“Chamber”, “art”, “classical” ... these are all very serious words. They often don’t transfer a lot of warmth to the listener, especially when all of them apply to one body of music. Push the Musical Art Quintet’s debut album Nuevo Chamber into your computer, and your media player will qualify it as “classical”, but there’s nothing stern about this art. It’s light, hummable, danceable and slightly joyful without being self-effacing or frivolous. Assembled of violins, viola, cello and bass, and mainly trafficking in rhythmic and melodic motifs imported from Cuba and Africa, the Musical Art Quintet exercises tight control over its perfectly symmetrical compositions, a majority of which are provided by bassist Sascha Jacobsen.
A quick perusal of the liner notes for each song gives you a general idea of how there is no chamber snootiness motivation at work here. Case in point are the ever-glowing tributes to good living and optimism on “Life Is Beautiful” and “Ombligao en Argentina”, the latter of which is included twice, with the spoken word performance in both Spanish and English.