Jassamine Lane, Eubie Blake

All Repertoire

Jassamine Lane, Eubie Blake
Year of Composition: 1924    
Stephen Rosenthal

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

Jassamine Lane, Eubie Blake
Year of Composition: 1924    
Stephen Rosenthal

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

Recordings

Mozart To Modern
Amherst Saxophone Quartet: Mozart To Modern
Salvatore Andolina, soprano
Russ Carere, alto
Stephen Rosenthal, tenor
Harry Fackelman, baritone
Lukas Foss, Piano
1990

The saxophone was invented in 1840—a fact which makes it a veritable teenager among the traditional instruments of Western classical music. Far from being enfant terrible via its long kinship with popular idioms, the saxophone has been enfant cheri to many composers—due in particular to its singular lyrical voice. The timbres of a fine saxophone tone are brushed with a veiled fluorescence which is vibrant, sensual and inherently legato. The sum of this tonal melange has endeared the instrument to the treasury of the orchestral repertoire. Consider the record: Bizet—L'Arlestenne Suites; Prokofiev—Lieutenant Kije Suite; Shostakovich—The Golden Age; Ravel—Bolero; Rachmaninoff—Symphonic Dances; Milhaud—La Creation du Monde (a partial list). Each of these examples calls upon the saxophone to intone a descant that dwells among the loveliest in all of music.

But the Saxophone has a 'past' of another kind; its latent lyricism and potential for technical bravura have also made it a great vehicle for jazz expression. From the earliest days of Tin Pan Alley in New York City the instrument has been solidly identified with popular music in most of its myriad forms. From before Wiedoft to Parker to Desmond to Coltrane and beyond, the saxophone has been nonpareil as the preferred wind instrument among many of the world's greatest jazz artists.

Finally, though far less noticed, the vision of Adolphe Sax has also found its way into the mainstream of today's serious chamber music. And, although saxophone ensembles are now scattered around the globe, the ASQ is one of the world's leading advocates for commissions and premieres of serious new music for saxophone quartet.

It is appropriate that this MCA release is highlighted by the work of American composer Lukas Foss (1922-    ) [Editor's Note: (1922-2009)]. Once a pupil of Hindemith, Foss, a 'wunderkind' of his generation, left his position as pianist with the Boston Symphony to succeed Arnold Schonberg in the composition chair at UCLA. It was there that Foss formed an experimental chamber group to explore the diverse excursions of the musical avant-garde, Following close to the tempo of Foss' compositional work was the emergence of his distinguished conducting career as maestro of the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Jerusalem Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the Milwaukee Symphony. But there is more: among aficionados, Foss' extraordinary keyboard facility has become legendary for his celebrated recordings of Bernstein's Age of Anxiety, the Bach Piano Concerti and his own Echoi. He therefore brings to this recording an informed musical persona which is perhaps without peer in our time.

Chamber music can only rarely assume the metier of the classical concertante, To do so it must retain the intimacy of a small ensemble as well as command the instrumental flamboyance typically found in works for full orchestra. But this is Mozart (1756-1791), and his Piano Quintet in B, K.452 provides a seamless example of just how gracefully those diverse qualities can be entwined into the runes of a separate work. Moreover, it is often suggested that-no matter what the medium-Mozart always composed with his heart in opera. Indeed, the music here does have a theatrical sense. The keyboard and quartet of winds seem to convey character roles as if rendered from a dramatic scenario on-stage.

The formative idea for this restatement of K.452 came from composer/pianist Leo Smit. The incentive was the possibility to score a verbatim translation of the original wind parts (clarinet, bassoon, horn, oboe) into the ideally suited registration of the classical saxophone quartet. The original concert key of Bb has been maintained and the piano score itself remains untouched. The challenge now met by the saxophonists requires them to tap the preserve of inspiration, elegance, and freedom which together comprise the autograph of Wolfgang Amadeus.

K. 452 was completed in March of 1784, and Mozart held a special enthusiasm for the work. In a letter to his father on 10 April 1784, he wrote: "The concert I gave in the theater was most successful. I composed two grand concertos and a quintet, which called forth the very greatest applause; I myself consider it to be the best work I have ever composed."

Except for the stately and declarative Largo at the opening (a favorite device of Haydn), the overall structure of this quintet bears a kinship to Mozart's concertos for piano: three movements of which the first is assertive and engaging, the second purely lyrical, and the last—in this case a delightful rondo—charged with breezy pyrotechnics and panache.

