Darol Anger / Barbara Higbie's Biography
Steve Huey [allmusic.com]
Violinist Darol Anger has made his mark on new acoustic music with a number of different groups. From 1975-1984, Anger was a key member of the pioneering David Grisman Quintet, whose blend of folk, bluegrass, and jazz virtually defined the new acoustic genre, as well as advancing the harmonic and instrumental frontiers of traditional musics; as a member of the Turtle Island String Quartet in the late '80s and early '90s, Anger also helped bring virtuosic improvisation and boundless eclecticism to what had been an essentially classical, strictly composed musical format. Additionally, Anger co-founded the Montreux Band, a folk- and jazz-influenced group that recorded for Windham Hill in the mid- to late '80s and had an impact on the formation of so-called new adult contemporary (NAC) radio, and with Grisman alumnus Mike Marshall founded the progressive bluegrass outfit Psychograss, which carried on the eclectic Grisman tradition in the 1990s. Again teaming up with Marshall in the late '90s, Anger co-founded the Anger/Marshall Band, which kept him busy into the 2000s alongside his work on the Heritage Folk Music project, his continued appearances with his previous groups, his founding of the American Fiddle Ensemble, and his work as a producer and arranger for other artists.
Johnny Loftus [allmusic.com]
A talented, restless multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and singer, Barbara Higbie worked fluidly between genres as disparate as new age, folk, bluegrass, and tasteful pop/rock. Higbie first became interested in music in her early teens, after her family moved from Indiana to Ghana, West Africa. There she studied with master drummer Mustapha Tettey Addy, and immersed herself in the highlife scene that was popular in the region. After traveling throughout Africa, Higbie relocated back to the U.S., where she received her degree from Mills College in Oakland, CA. She next traveled to the Sorbonne, where she met noted violinist Darol Anger, and began her first serious forays into music and collaboration. By the early '80s, Higbie was living in San Francisco, where she took part in the new acoustic scene alongside Anger, Mike Marshall, and Rob Wasserman. She and Anger cut Tideline for Windham Hill in 1982; the following year, Higbie joined women's music great Teresa Trull on the acclaimed Unexpected. Established as a pianist, guitarist, fiddler, and songwriter, Higbie in 1983 was tapped by Anger and Marshall for Montreaux, the supergroup outgrowth of the popular Montreaux Jazz Festival. Higbie played piano with the group for the remainder of the decade, appearing on all three of its Windham Hill releases and touring extensively. In 1990, she made her solo debut with Signs of Life, which also marked her emergence as a lead vocalist. I Surrender followed six years later, and she toured in support of it with Liz Story and Margie Adam as Three of Hearts. She and Trull reunited for 1998's Playtime, which was also followed by a lengthy tour. 2001 saw the release of Variations on a Happy Ending, a collection of solo piano works. Higbie issued the Europe-only Interpretations of Carole King that same year, and made plans to rejoin Trull for another recording.