348

Free Range Saxophone Quartet: Fireflies

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Free Range Saxophone Quartet: Fireflies Since inception, the Origin Classical imprint has existed as a stylistic hinge between classical music and jazz. Defying genre definition, Origin Classical's archive should properly be considered simply music—that which defies category. Only a single release, Linda Tsatsanis and John Lenti's And I Remain: Three Love Stories—Music of the Seventeenth Century for Voice and Lute (Origin Classical, 2009), deals with what might be considered the "classical repertoire." The remainder of releases are by musicians simply playing music.

The saxophone quartet, as a performing entity, is nothing new. They are the reeds- equivalent of the string quartet, though more perfect. With the majority devoted to jazz, there have been many fine groups, including The World , Rova, New Century and Prism Saxophone Quartets. Enter now The Free Range Saxophone Quartetm, which is intent on raising jazz composition to the level of classical chamber music. Its repertoire is eclectic, with jazz standards (Thelonious Monk's "Crepuscule With Nellie"}} and commissioned pieces ("Saxophone Quartet").

The Quartet's approach is layered and smooth. "Crepuscule with Nellie" is Monk as smooth meringue, the pianist's hard edges softened in the lower reeds. The "Saxophone Quartet" is a three-movement piece characterized by these same shifting layers of Sound, investigating older musical forms passed through the prism of newer musical ideas. Never is the Quartet harsh, nor does it try so hard that its effort spoils the result. This is very listenable music.

But it is the two Bix Beiderbecke compositions closing the disc—"In the Dark" and "In a Mist"—that reveal exciting project possibilities. Beiderbecke, a poor music reader at best, did possess and keen ear for melody and tradition. "In a Mist" was first recorded by the cornetist on September 9. 1927. Beiderbecke had been thinking of the composition which reveals, harmonically, the influence of the French Les Six group. The Free Range Saxophone Quartet captures both this sophisticated harmonization and the spirit of the "Jazz Age." So compelling is this Quartet's arrangement and performance of this and Beiderbecke's "In the Dark," that they conjure the smell of unfiltered cigarettes and gin, clinging to perfume and bay rum.


Track Listing: Blue; Fireflies; Dust; After You; Puddles; Crepuscule with Nellie; Saxophone Quartet: Calliope, Chorale, Fugue; In the Dark; In a Mist.

Personnel: Vanessa Sielert: soprano saxophone; Saul Cline: alto saxophone; Todd DelGiudice: tenor saxophone; Gregory Yasinitsky: baritone saxophone.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Origin Classical


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Signature" CD/LP/Track Review Signature
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 17, 2016
Read "I Long To See You" CD/LP/Track Review I Long To See You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 6, 2016
Read "Empty The Headbin" CD/LP/Track Review Empty The Headbin
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 15, 2016
Read "Loafer's Hollow" CD/LP/Track Review Loafer's Hollow
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "As subtle as tomorrow" CD/LP/Track Review As subtle as tomorrow
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 9, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!