As a saxophonist I’m sure that I’m not alone in thinking that there’s something really special about playing in the quartet setting. We experience it to a certain extent playing as one of a group of five saxes in a big band. But playing just with other saxes without a rhythm section is like nothing else. You can hear everyone’s sound so clearly and the nuances are not missed. It’s like a living breathing organism we bring to life as a group.
The mission of the Composers Saxophone Quartet is to make the best of this special instrumentation. We perform original compositions and/or arrangements by our favorite local composers as well as by members of the ensemble. We love hearing what everyone comes up with and after each meeting everyone’s excited to get to write more for the group.
For jazz musicians it’s a different challenge to write something that will support an improvising soloist without a standard rhythm section and the composers who have written for us have approached this in a variety of ways. All the saxophonists in the quartet are also excellent improvisers and most of the pieces we play incorporate improvisation, showcasing the band’s ability to really swing without the need of a rhythm section.
The band members are:
Videos from August 3, 2014 at Gallery 263 (with Diane Wernick on alto/soprano saxes):
Repetition by Rick Stone
Tygart Valley by Kathy Olson
Everything’s Fine by Rick Stone
Reverie by Kathy Olson
Bird’s Lament by Moondog arranged by Rick Stone
Hebdomad by Danny Fratina
Video from September 13, 2011 at Outpost 186:
My Waltz by Kathy Olson
Audio recordings from past performances:
Oddball- Brian Friedland
Deed I Do- Rose & Hirsch, Arranged by Kathy Olson
School Stone Rock- Rick Stone
Ham and Cheese- Kathy Olson
Toon, Variations, and Fugue – Tom Hojnacki (with Diane Wernick)
Short Piece- Randy Pingrey
Premonition- Randy Pingrey