For the last year or so I’ve been getting together with the Allegro String Quartet, a fine female foursome who have been working on some of my rock and roll string music.
As any patron of these pages knows, I am nothing if not eclectic. (I’m still trying to figure out if that’s a feature or a flaw.) Over the years, I’ve written a number of things for strings that combine classical sensibilities with rock/pop/jazz/global aesthetics. Sometimes this has taken the form of compositions for string quartet alone (6, Jig), and at other times the strings are layered into a band (Dreaming). But what interests me most is a hybrid somewhere in the middle. Last week, Allegro and I made four rough recordings of songs we’ve been working on. Each one crosses genres in some way.
First up is “I’ll be Around.” This is a pretty straight ahead jazz tune, and I could imagine Bing Crosby singing it in a 1950s TV special. But this rendition is Bing-less, with me on vocals and guitar as the quartet switches between a tight-harmony solo, pizzacato, and a verse in which they throw themes back and forth between them. The tempo marking says it all: “coy and cute.” Take a listen to I’ll Be Around, MP3.