Turtle Island Quartet: Have You Ever Been…?
By Jonathan Kosakow 18 October 2010
Over the years, recreating any single part of Jimi Hendrix’s music has proven nearly, if not completely, impossible. Well, now it’s time to make way for Turtle Island Quartet. Granted, the classical string quartet inherently lacks the boisterousness of Hendrix’s electric blues, and the deafening, somehow melodic feedback isn’t there either, but the eight tracks TIQ have chosen for this reinterpretation translate surprisingly well. Perhaps the only downfall of the disc is that TIQ front man David Balakrishnan’s four-movement composition Tree of Life sits sandwiched in the middle of these Hendrix tracks like a full-grown man sitting in the back seat of a mid-size sedan. Tree of Life can and should stand on its own, and it’s unfortunate that TIQ, for some reason, felt it couldn’t, or shouldn’t. However, that takes nothing away from the fact that every note played by these four musicians, Hendrix or otherwise, deserves your ear.