The Reviews Are In: ALIAS is hitting all the right notes with “Boiling Point”

After Nashville’s all-volunteer ALIAS Chamber Ensemble was nominated for a Grammy for their Naxos recording of Gabriela Lena Frank’s “Hilos,” you’d think these hard-working musicians might take the year off before beginning a new recording project. Think again! Rather than resting on their laurels, ALIAS has just released their new CD from the Delos label, “Boiling Point: Music of Kenji Bunch,” available now on iTunes and for pre-order at Amazon.

“Boiling Point” is already receiving rave reviews from music critics who laud the album’s reach beyond traditional classical. From paying tribute to the American string days of banjos and ukuleles (accomplished with two violas) – to depicting Kenji Bunch’s first run of the New York City Marathon with a French horn and string trio – to a spirited performance that builds to an actual “boiling point” of a live tea kettle on stage, the CD appeals to music enthusiasts beyond the classical spectrum.

But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what the critics have to say about “Boiling Point”…

There’s a tension between the different approaches to integrating classical and vernacular traditions on this disc, and that’s why it’s so fascinating to hear Kenji Bunch at work with an ensemble as talented and dedicated as ALIAS. The works recorded on this disc give a lot of insight into Bunch’s musical journey and the kinds of close collaborations that fuel his creative efforts.
–Dan Visconti, New Music Box

It’s strongly – but not entirely – tonal music that reflects numerous diverse musical influences, and it’s beautifully crafted and always interesting.
–Terry Robbins, the Whole Note

In the mood for some down-home classical music? Kenji Bunch, a Portland native living in Brooklyn and making it big on the national level, jives and swings with Nashville’s ALIAS Chamber Ensemble. Bunch’s new American music is straightforward and sincere. Welcome to chamber music for the 21st century.
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It has certain elements that make it highly attractive, including a level of cleverness in structure and a willingness to reinterpret classical models by incorporating other forms of music and sound into them. Bunch’s music is eclectic, not only in its classical roots but also in its reaching into non-classical forms of music for inspiration. When as well played as it is here, it is unpretentiously enjoyable.
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