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: David A. Lewis, baritone sax; Anjan G. Shah, alto sax; Kenneth R. Foerch, soprano sax; David B. Stambler, tenor sax; Vince Norman, piano; Todd Harrison, drums; Tom Baldwin, bass; Jim McFalls, trombone; orchestra conducted by Sam Pilafian on tracks 2, 3, 8, 19.
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