Lullaby by George Gershwin (1898-1937) (transcribed for this recording by Stephen Rosenthal) was initially scored for string quartet in 1919 or 1920. The principal melody of this little gem was later appropriated by Gershwin himself for an aria in his one-act opera titled Blue Monday. But with some irony, Lullaby was not publicly performed in its original form until 1967 at the Library of Congress by the Juilliard String Quartet. The piece begins with a demure introduction marked Molto moderato e dolce. The gossamer ambiance created here by the quartet offers a most unexpected insight into the feathery nuance that can be adumbrated by saxophones.

A brilliant new addition to the repertoire is Foss' Saxophone Quartet, composed for the ASQ in 1985 during the composer's residency at the American Academy in Rome. The work, infused with musical contrast, consists of four movements played without pause.

The first is titled Introduction and is marked Agitato (explosive, but precise). Edgy figurines develop a nervous momentum, initially interspersed with sustained chords. The second movement is titled Canon and the pitch/melodic structure darts haltingly and with playful urgency, as if an atonal architecture banters with an impish hidden tune. Just before the intricate playtime comes to a halt we hear a caption in the style of the Introduction. What follows is the Chorale of the third movement, a sequence of transparent musical ciphers in the form of slowly progressing chords—a spiral of evolving tonalities which gleam like fragments of musically stained glass. But then Attacca commands the opening of the fourth movement. The title here is Canon B (backwards), i.e., essentially the same pitches and rhythms of the second movement played in reverse but with a catch: the players are required to play Niente, which the score defines to be "Activity felt but not heard". The shadowy effect generates an inscrutable energy which slowly graduates into full audibility. All the while the giocoso-styled lilt of the first Canon is maintained. Suddenly, quasi-souvenirs from the Introduction and the Chorale are briefly quoted as cantilevers into the quiescent C Major chord which closes the piece.

American rag-time pianist and composer Eubie Blake (1883-1983) led an astonishing musical life that found him still composing at the age of 99. His output of rags, songs and stage works has generated a catalog in excess of 2000 entries. With the blessing of Blake himself the ASQ has recorded an entire album devoted to a broad sample of his music. Two of those selections have been newly recorded to conclude this album. The first is Jassamine Lane (1924), a love ballad of lithe tenderness; the second is a delightful rag with an attendant story: the introduction and first strain of the work were composed as a gift to Blake (probably for his 90th birthday) by his friend Johnny Guarnieri (1917-1985), who also named the piece. In 1973 Blake deftly filled in the remaining blanks and voila: Eubie Dubie, another jewel from the crown. © 1990 Edward Yadzinski

ASQ Biography
The Amherst Saxophone Quartet has performed extensively throughout the United States, appearing at many of the country's major concert halls and chamber music venues.

The Quartet performs the standard works composed for saxophone quartet. In addition to this large repertoire, it has developed a unique library of manuscripts which includes many commissions, and also music of the Baroque and Classical eras, Avant-garde, Jazz and Ragtime. The group has worked closely with composers ranging from Eubie Blake to Lukas Foss. The ASQ frequently appears with symphony orchestras performing concertos the ensemble has commissioned.

The ASQ was formed in 1978, and has performed over 100 concerts per year on tour and at home in Buffalo, New York. The ensemble is in Residence at Buffalo State College and the City Of Buffalo, and was awarded Chamber Music America Residency Grants for the project.

In addition to their concert appearances they have been broadcast nationally on "St. Paul Sunday Morning", NPR's "Music in Washington" from the Kennedy Center and NBC-TV's "Tonight Show".

One of the long term goals of the ASQ is to encourage composers to write for saxophone quartet and create a twentieth and twenty-first century repertoire to rival that of the contemporary string quartet.

The

Amherst Saxophone Quartet

is:

Salvatore Andolina, Soprano
Russell D. Carere, Alto
Stephen Rosenthal, Tenor
Harry Fackelman, Baritone

Produced by Thomas Frost
Executive Producers: Martin Fleischmann & Joel Hoffner
Engineer: Tom Lazarus

Photo: David Hiller
Visual Effects: Dale Sizer
Art Direction: Martin Fleischmann
Design: Wilson Design Group

Thanks to: Ethel Siegel, Bobby Short, Michael Trimboli, Michael McGee, Tom Frost, Tom Lazarus, Joel Hoffner, Martin Fleischmann, Ed Yadzinski, and the Members of the Board of the Amherst Saxophone Society, Inc.

