Inspired by Jimi Hendrix, a four-movement original by founder David Balakrishnan, divides an exploration into the catalog of the guitar legend by this genre-blurring quartet. Guest artists include vibraphonist Stefon Harris ("Gypsy Eyes") and mandocellist Mike Marshall ("All Along the Watchtower").
"Balakrishnan came across Hendrix as an impressionable teenager and learned to reproduce Hendrix riffs on violin, and during a recent trip to the Woodstock Museum once again became enthralled with his boyhood idol, which was the genesis for this project. As longtime Turtle Island Quartet fans know, the foursome always tackles other people’s work with invention, creativity and imagination: it was no accident they won a 2007 Grammy for their Coltrane homage. With Hendrix as the focal point, they go beyond expectations to formulate a fully integrated reappraisal of the iconic guitarist’s material."—Audiophile Audition
"He wasn't playing a bunch of chords the way a guitar player would normally play. But with Electric Ladyland, he was really layering melodies ... and the way he played the guitar, he could really get that sinuous vibrato that creates this texture and bed of melodic fragments laid on top of each other—perfect for a string quartet like Turtle Island."—David Balakrishnan, NPR's All Things Considered
"The disc opens with a four-part suite of the songs from Hendrix's Electric Ladyland…. The arrangements are inspired by Hendrix's approach to the guitar, and the psychedelic sounds of his era. It is interesting to note how the foursome was able to channel the late guitarist's style onto strings. 'Voodoo Child (Slight Return)' follows…. They successfully channel Hendrix's use of the tremolo bar, and when they play chords, it almost sounds as if the musicians were using picks."—All About Jazz
"The starters have sumptuous arrangements, especially 'Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)?' and 'House Burning Down'…. 'Tree of Life,' celebrating Charles Darwin’s legacy, has great musical depth and some extraordinary passages, mostly in its first ('Ashwattha') and last ('Coelacanth') movements."—Jazz Times