Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Prism Quartet, "Dedication," 31 Minatures in Celebration of the Saxophone Quartet's 20th Anniversary
The all-saxophone Prism Quartet recently celebrated its 20th anniversary as a group. Dedication (Innova 800) notes fittingly the passing milestone with the quartet performing 31 short compositions penned especially for the occasion. Most pieces are a little over a minute in duration, though some are longer. Time passes quickly and rewardingly when listening.
Jazz adept Greg Osby joins the group for some effective solo work on alto for his piece "Prism #1 (Refraction)," presented in two interesting takes.
In addition there are short pieces by Ken Ueno, William Bolcolm, Jennifer Higdon, Tim Berne, and a host of others. As might be expected, some directly channel the sounds and influences of modern jazz, others take on various characteristics as the particular composer deems fit. All are contemporary, seem specially suited for the quartet, and sparkle like small but brilliant stones in a modern cabinet of curiosities.
Dedication showcases ideally the excellence of the Prism Quartet with their exceptional tonal blend and precise agility. A most fitting way to kick off the next 20 years!