Album Review: New Muse 4Tet | Blue Lotus | Music | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

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Album Review: New Muse 4Tet | Blue Lotus



New Muse 4Tet | Blue Lotus


Gwen Laster’s recent revelation reminds us that Black lives still matter, her umpteen awards and decades of classical/jazz/blues deftness shaping a masterwork that pierces the recesses of the heart. Say the names of the countless who have suffered a dirty deal, here honored in sophisticated and complex composition. The violinist and violist’s latest string quartet yields her monument, Blue Lotus: authentic, slowly unfurling, soul-rending, and rhythmic. The three-part “The Black Lives Matter Suite” is made up of the dramatic “Cigarette,” which emerged from the horrifying Sandra Bland bombshell; “Three to Eleven,” which embodies the time frame when the so-called Beat Up Squad did their worst to Fishkill Correctional inmate Samuel Harrell; and the final movement, “Entrapped,” which features Poet Gold recounting a gripping narrative of the Newburgh Four, a set of impoverished pawns sucked into an FBI terrorist scheme. To these tragic souls, Laster offers her sacred lily of the Nile, a blue lotus, in triumphant tribute.


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