'some of the most inspiring and passionately played music I have heard for years'!(ATM-soundgenerator.com) 'lush'New York Times 'sultry atmosphere'London Daily Telegraph 'wonderful soul'(Vanessa Redgrave) 'brilliant'(Nicholas Hytner) 'F***in' great fiddlin'(Liam Gallagher) 'eclectic'(David Byrne) After collaborating with Morcheeba on three albums,including the classic 'BIG CALM',Stephen Bentley-Klein was looking for a new challange.In the birth of the 21st Century,the INKLEIN QUARTET was formed to create inspired musical vistas reflecting the rich tapestry of our modern multicultural society. INKLEIN QUARTET LIVE REVIEW December 5th 2005 Bush Hall,Shepherds Bush,London. Bush Hall is situated on Shepherds Bush's bustling Uxbridge Road in West London. A sprawling mix of cultures, races, creeds and colours. Stepping into the Victorian concert hall you feel like you have stepped back in time with it's ornate cornicing and overtly dramatic chandeliers. Tonight's concert is by the rather fine Inklein Quartet lead by Stephen Bentley-Klein. Instead of leaving the mass of cultures on the Uxbridge Road the Quartet under the wonderful leadership of composer, violinist and trumpeter extraordinaire Klein filled the hall with the strains of the world. A kaleidoscope of cultures, sounds and most of all passion. The quartet is made up of violin - Stephen Bentley-Klein, violin - Buffy North,Viola- Rachel Robson and cello - Nicholas Holland and with special guests Sirish Kumar on tabla and Richard Spaven on drums. The performance was preceded by a short poetry performance accompanied by Siresh Kumar on tabla. Quite strange but delivering some incredible words. The highlight being a piece about being multi culturally English. Very clever. Inklein opened with 'Lonely Whale Song' with whale sounds and effects played from tape. The work came about from a jam session according to Mr. Klein. Since that jam session he has written some exquisite parts in an almost English early 20th century style. Beautifully layered and textural. Drummer Richard Spaven added some cool and delicate Portishead type drumming which gave the track a real special and eclectic feel. 'Sun Temple' featured the merging of two Indian raags with Siresh Joining the ensemble on tablas. This was a truly mesmerizing performance. Not for virtuosity but for delicate and impassioned playing. With rich viola and lush cello playing octaves, the melody of the raags were enthralling. Klein's playing was superb and he seems to be able to embrace the Indian style of string playing perfectly. Cellist Nicholas Holland played perfect pizzicato as the two violins played in unison before answering each other. Contrapuntal at times, the music wove a tapestry of wonderful images of India. The tabla performance by Kumar was also exceptional. Light and shade and real grace. When the cello took the role of the tanpura playing a drone across the strings the textures and dynamics were beautiful. Eventually after passing the two melodies around the instruments the tempo picked up led by the cello to reveal more of the second theme. Then the piece became a 'mash-up' of the two raags, playing one then the other in quick succession. Siresh Kumar is a phenomenal tabla player having first performed at the tender age of 7. He was born in Tanzania and grew up in Uganda. He has a strong heritage of musicians in his family and tonight his expertise and ability shone through. What I like in particular about his playing was the depth and subtleties. Many virtuosos want to impress by speed and dexterity. Not Kumar, yes he could do all that but he also allowed himself to not be swept along with that school of thought. The Indian piece was heard by a member of the British Council at an earlier concert, which resulted in the quartet playing at an event of Brazilian, Chinese and Indian bankers. So as not to ostracize the Chinese and Brazilian representatives Stephen Bentley-Klein set about writing a piece for the remaining two countries. 'Gun In Hand' is a beautiful laid back light bossa nova with gentle percussion and drums, cello taking a pizzicato bass line, plaintive and lilting solo violin and excellent muted trumpet from Klein. He is a master. The third piece 'When the East was Far' is something quite extraordinary. Although I am not fully up on my Chinese music, Inklein's performance of this work, based on Chinese folk songs was incredible. The use of harmonics and the Chinese style of playing strings were really done to perfection. At times the harmonics created by the four musicians were quite harsh on the ear as the harmonics and notes clashed. Of course this is how it should be and the imagery created by the work was wonderful. Again cello stood out as the quartet launched into a dramatic sixteenths passage. Really commendable performances from all members of the Quartet. The final work 'Brave New World' suite tipped it's hat to the composers of New York and those synonymous with the great city. Klein lived there for some time and this work prompted by 9/11 looks to capture the musical journey over the last century. Starting with Gershwin, touching on Coltrane, Miles Davis, Philip Glass, from jazz, be-bop, hot club through to minimalism it really did evoke the musical heritage of the New York. Klein's has an ability to move from genre to genre. In a way it is the sign of a great composer. It's not really that his work is so different from piece to piece it is more of his precise ability to be authentic in his approach and the clarity and depth of the content. The arrangements, development and melodic make up are very well crafted. The work ended with an encore of a more rockier track inspired by one former Scorpion who the quartet has worked with. All that said the strength of this quartets performance has lead me to consider this concert as 'some of the most inspiring and passionately played music I have heard for years'!(soundgenerator.com) ~ATM 9. BRAVE NEW WORLD presents lush string compositions by Stephen Bentley-Klein embracing and re-energizing many musical styles as this majestic quartet take you on a journey of unmistakable quality and breathtaking beauty. In'Lonely Whale song' we hear the sadness of a lost magnificent creature in the combination of poignant full-some strings and trip-hop textured percussion whilst 'Gun in Hand' features SKYE singing Bossa Nova at her luxurious best. 'When the East was Far'is a fantastic rendition of original and folk melodies from China which has the quartet at times using guitar picks to gain the haunting texture.It ends with the brilliant horse-racing dance. The central 'Brave New World'section is a tribute to the great musicians of New York where Bentley-Klein studied at Manhattan School and he represents Gershwin,Charlie Parker,Miles Davis,Philip Glass,Hendrix in the various sections and also features solos on muted trumpet,electric violin and the drumming of Miles Bould.The events of 9/11 happened during the construction of the work and they changed the ending of the whole piece.After a cacophonical collage to signal the tragic vision of the ailing twin towers the music draws to a close with the sublimely beautiful 'Peace...' a truly moving experience that has often brought the audience to a deeply emotional place within.It has been performed at many human rights events throughout the world by the Inklein Quartet to great effect. The fabulous tabla virtuoso SIRISHKUMAR joins in a new type of Indian experience where two ragas collide in an elaborate and exotic feast for the senses'Sun Temple' with it's mad and brilliant climactic ending. SKYE also sings a version of'Butterfly Man' the title song of the film set in Thailand which Bentley-Klein scored and the album ends with the riotous rocking Jimmy Hendrix meets the Elgar Cello Concerto'Contraband', a performance inspired by Scorpions guitarist Uli Jon Roth in whose mansion the album was recorded. The INKLEIN QUARTET have also collaborated with many richly diverse artists including SKYE,Bombay Dub Orchestra, Nicholas Hytner at the National Theatre (David Hare's'STUFF HAPPENS' and HENRY IV parts 1&2 with Michael Gambon),David Byrne,The Tigerlillies,Uli Jon Roth (ex-Scorpions guitarist),the emerging,exotic Superthriller and also provided special music for Jasper Conran's show at London Fashion Week. The Quartet have also been active in Human Rights issues and have joined together with Vanessa Redgrave,Terry Waite,Alan Rickman,Corin Redgrave,Peaceful Tomorrows(9/11 families)American Civil Liberties groups and many others in Washington,New York,Palestine and London to support important situations. 'profound'New York Times.