Also available on MCA Classics: Amherst Saxophone Quartet: Bach On Sax

Amherst Saxophone Quartet MOZART TO MODERN

W.A. MOZART Quintet for Piano and Wind Instruments in Eb, K.452 Trans. Leo Smit
I. Largo—Allegro moderato (9:32)
II. Larghetto (6:47)
III. Rondo: Allegretto (5:24)
Lukas Foss, Piano

GEORGE GERSHWIN Lullaby (7:30) Trans. Stephen Rosenthal for Giovanna Michelle

LUKAS FOSS Saxophone Quartet
I. Introduction (1:36)
II. Canon (2:57)
III. Chorale (4:01)
IV. Canon B (backwards) (3:19)

EUBIE BLAKE Jassamine Lane (5:29) Trans. Stephen Rosenthal

EUBIE BLAKE — JOHN GUARNIERI Eubie Dubie (3:09) Trans. Salvatore Andolina

An American Classic: Eubie Blake
An American Classic: Eubie Blake, Album Cover
Salvatore Andolina, soprano
Michael Nascimben, alto
Stephen Rosenthal, tenor
Harry Fackelman, baritone
1980

The Composer

James Hubert Blake, born on February 7, 1883, is truly a "National Treasure" and an American Classic. Blake completed his first composition in 1899, the same year Scott Joplin gained public recognition with this Maple Leaf Rag. Blake was still composing at the age of 98. His skills as a performer and entertainer are well documented on records and piano rolls, in concerts and television appearances. However, the full extent of his compositional talents has yet to be fully recognized and appreciated.

One reason for Blake's appeal as a composer is that he spans so much of our American culture and so many changes in contemporary musical styles. Quoting from Robert Kimball and William Bolcom in Reminiscing with Sissie and Blake, "Eubie was to be influenced by nearly every Rag pianist he came into contact with through those [early] years, just as he was to influence many others. His open pair of ears took in and digested much other music too: Victor Herbert, Franz Lehar, Oskar Strauss, and the light classics, Grieg and Wagner were also bouncing around inside his head; it was all music and all fascinating."

Blake's compositions, which number over 2,000, may be divided into three categories. The first is ragtime. He began composing this music when the form was in its heyday. Eubie was among the leaders of the second generation East Coast ragtime writers who were producing a more urban synthesis of that folk music form. Blake was to compose a number of rags for use in exhibitions of pianistic skill called "cutting contests." Works such as Tricky Fingers and Troublesome Ivories were not only technical show pieces, but succeeded at incorporating complex pianistic "tricks" into totally satisfying compositions. His harmonies were more adventurous than most of his contemporaries' and in general his writing now seems to have been many years ahead of its time. It was with the publishing of Chevy Chase and Fizz Water in 1914 that Eubie first gained widespread recognition as a composer.

The second category of compositions is Blake's work for the Broadway stage. Eubie was the first black composer to find acceptance and success on Broadway and he certainly must be ranked among the finest writers of American popular song. Eubie penned the music for twelve hit shows which contained such tunes as I'm Just Wild About Harry, Memories Of You, Love Will Find A Way, Shuffle Along and Jassamine Lane. He has shown a flair for beautiful, interesting melodies which always have some twist or surprise.

The third category of Blake's work falls under the heading of what he calls "semi-classical" music. His tone poem Butterfly and Valse Marion are but two notable examples. Eubie says, "In my lifetime I have never ceased being influenced by all music, particularly the music of Mozart, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Victor Herbert, Gershwin, Debussy, and Strauss." His interest in classical music led him, in his mid-sixties, to study music at New York University, concentrating on the Schillinger System of Composition.

It is a fact that Eubie is much better known today than he was 35 years ago. On December 27,1945 he married Marion Gant Tyler. Marion had been a business executive for Northrop Aircraft Corp., personal secretary to W.C. Handy, an actress in black Broadway shows in the late 1920s, and widow of the famed musician William Tyler. Because of her vast experience she was perfectly suited to manage Eubie's career. Marion saw to every detail of Eubie's professional life, carefully bringing him once again to national prominence.


