This month Rowe returns to the Concert House with a different project: her quartet. The change in instrumentation is small--the addition of saxophonist and clarinetist Andrew Bishop--but conceptually the disparity between the trio and quartet is significant. While her lecture/performance series is dedicated to the music of others, the quartet is primarily a vehicle for her own compositions.
Rowe's music is harmonically and rhythmically modern, with a lyrical grace that permeates, without undue sentimentality, the compositions and improvisations through which she explores the challenges of scoring for a simple quartet, sometimes adding the voice of a trumpet. Those who only know her other work will discover another, quite distinctive, aspect of Rowe's musical personality. She brings the quartet, with guest trumpeter Paul Finkbeiner, to the Kerrytown Concert House on January 4.
[Originally published in January, 2012.]