Released Jun 3 2022
About the Group
Saxophone Legacy is a new ensemble formed in 2019. It is a collaborative project, with compositional contributions coming from saxophonists Jack Wilkins, Jeremy Brown and pianist Per Danielsson. The concept for this collaborative project was created by Professors Wilkins and Brown (University of Calgary) during Professor Wilkins’ 2017 Fulbright appointment to the University of Calgary as Research Chair in Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary Performance.
This series of original compositions celebrates the legacy of the saxophone. These new works are composed and arranged especially for this group. The majority of the compositions on this recording are based on improvised solos from landmark recordings by American Jazz saxophonists John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Hank Mobley and Coleman Hawkins, along with Swedish saxophonists Arne Domnerus and Lars Guilin, all masters of the saxophone whose innovations as improvisers and saxophonists provided important contributions to jazz music.
This recording also features the contributions of bassist Kodi Hutchinson and drummer Tyler Hornby, two of Canada’s finest jazz musicians. The recording took place at OCL Studios in Calgary in 2019.
About the Music
“Embodiment of Soul: A Tribute to Coleman Hawkins” – This Wilkins composition pays homage to the sound and melodic improvisations of the master saxophonist. The end of the composition includes one chorus of the original 1939 Hawkins Body and Soul solo.
“Dig Dis” – Wilkins uses the Hank Mobley improvised solo from his famous “Soul Station” recording as the main material for this arrangement.
“Swedes on Reeds” – Per Danielsson composed this hard swinging work. He develops materials taken from the Arne Domnerus and Lars Guilin saxophone solos as heard on the Famous Swedish jazz recording “Clifford Brown and Art Farmer with the Swedish All Stars”.
“Giant Madness” – This new composition combines elements of Tenor Madness and Giant Steps set in a ¾ time signature. Composer Jack Wilkins creatively reworks melodic lines from the improvised solos by tenor saxophone masters John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins from the classic Tenor Madness recording into this piece.
“Belgium Blues” – Composed by Jeremy Brown, this original work was written with the College Music Society 2019 International Conference concert in mind and was premiered there. The work is inspired by Charlie Parker and John Coltrane and presents interesting contrapuntal melodies in the saxophones cascading over rhythm section parts, which eventually lead to rousing Blues improvisations.
“Lake Louise Reflections” – This composition by Jack Wilkins was written for violinist Sara Caswell, and recorded on Wilkins’ 2016 CD/DVD release: The Banff Project, a collection of compositions with film. Check it out at JackWilkinsJazz.com. The composition is inspired by the stunning beauty of the iconic Lake Louise in the Banff National Park, one of Canada’s most recognizable landmarks. This new version begins with Jeremy Brown presenting the melody with pianist Per Danielsson, followed by Jack Wilkins’ improvised solo with the full band, before ending with Brown and Danielsson “reflecting” again on the melody.