Oddball by Brian Friedland
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 Achilles Heal Saxophone Quartet is to make the best of this special instrumentation. We perform original compositions and/or arrangements by our favorite composers as well as by members of the ensemble.
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.
picture by Mark Redmond (Mandorla Music)