138

Nuclear Whales Saxophone Orchestra: Fathom This: A Retrospective

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Nuclear Whales Saxophone Orchestra: Fathom This: A Retrospective A Novelty. Saxophone quartets are nothing new. The World Saxophone Quartet is perhaps the most famous and justly so for all of the members, present and past are famous in their own right. Bobby Watson’s 29th Street Saxophone Quartet has made a name for itself on RED Records. These are just two of several. Full saxophone orchestras such as the Nuclear Whales Saxophone Orchestra is a much rarer bird indeed. This orchestra, at this point, is a novelty, but a very good one. And the music this orchestra makes is as fine as any classical wind ensemble.

A Sextet? The Nuclear Whales Saxophone Orchestra is made up of every stripe of saxophone (from top to bottom): sopranino (a specialty of Wessell Anderson), soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, bass, and contrabass (a 6 foot 8 inch behemoth). This combination achieves an expansive six-and-a-half octave range. The result is a warm, welcome sound conveyed through old-time arrangements.

The Songs. This disc is the equivalent of Dieter Klöcker’s Consortium Classicum, playing the American rather than the Western European Canon. The music ranges from Gershwin’s “Summertime” to Ellington’s “Do Nothing...” to Public Domain’s “Amazing Grace”, all played in a way that makes the listener want to wave the Old Glory. Throw in “Also Sprach Zarathustra” and a couple of originals and you have quite a collection. Accumulated from the group’s previous five discs, Fathom This is a well balance retrospective of this unusual band’s output.


Track Listing: Visitors From the Deep; It don

Personnel: Kelley Hart-Jenkins: Alto and Soprano Saxophones; Dale Mills: Tenor Saxophone; Art Springs: Bass Saxophone; Don Stevens: Alto and Contrabass Saxophones; Keven Stewart: Baritone Saxophone; Kristen Strom: Soprano and Alto Saxophones; Ann Stramm Merrell: Baritone Saxophone.

Title: Fathom This: A Retrospective | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Whaleco Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Pekka" CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Contrasts" CD/LP/Track Review Contrasts
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 30, 2016
Read "Cinema Spiral" CD/LP/Track Review Cinema Spiral
by John Sharpe
Published: August 9, 2016
Read "Eight Track II" CD/LP/Track Review Eight Track II
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 4, 2016
Read "Crop Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Crop Circles
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Sanctuary" CD/LP/Track Review Sanctuary
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 16, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.