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These performances alone are worth whatever it takes to obtain this CD. Add to that, however, David Sherr's exciting first class performance on alto saxophone in the first movement of his own jazz suite The Secret Life of Walter MIDI, and you have the complete picture. As seems to be Sherr's interest, he extracts from unlikely sources something as near to a twelve-tone series and moulds it into a wonderfully flexible composition. The first movement Sax Lines and Audio Tape takes the first thirteen notes of Charlie Parker's solo of Kern-Hammerstein's The Song is You and makes fascinating music [listen -- track 4, 0:00-0:59]. Later are heard superb solos from Brian Swartz on trumpet and Shelley Berg on piano. The third movement of the suite, In The Pocketa Pocketa is made out of lines from Mozart's 40th Symphony.

There are other Sherr pieces too. After the oboe Sequenza comes Palimpset, a repeat of Berio's solo piece with Sherr's added accompaniment for the full ensemble, superimposing his own improvised flute part. Debussy-Deb-You-Do is two sets of variations on material derived from Sequenza I and a Dizzy Gillespie solo. This is certainly a CD to get your hands on and your ears around, and will be very rewarding for the effort.

Copyright © 8 February 2004 Patric Standford, Wakefield UK


ArtMusic Ensemble: Look Both Ways

innova 541 Stereo 67'10" 2000 American Composers Forum

ArtMusic Ensemble: Shelly Berg, piano; Cynthia Fogg, viola; Scott Higgins, percussion; Joe LaBarbera, drums; Harvey Newmark, bass; David Sherr, leader, alto saxophone, flute, oboe, clarinet; Brian Swartz, trumpet, flugelhorn; Amy Wilkins, harp

Luciano Berio: Sequenza 1 (1958); David Sherr: Debussy Deb-You-Do (1999); Sax Lines and Audio Tape (1999); Berio: Sequenza VII (1969); Sherr: Palimpsest (1999); Berio: Sequenza IXa for clarinet (1980); Sherr: In the Pocketa Pocketa (1999)


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