Good thing Jonathan Kane (drums, guitar, bass) and Dave Soldier (violin, strings) let their fascinating, multi-faceted, trippy and avant-garde bluesy/rock walls of sound build slowly and contemplatively throughout their “out there” and endlessly fascinating dual project February Meets Soldier String Quartet.
That gives listeners new to these eminently interesting musical Renaissance men time to immerse in their mile-long resumes which include being founder of 80’s NYC experimental rockers Swan (Kane), leader of the Thai Elephant Orchestra (Soldier), sonic mastermind behind avant-garde/minimalist Rhys Chatham and minimalist godfather La Monte Young (Kane), founding the Brainwave Music Project and working with Bo Diddley, John Cale, Kurt Vonnegut and David Byrne (Soldier) and – perhaps most revealing of all, considering the mind bending nature of their intricate at atmospheric fusion – Soldier’s work as a neuroscientist and Columbia University professor of Psychiatry, Neurology and Pharmacology.
Simple descriptive words fail when up against music designed to expand beyond genres and boundaries, and perhaps consciousness itself, but for organization’s sake, here goes. They turn Little Walter’s Chicago blues classic “Hate To See You Go” into funky, rockin’ dance-blues jam complete with a wildly inventive violin solo. They spin Sinatra in his grave on a hypnotic, alternately dreamy and hard bustling’ journey through the many nostalgic emotions of “It Was a Very Good Year.” The final two tracks are originals: Kane’s moody, languid and ultimately crackling blues-psychedelia exercise “Requiem for Hulis Pulis” (shall we Google that or assume it’s a fictional being?) and Soldier’s masterfully ambient, dissonant and coolly maddening classical/orchestral excursion “Vienna Over the Hills.”
The album title refers to Kane's minimalist blues band February and Soldier's longtime punk chamber group, the Soldier String Quartet.