How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
As a foursome interpreting “Night and Day” or “Begin the Beguine,” the Capitol Quartet presents itself as a talented, classically trained unit that enjoys making good music. Most of their crossover session features the quartet alone, in a program that reaches from classical music to Dixieland. Crisp, clear, and with a decade-long comradeship, the four saxophonists make perfect music together. They’re at their swinging best when they add trombonist Jim McFalls and a piano trio to the formula. The extra voices add an expressive layer that brings a loose, friendly feeling to these memorable songs. Four tracks include a full orchestra as the foursome’s accompaniment. Named for their elite U.S. military background , the Capitol Quartet has what it takes to capture the hearts and minds of a populace. Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing” gets its due as a jazz arrangement, while the Bach, Stravinsky and Rimsky-Korsakov pieces remain as their composers intended. Cole Porter’s title track features an interesting effect, included because the quartet is again a cappella. In order to trade fours with an absent drummer, the artists employ the mechanical noise from the tapping of their saxophone keypads. It works. With their attention to detail and insistence on quality, the Capitol Quartet has much to offer an audience who straddles the fence between classical music and jazz.
Track Listing: Camelot; Stella by Starlight; F
Personnel: Kenneth R. Foerch- soprano saxophone; Anjan G. Shah- alto saxophone; David B. Stambler- tenor saxophone; David A. Lewis- baritone saxophone; Vince Norman- piano; Tom Baldwin- bass; Todd Harrison- drums; Jim McFalls- trombone; Orchestra: Mai Clark, Ruth Platt, Amy Neuenschwander, Victor Melgoza, Astasi Al-Shamaileh, Linda Faulstick, Drew Irvin, David Sego, Jane Hilton, Maria Roggenhofer, Rachel Sompong, Regino Madrid, Henry Tyszler, Erika Sato- violin; Jeff Norman, Dave Rigby, Emily Pullen, Bryce Bunner, John Largess- viola; Merrick Jones, Ellie Wee, Bonnie Andrus, Josh Gindele- cello; Ryan Kuck, Amber Holder, Claudia Botterweg, Pat Hershey, Chris Long, Aaron Clay- double bass; Julee Avallone, Courtney James, Kinuka Kobayashi, Kristin Winter-Jones- flute; Ben Kono- flute, oboe, English horn, clarinet; Erik Behr, Gina Carr- oboe; Lara Saville- English horn; Amy Parks, Ben Baron- clarinet; Fred Jacobwitz- clarinet, bass clarinet; Guillaume Grenier- Marmet- bass clarinet; Rebecca Cain, Nat Parker, Heather Scheinder- bassoon; Russell Beebe, Nate Mitchell, Bruce Hembd, Jennifer Kangas, Ken Bell, Karen Bakkegard- French horn; Gary Leopold, Joseph Bowman, Peter Green, Chris Walker, Michael Johnston- trumpet; Eric Bestmann, Christopher Niileksela- trombone; Chris Buckholtz- trombone, bass trombone; Gary Hellick- bass trombone; Eric Fuller, Jay Norris- tuba; Melanie Tebay- timpani; Charles Lynch- harp.