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Miami Saxophone Quartet - Four of a Kind

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Liner notes: They play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star? What's this group all about? Unless you have heard the Miami Saxophone Quartet, you may not know what to expect from their newest CD, 'Four of a Kind'. No, this is not a children's album (but young saxophonists will surely like it). Ed Calle and Gary Lindsay's composite arrangement of this simple song tells a lot about the group in just the opening track. Lush jazz harmonies, swinging counterpoint, and funky R&B grooves all have their place. Say's arranger Calle: "The arrangement of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star was inspired by an opportunity to showcase differences between equal-tempered and Pythogorean tuning as part of my keynote address presented at the national MAC3 mathematics conference entitled Music as a Branch of Mathematics. My original works for the MSQ are focused on a linear chamber jazz approach that features the expansive musicianship and virtuosity of the quartet. These three movements of 'Twinkle' are most special because they are in collaboration with my mentor, colleague, and friend, Gary Lindsay. To enjoy the opportunity to create music with spectacular colleagues in the MSQ is as humbling as it is inspiring. We hope you enjoy listening to the music as much as we enjoy creating, rehearsing, and performing it. Here's the scoop on the rest of the tracks, most of which feature the MSQ with a jazz rhythm section: Gary Lindsay's original composition Don't Look Back was written to feature Mike Brignola and the MSQ's favorite guest pianist, Jim Gasior. It is a piece with two personalities, a "pop" swing melody for the quartet which later morphs into a straight eight groove displaying an abundance of inner lines of counterpoint. Lindsay's Lost (and Found) also displays two personalities. The opening alto backed by a classically styled piano accompaniment creates a searching mood, followed by an up-tempo swing groove with Calle leading on tenor. Keller's soprano tops an off-beat soli, wrapping it up with the entire ensemble hitting on all cylinders. Lindsay arranged Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Lady to feature baritone saxophonist Mike Brignola. Inspiration came from the late great Harry Carney and the Duke Ellington Orchestra, first heard by Lindsay in the early 60's at the Newport Jazz Festival, a concert that created an indelible image in sight and sound for the young arranger to be. Brignola has the sound to wail on this piece. Clarinet is used on the top of the ensemble to add some "Ellingtonian dissonance." Prelude-Invention-Suspension is extended Lindsay composition written to feature Svet Stoyanov, one of today's preeminent classical and contemporary mallet performers. The composition is heavily influenced by the intertwining counterpoint of J. S. Bach. The opening prelude for solo marimba introduces the melodic and harmonic ideas to follow. The Invention features contrapuntal interplay between various combinations of saxophones, bass and marimba, while the Suspension utilizes suspended harmonies and features some improvisatory fireworks by Ed Calle. Composed by Ralph Burns for the Woody Herman Orchestra, the classic ballad Early Autumn was arranged by Lindsay for the quartet plus a guest Trumpet/Flugelhorn. Originally recorded on the group's "Midnight Rumba" album with Arturo Sandoval on flugelhorn, this album's live version features Brian Lynch, another of today's top jazz trumpet performers. The soli incorporates an abundance of double-time, reminiscent of Woody's famous sax section. It's A Raggy Waltz is a Lindsay "re-composition" in which he used the Dave Brubeck original as a departure point for a more extended composition for the MSQ with full rhythm. The original chord progression is used in part with deviations as dictated by the exploration and development of the original theme (for instance the bridge starts with the same two measures before changing direction). After the added interlude Jim Gasior takes a beautiful piano solo on the form, followed by Keller and Brignola with their own statements to wonderful affect. The piece transforms into a three quarter time gospel blues for Ed Calle's tour-de -force closing tenor solo. Gary Lindsay' Sweet Bread is a straight ahead "blues with a bridge." The name comes from a snack that originated in Fall River, Massachusetts and was one Lindsay's favorite treats growing up. This hard swinging encore provides ample opportunity for solos by everyone. Reviews from past MSQ albums: 'In a word, the members of a [saxophone quartet] have to be serious if they actually want to get a sound. The members of the MSQ are serious musicians. ...Keller, Lindsay, and Brignola handle solos with aplomb...Calle explores from the depths to the heights and everything in between.... all of the cats are obviously having a great time playing this joyous music, a serious business indeed.' Billy Kerr, Saxophone Journal 'The saxes are the drawing card here and they never fail to please, individually or collectively. The interplay is often breathtaking. album that is as persuasive as it is stylish and engaging.' Jack Bowers, AllAboutJazz 'Another well-earned triumph for the MSQ, which stares down these formidable charts without uneasiness or pause and handily nails every note. For lovers of the saxophone quartet, a rich and flavorful banquet.' ?Jack Bowers, ' one might expect, the results are simply dazzling ..Another magnificent work by the MSQ on a project that continues to offer creative and stimulating varieties of balance, tone color and shades.' ?Steve Frattalone, Jazz Connection Magazine 'The MSQ is very much into rich tonal colors and intricate harmonic schemes interlaced with suitable improvisations. There's nothing on this well-designed and superbly performed concert date that is less than rewarding. If saxophone quartets push your button or light your fire, you can't go wrong with this one.'? Jack Bowers, 'When I first heard the Miami Saxophone Quartet's 2002 debut album, Take Four Giant Steps, I was knocked out by their sound. Hearing their new release, Live! (Fourtitude Records), I'm more than Knocked out. I feel like I'm in the presence of the Divine.' ?Stephen Fratallone, Jazz Connection Magazine 'Hugely gifted sax men Gary Keller, Gary Lindsay, Ed Calle and Mike Brignola follow last year's extraordinary Take Four Giant Steps CD with this live session recorded at the University of Miami's Gusman Hall and guest-starring area talents such as pianist Phil Strange and bassist Chuck Bergeron. Lindsay once again takes top honors for his stellar arrangements of tunes ranging from Pat Metheny's Sunlight to Thad Jones' A Child Is Born. A brilliant reprise of John Coltrane's Giant Steps is worth the purchase price alone.'? Bob Weinberg, Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel/City Link 'Beautiful arrangements and playing on all!'? Jim Wilke, Jazz After Hours (Public Radio International). The Miami Saxophone Quartet Live is on Jim Wilke's list of Best Jazz CDs of 2003) 'The quartet's open and fervent approach is felt on every composition as each musician performs through complex arrangements with tight interplay. John Coltrane's classic jazz piece 'Giant Steps'... is uniquely recreated with multiple horn lines and impressive solos. The horns are always lush and probing, conveying oneness.. an awe-inspiring rendition of 'America the Beautiful' ... saxophone nirvana.' ?Mark F Turner, 'Phrasing, shaping, and contrast are paramount here, and the performance is varied and powerful. I truly enjoyed this CD.'? Bob Mintzer '...the art of the Miami Saxophone Quartet was divine' ?Javier Ortiz, 'This is the hottest group to surface lately from the mix that is the Miami music scene. Each concert is a 'tour de sax.' John E. Brown, Biscayne Bay Tribune.

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Miami Saxophone Quartet - Four of a Kind.

1) Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
2) Don't Look Back
3) Lost (And Found)
4) Sophisticated Lady
5) Prelude-Invention-Suspension
6) Early Autumn
7) It's a Raggy Waltz
8) Sweet Bread

Four of a Kind
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Four of a Kind | Miami Saxophone Quartet