over doesn't cover it March 2 2004
By Jeff Abell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The newest music being written these days obliterates the notions of "genre" that have been at the heart of the recording industry for decades, encouraging us to view "Pop," "Jazz," "Folk," and "Classical" as separate realms, with occasional "cross-overs" (i.e. Andrea Bocelli). But those categories only exist in the realm of the industry, not in the work being written today by people like Evan Ziporyn, Phil Kline, and John King. This music doesn't just cross over: it blows up the wall that separates high art pretense from musical pleasure. The tunes here are smart, but as listenable as anything in the pop bins (and more so than a lot of pop out there). To put it simply, Ethel rocks: these four can play anything! If Kronos opened a door to welcome the string quartet into the 21st century, Ethel has gone through that door, and is pickin' and grinnin' on the front porch. Not one dull moment, and how many New Music recordings can you make THAT claim for?
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely Amazing May 8 2005
By Zappa65 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I took my kids to their first concert tonight. I figured Joe Jackson and Todd Rundgren was as good a place as any to start my kids out. Well, quite frankly the star of this show was Ethel! First of all it was JJ and TR solo. Ethel opened the show and I had chills. When the other two came out and played all I could do was wish for more Ethel. So after wading through an hour of greatest hits unplugged, to my astonishment Ethel came back out and played with the to aging stars. This was the shinning moment of the show. The first song they played was George Harrison's "as my guitar gently weeps". Let me tell you if George could of ever played his guitar the way the two vilonists played I might have actually listened to Harrison's music. It was beyond belief. The emotion and vibrance was second to none. I will be rushing to the music store at opening time to buy this CD. I have never had an expirence like this ever. I fear going to another show, because I am afraid I will be let down. Buy everything this quartet puts out...NOW!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A Total Delight June 15 2005
By Mike in the Middle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have been listening to "Ethel" all afternoon and am in love with this CD. A recent review I read said that this music was "demanding" for the listener. I am not sure that I would agree. While this music is complex, it is so beautiful that I find it effortless to listen to. This music is playful, energetic and totally engaging; it is clearly a labor of love. One of the downfalls of some other modern music (at least to my ears) is an over intellectualization-sometimes it sounds as though the composer doesn't even know that they have a physical existence. None of that here. While Ethel doesn't ignore the mind, there is also a wonderful visceral quality to it. That quality is clearest on third track "Shuffle;" it would be more aptly named "Swagger." It walks into the room right from the groin! Even the more cerebral "Blue Room" is fully engaged and not just a mental exercise.

This music is one of the nicest surprises I have come across in a while.


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