By John von Rhein
New albums find Chicago classical musicians, ensembles and composers blazing new artistic paths, moving into unusual areas of the repertory, refusing to be pigeonholed. Here is a sampling of some of the more significant recent releases that reflect this trend:
“From This Point Forward.” Julien Labro and Spektral Quartet (Azica): What hath Astor Piazzolla’s nuevo tango revolution wrought? You can hear music by some of the Argentinian tango master’s successors in this album of tangy instrumental arrangements, crafted and engagingly performed by the virtuosic Julien Labro (playing bandoneon and accordions) and the Spektral Quartet. Hang on tight as you plunge into the title track, Fernando Otero’s “De Ahora en Mas,” a frisky ride on a hurtling Latin roller coaster. No more enjoyable crossover release has come my way so far this year.