Gandy Dancer is the first release of a 1984 recording featuring the original quartet. The sessions includes a rare classical recording of jazz great Bob Mintzer with New York Philharmonic Principal Saxophonist Albert Regni. Gandy Dancer is a showcase of 20th-century chamber music repertoire that also features Phillip Glass soprano Dora Ohrenstein.
01 Variations on a Theme of Stravinsky (Hoffer) (10:38)
02 Labyrinth (Hampton) (11:17)
03 Chantefleur (Matthews) (8:13)
04 Allegro Moderato (4:45)
05 Andante Maestoso (5:25)
06 Presto (2:46)
Jack KRIPL, alto saxophone
Bob MINTZER, tenor saxophone
George MARGE, baritone saxophone
feat. Dora OHRENSTEIN, soprano
original sessions produced by Albert REGNI
engineered by Michael FARROW
ensemble photograph by Joel KAYE
cover image courtesy of ARCHIVE PHOTOS
ALBERT REGNI, the founder and leader of The American Saxophone Quartet, is Principal Saxophonist with the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, and New York City Ballet Orchestras. He is also Professor of Saxophone at The College of New Jersey.
GEORGE MARGE, a versatile woodwind player and veteran of Broadway and New York recording studios, began his distiguished career at the age of 11 as the Albany Symphony’s youngest member ever. Acclaimed by his peers in the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), Mr. Marge won the coveted Most Valuable Player Award on oboe every year from when the award was instituted, in 1979, until his death in 1985. He won the same award for flute in 1979 and 1982.
JACK KRIPL studied conducting and classical saxophone repertoire while a Fulbright Scholar in Paris. In 1971, he won the Geneva International Competition for Musical Performers, which launched his career as a classical saxophone soloist. During his 16 years in New York, Mr. Kripl was principal woodwind player with the Philip Glass Ensemble and a free-lance woodwind specialist for network television, Broadway, and the New York City Ballet.
BOB MINTZER is a respected composer, saxophonist, improvisor, arranger, and bandleader. A charter member of the ASQ, he is now with the best-selling jazz group Yellowjackets in addition to leading his own jazz big band and small group. His "Quartet No. 1 in Three Movements" was recorded by the ASQ and released on the CD Spanning the River in 1999.
DORA OHRENSTEIN is a gifted interpreter of art song, vocal chamber works, and contemporary vocal music. For over a decade she was solo vocalist of the Philip Glass Ensemble, has performed chamber music with the Kronos Quartet and Brentano Quartet, and has appeared as soloist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
BERNARD HOFFER (b. 1934) A distiguished musician, composer, conductor, and arranger, Mr. Hoffer’s concert works have been performed by the New York Philharmonic and the Spokane Symphony, among others. He has also written extensively for film and television. This work, including theme music for the “MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour” on PBS, has won several Emmy nominations, and his commercial writing has earned six Clio Awards. Mr. Hoffer’s association with the ASQ includes the production of two CDs: Spanning the River, and Mr. Regni’s solo disc El Amor, both on Sons of Sound Recorded Music.
CALVIN HAMPTON (1938-1984) Once called “the greatest living composer of hymn tunes,” Mr. Hampton distinguished himself as an organ recitalist and interpreter of 19th- and 20th-century music. From 1974 to 1983, he played the renowned weekly Friday Midnight concerts at Calvary Church in New York City. His choral, organ, chamber, and orchestral works have been performed throughout the world. They include concertos for saxophone quartet, for organ, and for two violins.
DAVID MATTHEWS (b. 1942) is a veteran of the jazz and commercial recording scene, composing and arranging for such luminaries as James Brown, Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon, and Buddy Rich. His Manhattan Jazz Quintet is one of the leading jazz groups in Japan. Matthews’ "Quartet for Saxophones" received its premiere recording by the ASQ on Spanning the River.
SEYMOUR BARAB (1921-2014) first developed an affection for the saxophone after composing "Quartet" for the ASQ in 1983. Since then he has written other works for saxophone, including a piece for saxophone and string orchestra. He composed Saxophone Quartet No. 2 for the ASQ in 1992. Barab has also written many operas; his "Little Red Riding Hood" for children is the most frequently performed opera in America.
"If you have no leanings toward jazz, read no further. This is music that successfully bridges the gap between jazz and classical music, with more emphasis toward the former… The 1984 recorded sound… captures the individual tonal quality of the instruments in solo passages to perfection. I would commend the disc without reservation to all saxophone enthusiasts, for this is playing of highest quality. Without that inclination, you must first try track 3, “Chantefleur.” If you are happy there, go ahead, buy it."
~ Fanfare, June 2000
"…I’ve recently been enjoying Gandy Dancer… the American Saxophone Quartet’s charmer of a disc…"
~ Chamber Music, June 2000