Ahhhh, the sweet sound of the ultimate reed instrument, the beloved saxophone. No other instrument in jazz has evoked more passion or grace when placed in the capable hands of a skilled musician. For fans of the saxophone and its sibling instrument, the clarinet, the The Commission Project by the American Saxophone Quartet delivers an abundance of musical wealth that will more than likely satisfy.
Four compositions on the recording were commissioned by the music organization, The Commission Project. Founded in 1994 its goal is to to "Foster creativity in education by bringing students together with professional composers and performers." An illustrious list of jazz musicians who server as board members include bassist Ron Carter, trumpeter Jon Faddis, and percussionist Max Roach.
The talented and classically trained saxophonists for this project are David Demsey on (alto), David Carroll (tenor), Albert Regni (soprano), and Lino Gomez (baritone). Clarinet soloists Larry Combs, Ron Odrich, and jazz great Paquito D'Rivera each take the helm on each theme. All musicians give exemplary performances, which is only to be expected by a work of this caliber.
The four compositions were composed and written with unique themes. The music embodies both classical and jazz elements with interesting results. The orchestration of each composition is interesting to say the least. Movements may begin with serene expression then flow into swinging jazz rhythms that express the composers’ musical vision. The unique voice of each instrument is distinct with richness and style in Gabriel Senanes wonderfully exuberant "Cubamericargie Quintet". From the beginning theme of Michael Holober's musical excursion "Views From a Train" to Bernard Hoffer's fun and quirky "The Toy Chest", the music is structured but also free flowing, challenging and accessible, disciplined and fun.
Track Listing: Views From A Train - 01 Freely 02 High-Spirited 03 Chorale 04 Presto;
Cubamericargie Quintet - 05 Canas de Azucar 06 Zamba Sombria
07 Mi Longa Alegria; 08 Quasi An Arabesque;
The Toy Chest - 09 Jumping Jacks 10 Barbie and Ken 11 T Rex
12 Vincent 13 Trains
Personnel: Albert Regni- soprano sax, David Demsey- alto sax, David Carroll- tenor sax, Lino Gomez- baritone sax, Larry Combs- clarinet, Paquito D'Rivera- clarinet, Ron Odrich- clarinet
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.