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The ongoing journey to horn bliss continues with In the Land of Ephesus by the Osland Saxophone Quartet. With a rich montage of jazz and classical styles, the music is delivered with exceptional quality and passion.
The quartet’s special bond is immediately apparent, revealing a tight unit of musicians which clearly expounds the beauty and art of the saxophone quartet. One common strand of the musical kinship lies in the quartet’s common roots at the University of Kentucky, where Miles and Lisa Osland are both teachers; Joe Carucci and Larry Nelson are alumni.
Miles Osland has recorded and performed in numerous formats ranging from orchestras to smaller ensembles. His academic abilities in terms of arranging are evident, but it’s the group’s masterful skill and handling of the compositions that make the recording a truly enjoyable experience.
The compositions show a diversity of styles and influences, with selections by jazz notables Bob Mintzer, Joe Lovano, Bill Mays, and other composers. The recording begins with Mintzer’s stirring “Saxophone Quartet #2,” which highlights nice horn arrangements and smooth transitions. The title selection, written by Lovano, features the quartet’s sophisticated playing sustained by an infectious percussion rhythm. Other pieces include the complex and extravagant “Concertino” by European composer Marcel Poot, and the Americana “Dooh-Dah Suite” which features homeland classics by songwriter Stephen Foster. The Osland Saxophone Quartet performs each piece with enthusiasm and spirit, delivering this music with superb precision and skill. In the Land of Ephesus has serious sax appeal for fans of jazz, classical, or just plain good music.
Track Listing: 1-3. Saxophone Quartet #2 4. In The Land Of Ephesus
5. It Takes Four to Tango 6. Concertino 7. Play Song
8-10. The Doo-Dah Suite 11-16. 1000 Bars Of Blue
Personnel: Miles Osland - flute, soprano and alto saxophones; Lisa Parent Osland -
tenor saxophone; Joe Carucci - alto saxophones; Larry Nelson - baritone
sax, string bass; Jeremy Long - alto saxophone (tracks 1-3); Jason
Tiemann - drums (tracks 1-3); James Campbell - percussion (tracks 4,5)