Few instruments have a connection to as many varied musical styles as the saxophone. In the short period since the instrument's invention just over a century ago, it has been included in some of the standards of the orchestral and solo instrument repertoire, it has been the expressive vehicle for some of the greatest innovators in jazz, and it has been popularized in numerous rock and pop hits.
The saxophone quartet is one of the few modern-day "consorts" (a group comprising only instruments of the same family, the string quartet being the most notable example) which enjoy such advantages as unity of timbre and articulation. As the saxophone is arguably the most energy-efficient musical instrument ever designed, a quartet of these instruments has an enormous dynamic and color range, plus an unsurpassed technical fluidity.
The American Saxophone Quartet began as an inspiration of Albert Regni, designed to perform the palette of musical styles which exists in the unique melting pot of New York City's musical scene. The Quartet has performed with the New York Philharmonic with Music Director Kurt Masur since 1995, both as soloists and as a section in works by Gershwin, Ellington and others. As part of the Philharmonic's 1997 South American Tour, they presented a Buenos Aires solo recital which earned a five-star review in La Nacion, and they have been featured on a Philharmonic Young Peoples' Concert conducted by Leonard Slatkin.
ALBERT REGNI, soprano, is Principal Saxophone with the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, and New York City Ballet Orchestras. He has released two critically acclaimed solo saxophone recordings, Extended Saxophone (CRI) and Three Dark Paintings (Open Loop). Well known internationally for his work on the concert stage and in recording studios, he has appeared at the music festivals of Marlboro, Aspen, and Edinburgh.
DAVID DEMSEY, alto, is Coordinator of Jazz Studies at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey. Equally at home on a concert stage or a jazz bandstand, he has recorded classical and jazz performances on the Centaur and Golden Crest labels. He has written books on John Coltrane and composer Alec Wilder, liner notes for Verve Records, and is Contributing Editor for Saxophone Journal and Jazz Player magazines.
DAVID CARROLL, tenor, is Associate Principal Bassoon of the New York Philharmonic and on the faculty of The Juilliard School. He is a winner of the Geneva International Music Competition, a Fulbright scholar, and a Koussevitsky Fellow. He is the tenor saxophone soloist on the New York Philharmonic's 1997 recording of Ravel's Bolero (WEA/Atlantic/Teldec).
LINO GOMEZ, baritone, performs frequently with the New York Philharmonic, American Symphony, and New York City Ballet Orchestras as well as the New Jersey Symphony, where he also performs on the bass clarinet. His chamber music credits include performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players at Tanglewood and recordings with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. He is Principal Clarinet for Miss Saigon on Broadway and a former member of the "Saturday Night Live" Band on NBC.
"… for my money, the ASQ is one of the most enjoyable and versatile chamber groups on today's music scene."
- Paquito D'Rivera
"Astonishing in this quartet's playing is the supple phrasing, scrupulous legato, refinement of tonal color and their caring approach to every style. Excellent… masterly blowing by four saxes."
- La Nacion, Buenos Aires, Argentina, June 14, 1997