The San Francisco-based trio 2 Foot Yard is known for its daring and pioneering way with classical sounds: when violinist/vocalist Carla Kihlstedt, percussionist/guitarist Shahzad Ismaily, and cellist/vocalist Marika Hughes are not fusing them with visceral, pounding rock or energetic pop, they're exploring compositional boundaries by hitching e e cummings poems or other unorthodox works to their brief avant-garde pieces.
Kihlstedt is the most visible member of the outfit for her prior collaborations with the equally fearless John Zorn and her part in another San Francisco outfit, the all-acoustic Tin Hat Trio. But the résumés of Hughes and Ismaily don't skimp on notable credits, either. Hughes plays in the art-funk trio Red Pocket and sings in the a cappella trio Charming Hostess, both of which have released discs on Zorn's respected Tzadik label, and Ismaily, an American of Pakistani descent, has composed for film and live theater and worked with Laurie Anderson.
Together, their music in 2 Foot Yard -- the name is a nod to an organic gardening plot within city confines -- is swaggering and adventurous, artful but rarely inaccessible. ~ Tammy La Gorce