Invert, the “upside down” string quartet featuring cellists Steven Berson and Chris George, violinist Helen Yee, and violist Chris Jenkins, is proud to announce the release of its new full length third CD, “The Strange Parade,” (Inverted Music). This CD is a fresh departure, even for this already alternative string quartet. It contains fourteen pieces that showcase the group's distinctive mix of compositions and improvisations by members of the band. Also included is Invert’s own arrangement of Japanese composer Shigeru Umebayashi’s “Yumeji’s Theme,” familiar to many as the haunting music from Wong Kar Wai’s movie, “In The Mood For Love.”
What sets “The Strange Parade” apart from their previous recordings is the inclusion of two cuts that feature Roberto Juan Rodriguez on drums. Invert’s often groove-driven music gets an extra rhythmic boost from Rodriguez on the songs “Dog Days” and “The Peak.” This talented drummer has performed with Ruben Blades, Lester Bowie, T-Bone Burnett, Randy Brecker, Paquito D’Rivera, Julio Iglesias, The Miami Sound Machine, Joe Jackson, Dave Liebman, Paul Simon, Lloyd Cole and Phoebe Snow, and Marc Ribot among numerous others.
Besides featuring six compositions by Invert’s cellists Chris George and Steven Berson, “The Strange Parade” also includes seven group collaborations entirely improvised in the studio, and later edited and layered to create dramatic and haunting soundscapes.
“The Strange Parade” was recorded in Brooklyn, New York, primarily at the legendary Excello Recording by engineer extraordinaire Paul Evans Mitchell, who has also done work for the alternative string quartet Ethel. Rodriguez's drumming was recorded at Studio G Brooklyn by Joel Hamilton, whose credits include work with Tom Waits and Elvis Costello. Additional recording was done at Total Sonic Media, the audio mastering studio owned by cellist Steven Berson, where the CD was also mixed and mastered.
Invert’s unconventional approach to chamber string performance challenges the repertoire and revises the structure of traditional string quartets. Since coming together in 1999, the group has created its own brand of chamber music by blending numerous genres into its compositions and performance style. Drawing from diverse, eclectic musical backgrounds, Invert’s members defy tradition by being firmly rooted in rock, jazz and world musics rather than the classical upbringing typical of most string players. The group’s compositions range from moody pieces evocative of expressionist cinema soundtracks to driving melodic works, often leaving open sections for improvisation that add to the excitement of their live performances.
Invert has performed extensively in the New York area at venues such as Joe’s Pub, The Kitchen, The Knitting Factory, Makor, Mercury Lounge, NorthSix, The Stone and Trinity Church. In January 2002, the legendary Mission of Burma tapped the quartet to open for them at their soldout reunion concert at Irving Plaza, and Guided By Voices used the group as a string section on their 2002 release, Universal Truths and Cycles (Matador Records).
In February 2005 Invert accompanied Quarterstick recording artists Rachel’s on a tour of the East Coast, followed by another month-long U.S. tour with them in Fall 2005. Audiences from Texas, to California, to the Northwest and back through the heartland responded enthusiastically to Invert’s unique sound.
Invert’s previous CD, “Between The Seconds” was released by Capstone Records in January 2004 and was hailed by Baltimore Magazine as “a compelling listen for just about anyone with a pulse.” Their self-titled debut CD, containing six original compositions, was independently released on Inverted Music in December 2000. The group plans to do more touring in support of this new release.