Magazine article Gramophone

'Flashback'

Magazine article Gramophone

'Flashback'

Article excerpt

'Flashback'

Denisov Alto Saxophone Sonata Gal Suite, Op 102b Heider Sonata in Jazz Hindemith Alto Saxophone Sonata Schulhoff Hot Sonata Guido Baumer sax Aladar Racz pf Odradek [F] ODRCD331 (68' * DDD)

The saxophone has a unique status among instruments in having its original reason for existing--as an instrument that would blend seamlessly inside a wind ensemble--utterly usurped by subsequent events. American jazz musicians transformed it from blending into anything much into the source of a kaleidoscope of fiercely independent voices, and composers have never quite been sure how to deal with the fallout. Ignoring jazz feels wantonly perverse; but embracing the music can bring with it a whole bunch of cultural misunderstandings.

All things considered, Guido Baumer and Aladar Racz's recital disc of mid20th-century music for saxophone and piano is a very low-key record, with only Edison Denisov's 1970 Alto Saxophone Sonata rescuing the project from a prevailing blandness. Always a canny operator, Denisov realises that a score merely referencing jazz heat and stylistic fingerprints will register as second-hand, and instead pushes his notation to such extremes that the saxophonist is obliged to think in the moment. …

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