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Blue Plea

November 27, 2017



A compilation album by bass clarinetist Sauro Berti and saxophonist Mario Ciaccio will include my recently completed work, Blue Plea, for solo bass clarinet. The album will be released under an imprint of PARMA Recordings. I'm super-excited about this.


As you might gather from the name, the piece has a plaintive quality. It also illustrates the influence of  jazz on my composing, although as usual this is not by design, it just happens.


So is jazz plaintive? Sometimes. But no work can stay plaintive throughout (except John Dowland's Lachrimae). The music has to go somewhere, explore, develop, elaborate on what it's saying. Then. perhaps, it can return to where it started - or not, or yes but with something changed.


Now that I think about it, there are other classical works that are plaintive throughout. I'd say this about the 2nd movement of the Brahms Clarinet Quintet - which, by the way, probably influenced Blue Plea, because how can anyone writing for clarinet not be influenced by it? I'm tempted also to cite the 2nd movement of Schubert's Death and the Maiden quartet. And there are probably a heap of others. But in jazz? I'm not sure.

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