The Takács Quartet, Hungarian but now resident in the U.S., takes string quartet playing back to its basics here, and does so transcendently (paradoxical as that may sound). You may find the playing a bit neutral at first, with Haydn's more dancelike rhythms rendered straightforwardly, but keep listening: each movement is a carefully polished jewel, with each instrument making up a set of perfectly sharp facets.
Appaloosa’s sole album is a textbook case of baroque folk, which was a term “en vogue” in the late 60’s, and described a folk rock laced with symphonic classical music; and with Al Kooper’s connection (both musical and production-wise) it became one of those influential albums, even if it only stayed four weeks in the US billboard, peaking at 128. Named after the horses and graced with a sober group picture for artwork, the album epitomizes a bit the Boston folk-rock scene, which saw Earth Opera (and its continuation Sea Train) and James Taylor emerge from also. The baroque folk genre can be applied to the Beatles’ Eleanor Rogby as well as the Rolling Stone’s Ruby Tuesday as well to artistes like Nick Drake, Donova, Tim Buckley and John Martyn. All of the 11 tracks are written by singer-guitarist John Parker Compton, whose songwriting evokes Joni Mitchell and later singer- songwriters in the 15 years surrounding this album’s release.