The Association

The Amherst Quartet became involved with the music of Eubie Blake through a series of happy coincidences. During the mid-seventies Salvatore Andolina worked in Buffalo with Steven Radecke, a pianist who specializes in ragtime. Radecke had been producing ragtime festivals in St. Louis, Missouri, and invited the Quartet to participate in "Ragtime 79."

Eubie Blake was the special guest of the Festival that year. The Amherst Quartet had the opportunity to talk with and perform for Eubie and in turn was privileged to listen to him perform his own music. By the time the group left St. Louis, Nascimben had already completed several arrangements of Blake's music.

Blake has said, "These boys of the Amherst Saxophone Quartet are fine musicians and they play my music just the way I meant it to be played. I'm proud that they enjoy performing my compositions and do it so well. This recording is a very special present to receive on my 98th birthday, and my wife and I certainly appreciate it."


The Artists

The Amherst Saxophone Quartet was formed in January 1978 as a classical ensemble for the purpose of performing the literature written for soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophone. Few people realize that there is a larger repertoire for saxophone quartet than for any other chamber ensemble with the exception of string quartet.

Salvatore Andolina, soprano, received a BFA degree from SUNY at Buffalo. He has studied saxophone with Ed Yadzinski and John Sedola and clarinet with James Pyne and Stanley Hasty. Mr. Andolina was a regular member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra playing clarinet and bass clarinet for the 1978-79 season.

Michael D. Nascimben, alto, holds a bachelor's degree from SUNY at Fredonia and a master's and doctorate from the University of Michigan. He has taught saxophone at the University of Texas and SUNY at Buffalo, and instrumental music in the public schools of western New York. As well as being an educator, he is active in conducting and arranging.

Stephen Rosenthal, tenor, studied saxophone with Edward Yadzinski and John Sedola, and clarinet with James Pyne. He received a BFA degree in music performance from SUNY at Buffalo. Mr. Rosenthal has performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Empire State Wind Ensemble.

Harry Fackelman, baritone, received a MFA degree in music from SUNY at Buffalo. He has studied saxophone with Edward Yadzinski and clarinet with Allen Sigel. Mr. Fackelman has performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Empire State Wind Ensemble.


The Music

Charleston Rag (1899) - This was originally entitled Sounds of Africa by Will Marion Cook. In 1921 it was renamed and promptly sold a million records. Already a fully developed style is exhibited with the presence of a very characteristic "wobbly" bass line.

Kitchen Tom (1908) - Written for a light-skinned cook from Atlantic City who won Eubie's respect for refusing to "pass," thereby accepting the lower wage paid to blacks. Eubie used a tune Tom used to whistle as the basis for the second strain.

Poor Katie Redd (1910) - Written for a strong, well-educated, articulate woman who could swear a blue streak on occasion. Although this piece is a rag, the first strain has lyrics.

Jassamine Lane (1924) - This is a beautiful love ballad with words by Noble Sissie. It was used in the show The Chocolate Dandies.

Tricky Fingers (1908) and Troublesome Ivories (1911) - Virtuoso
pieces which are exemplary of Eubie's
rag composition style.

Randi's Rag (1974) - Written for a Scandinavian newspaper woman, this demonstrates that Blake at 91 still had not lost touch with many of his early influences.

Fizz Water and Chevy Chase (both 1911) - Although these pieces established Blake's fame as a composer, he still regrets selling these rags outright. It is a mistake he was never to repeat.

Dictys On Seventh Avenue (1955) - This served as Eubie's thesis paper at NYU. Note the use of the whole tone scale.

Butterfly (1935) - This is a delightful tone poem which seems a curious blend of Debussy and ragtime.

Eubie Dubie (1973) - The introduction and first strain were written by Johnny Guarneri and given to Eubie as a gift. Eubie later completed it.

Valse Marion (1972) - The most wonderful of a series of valses. Eubie said, "I wrote that especially for my wife, Marion, and she loves the way the Quartet treated it and so do I."

I'm Just Wild About Harry (1921) -
Written with lyrics by Sissie, it was one of the hits of Shuffle Along and its popularity has continued.

- M.N., S.R.

Review

Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY)
Tuesday, October 9, 1990
Ad of note
Herman Trotter

A record company supports a new release by the Amherst Saxophone Quartet and Lukas Foss
WELL. GUESS who's featured in the full-color, full-page ad that appears on the back cover of Musical America mag-azine and in the New York Times Sunday Magazine? Our own Amherst Saxophone Quartet and Lukas Foss, that's who!

