SAXOPHONE

Having entered music through jazz and the saxophone, I decided to attempt to evoke aspects of my conception of jazz within the idiom of the music I am writing today. The ‘scrape’ phrase on the cello with which the piece begins is the work rhythm of the enslaved which eventually evolved into the Blues. Phrases from the jazz standard, ‘You Don’t Know What Love Is’ are quoted. The cello has a brief ‘bass solo’. There is a rather long rhythmic section in shifting time signatures, which is the ‘drum solo’. The intense tutti with which the piece ends rises to levels of  strident entanglements reminiscent of ‘free’ jazz as practiced by titans like John Coltrane. In the late 60’s and early 70’s this ferociously infinite music signified liberation. Fifty years later it sounds perhaps like a desperate cry for help.

© 2020 by Hugh Levick

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