Who says contemporary jazz can't be as spontaneous and intrinsically creative as traditional jazz, while still retaining the melodic sensibilities that endear it to radio? Not Fourplay, which reinvents its smooth, R&B-based sound while breaking down the parameters of how contemporary jazz is composed and recorded.
The virginal (an early kind of harpsichord) was the instrument of choice for a school of Renaissance-era English composers, from Byrd and Gibbons to Bull, Morley, and Tomkins—thus the group's nickname of "the English virginalists." They penned pieces especially for the keyboard, along with arranging popular polyphonic works for the instrument that were originally written for lute, voices, or consort of violas da gamba; so, a famous lute piece like Dowland's "Lachrymae Pavan" finds its way on this album, joining Byrd's gravely beautiful "Pavana: The Earle of Salisbury" and other works from such 17th-century keyboard publications as The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book.
Charango, the fourth album borne out of the collective Morcheeba consciousness (brothers/musicians Paul and Ross Godfrey and singer supreme Skye), overflows with a confidence not always present on past sets, particularly 2000's Fragments of Freedom.