This prominent and costly advertising position is evidence of the importance MCA Classics attaches to its new recording called "Mozart to Modern." It features the ASQ and composer/pianist and former Buffalo Philharmonic music director Foss in works of Mozart, Foss, Gershwin and Joplin.

This is the ASQ's second release on the major, worldwide MCA label, and it's quite different from the first, which was all Bach. Here we have something much more like the ASQ's typical, highly successful concert program format. It has usually incorporated selections from the traditional sax repertory. contemporary works (many composed for or commissioned by the ensemble), transcriptions of works for other instrumental combinations and the signature closing ragtime favorites.

Leading off the new MCA Compact Disc is a transcription of Mozart's Quintet for Piano and Winds in E-Flat, K452, by internationally respected Buffalo composer Leo Smit. With Foss joining the ensemble as pianist. the performance has an attractively lithe and sinuous quality. This is largely due to the sonority produced by the four saxes, which is naturally more homogeneous than the original scoring for oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn.

But granting the slightly lesser instrumental pungency in the transcription, the listener's attention shifts slightly to focus on the engaging interplay between the relatively percussive piano attacks and the legato lines of the four reeds. On this basis, the balance between reeds and piano is ideal. Foss once again proves what a superb pianistic feel he has for Mozart, and the ensemble does not try to make more of this music than is there, preserving its essentially genial serenade character with wonderful fidelity in its new clothing.

The other major work is the recorded premiere of Foss' 1985 Saxophone Quartet. It's quite complex in structure, defying easy description, but in essence it seems to be a study in contrasting sections of bristling and long-sustained sonorities, cacophony and serenity.

The opening movement, Introduction, forecasts this pattern in microcosm. with its quiet chords interrupted by energetic bursts of cackling sound. The succeeding Canon is all staccato attacks in seemingly random rhythmic patterns, followed by an exaggeratedly slow Chorale of gorgeously drawn out pianissimo chordal changes. The work closes with a backwards version of the Canon, emerging from silence to re-establish the jabbing ambience, then sinking into a calm C Major chord at the close.

It is a complicated work. But it's propelled by such a sense of logic and is so magnificently performed by the ASQ that it becomes a very satisfying listening experience.

The CD is filled out with transcriptions by two ASQ members, Gershwin's serenely gentle "Lullaby" for string quartet and Eubie Blake's "Jassamine Lane" by Stephen Rosenthal, and Blake's "Eubie Dubie" by Salvatore Andolina, all impeccably played.

Quintet for Piano and Wind Instruments in Eb, K. 452, W.A. Mozart
Saxophone Quartet, Lukas Foss
Lullaby, George Gershwin
Jassamine Lane, Eubie Blake
Eubie Dubie, Eubie Blake
Ad of note
Pittsburgh Press, The (Pittsburgh, PA)
RECORDINGS: Mozart to Modern. Amherst Saxophone Quartet, Lukas Foss, pianist. MCA Classics
Donald Rosenberg

A few bars into Mozart's Quintet for Piano and Winds, K. 452, you suddenly realize that, no, these aren't the designated winds (oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn) of Mozart's quintet, but four saxophones who sound uncannily like the originals. Soon, the distinctive colors of the soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxes inhabit Mozart, and the Amherst players make a convincing case for style over purism. The performance is a treat from the Amherst's occasional camouflage act to Lukas Foss' elegant pianism. Also to be savored are Foss' Saxophone Quartet, written for these players, a neatly devised amalgam of neo-classic and jazz ideas that avoid banal sax personality traits. The Amherst musicians, who are based in Buffalo and performed last summer at Summerfest in Fox Chapel, make a seamless wonder of Gershwin's bluesy Lullaby and dandy work of Eubie Blake's Jassamine Lane. Their snappy closer, Eubie Dubie, pays affectionate tribute to the ragtime musician who was their coach and mentor.

