Turtle Island String Quartet, On the Town (Windham Hill Jazz)

Do you swing? This disc certainly does, with a departure from TISQ’s usual mix of self-compositions to unique interpretations of standards, mostly compositions from the ’30s. Represented here are sophisticated, innovative renditions of compositions by Gershwin (“Oh, Lady Be Good,” “Fascinatin’ Rhythm”), Benny Goodman (“Rachel’s Dream,” “A Smooth One”), Cole Porter (“Love for Sale,” “I Love You”) and others. Dr. Billy Taylor and his trio add some unbelievable sweet tones to “Love For Sale,” “Angel Eyes” and “A Smooth One.” Stephane Grappelli fans will love this disc—the spirit of the master is here, but TISQ takes Grappelli’s inimitable stylings over the edge to a more contemporary sound. I particularly liked “Lady Be Good”—it’s a fresh, Grappelli-esque interpretation that takes him down the road quite a ways. Break out the champagne and put on your feather boas or white tuxedo coats—this disc will satisfy your cravings for sophisticated swing, TISQ-style.