American Saxophone Quartet:
Spanning the River
(Sons of Sound SSPCD002)
SPANNING THE RIVER, for the ASQ, means
using the remarkably versatile saxophone to cross
the waters of time, place, and musical genre,
building bridges between Baroque and contemporary
works, American and international composers,
and both classical and jazz forms.
THE AMERICAN SAXOPHONE QUARTET
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 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
DAVID CARROLL, tenor, is Associate Principal
Bassoon of the New York Philharmonic and on the
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.
DOMENICO SCARLATTI (1685-1757), the greatest Italian
composer for harpsichord of his time, wrote over
six hundred sonatas. The three presented here
display the startling suitability of the saxophone
quartet for the music of the Baroque era. The
virtuostic figuration characteristic of his harpsichord
writing translates perfectly for saxophone, and
the contrasting lyrical sonata lends itself beautifully
to saxophone bel canto.
DAVID MATTHEWS (b. 1942) is a veteran of the
jazz and commercial recording scene, composing
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.
Here in its premiere recording, Matthews' "Quartet
For Saxophones" features solo and section-style
writing that pushes each horn to its technical
limits in terms of range, dynamics, and velocity.
ASTOR PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992) dedicated his professional
life to the tango music of Argentina, his native
country. The movements of "Histoire du Tang"o reflect
the ever-changing role of this musical form in
an evolving society. The work was composed for
flute and guitar, and this arrangement for saxophone
brings to fruition a project which Piazzolla had
launched but was unable to complete in his lifetime.
BOB MINTZER (b. 1953) is an acclaimed composer,
saxophonist, improviser, arranger, and bandleader.
A charter member of the ASQ, he is best known as
a member of the jazz group Yellowjackets. His "Quartet
No. 1 In Three Movements," in its premiere recording
here, seeks to relate such English pastoral composers
as Percy Grainger and Ralph Vaughan Williams to
the more acerbic styles of Stravinsky and Copland,
and to overlay the whole with the ostinato and
over-the-bar rhythms of jazz. The composer says,
"I tried to work in such a way that the lower saxes
provide lush harmonies against which the soprano
sax has an opportunity to shine and be expressive."