Quintet for Piano and Wind Instruments in Eb, K. 452, W.A. Mozart
Saxophone Quartet, Lukas Foss
Lullaby, George Gershwin
Jassamine Lane, Eubie Blake
Eubie Dubie, Eubie Blake
RECORDINGS: Mozart to Modern. Amherst Saxophone Quartet, Lukas Foss, pianist. MCA Classics

Composer Biography

1883 — 1983

JAMES HUBERT "Eubie" BLAKE was born in 1883 in Baltimore and lived to be 100 years old. One reason for his appeal as a composer is that his experience spans so much of our American culture and so many changes in contemporary musical styles. Quoting from Robert Kimball and William Bolcom, "Eubie was to be influenced by nearly every Rag-pianist he carne in contact with through those [early] years, just as he was to influence many others. His open pair of ears took in and digested much other music, too: Victor Herbert, Franz Lehar, Oskar Strauss, and the light classics. Grieg and Wagner were also bouncing around inside his head; it was all music and all fascinating." His interest in classical music led him, in his seventies, to study music at New York University, concentrating on the Schillinger System of Composition.

BLAKE was as much as 20 years older than most of the other early jazz and ragtime musicians who composed and recorded their creations on 78s and piano rolls in the early years of this century. Incredibly, he met almost all of the pioneers, and he outlived them. By the time Eubie first recorded, he was 34, but he was already a show business veteran. With singer Noble Sissle, he brought the first 'Negro' musical to Broadway in 1921 Shujjle Along. In his later years, his willingness to travel, his ability to clearly recall events and people from 60 to 90 years before, and his openness and frankness (not to mention his keyboard facility) made him a national institution. The Amherst Saxophone Quartet met Eubie in St. Louis in 1979, and by 1980, Eubie helped the ASQ to record 14 of his works for the Musical Heritage Society record label. Dictys on 7th Avenue was composed when he was pursuing graduate work in music and features the use of the whole tone scale. Charleston Rag (1899) is an example of Eubie's classic Ragtime style. Charleston was originally entitled Sounds of Africa by Will Marion Cook, an influential conductor of the time. In 1921 it was renamed and promptly sold a million records. Even though Eubie was only sixteen when he composed the work, already a fully developed style was exhibited, with the presence of a very characteristic 'wobbly' bass line.

1883 — 1983

Blake, Eubie was as much as 20 years older than most of the other early jazz and ragtime musicians who composed and recorded their creations on 78s and piano rolls in the early years of this century. Incredibly, he met almost all of the pioneers, and he outlived them. By the time Eubie first recorded, he was 34, but he was already a show business veteran. With singer Noble Sissle, he brought the first 'Negro' musical to Broadway in 1921-Shuffle Along.

In his later years, his willingness to travel, his ability to clearly recall events and people from 60 to 90 years before, and his openness and frankness (not to mention his keyboard facility) made him a national institution. The Amherst Saxophone Quartet met Eubie in St. Louis in 1979, and by 1980, Eubie helped the ASQ to record 14 of the master's works for the Musical Heritage Society record label.

Article

Buffalo News, The
ON THE WAY TO CARNEGIE HALL

These are heady times for Buffalo's internationally renowned Amherst Saxophone Quartet. Last week their second compact disc on the prestigious MCA label was released (to be reviewed in Gusto shortly). On Thursday they will appear at New York City's Carnegie Recital Hall. And in between, at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday to be precise, they will give a concert in Rockwell Hall on the Buffalo State College campus which will be an exact preview of the Carnegie concert and a generous sampling of the music on the new CD. Central to all of this activity is a musician well-known in these parts as a former music director of thc Buffalo Philharmonic, Lukas Foss. On the CD and in both concerts, Foss will be soloist in Mozart's Quintet for Piano and Winds in E-F1at, K458, as transcribed for saxes by another Buffalo musical luminary, composer Leo Smit. A tip: Smit's transcription produces wonderfully natural-sounding reed-piano sonorities, and the performance is an utter delight. But wait! Foss also wears his composer's hat for these events, as the ASQ will play the Saxophone Quartet he wrote for them in 1985. It was described after its premiere as "a fascinating study in changing textures and sonorities." Also to be heard on the new CD and at both concerts will be Gershwin's "Lullaby" plus Eubie Blake's "Jassarnine Lane" and "Eubie Dubie," while Lowell Shaw's transcription of Bach's Concerto, BWV 913, and the 1961 Saxophone Quartet by Claude Pascal complete the Rockwell/Carnegie program.
—Herman Trotter

Amherst Saxophone Quartet: ON THE WAY TO CARNEGIE HALL