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Brubeck: Chromatic Fantasy Sonata, etc / John Salmon

Album Summary

>Brubeck, Dave : Chromatic Fantasy Sonata, version for solo piano
>Brubeck, Dave : Two-part Adventures, for piano
>Brubeck, Dave : Tritonis, for guitar & flute
>Brubeck, Dave : The Salmon Strikes, for piano
>Brubeck, Dave : The Rising Sun
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

A legendary jazz artist noted for his daring improvisations, Dave Brubeck is also a composer of many works for performance by classical musicians. He studied composition with Darius Milhaud, who encouraged Brubeck to compose using the language of jazz as well as classical music. Brubeck himself notes that perhaps his best compositions were created 'at the moment for the moment'.

Notes & Reviews:

Personnel: John Salmon (piano); John Foy (piano).

Recording information: School Of Music, University Of North Carolina, Greensbo (09/22/2002-10/14/2002).

Dave Brubeck's stature as a composer of so-called classical music got another boost with the release of this recital by his piano virtuoso friend and disciple John Salmon -- who clearly gets the composer's endorsement in Brubeck's liner notes. The major work on the disc is Brubeck's half-hour-long Chromatic Fantasy Sonata, which in itself amounts to a major addition to the sparse American classical sonata inventory. Taking off from the spectacular opening of J.S. Bach's Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D minor, Brubeck soon goes his own way, gradually putting his own brand of polytonality into the Chorale, and his melodic stamp onto an inversion of Bach's "B-A-C-H" signature in the Fugue movement. The lengthy, riffing Chaconne bears the closest resemblance to Brubeck's jazz improvisations (including a brief passage that seems to refer to "Take Five"), though without a jazz pulse per se. Throughout, Brubeck is in absolute control of the classical processes he adopts, and he has something individual to say -- two signs of a potentially long life for this work. Chromatic Fantasy Sonata takes up more than half the space on the disc, giving way to some brief chips off the workbench, Five Pieces from "Two-Part Adventures" -- again, the basic idea comes from Bach, but the treatments of these five miniatures (three of which originate from other Brubeck pieces, including some for his jazz quartet) bear the Brubeck melodic touch. Tritonis also exists in multiple versions (the best-known one being for jazz quartet); this piano version takes off from an eight-note figure split into two keys, turning into a brilliant toccata-like concert piece. Finally come two encores -- an often savagely aggressive thing called The Salmon Strikes written by Brubeck expressly for his interpreter, and a grand solo piano version of "Rising Sun" from Brubeck's Jazz Impressions of Japan album. Aficionados of contemporary piano music will find much to savor and learn from this disc, and even jazz people can establish connections to Brubeck's other musical life. ~ Richard S. Ginell



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Works Details

>Brubeck, Dave : Chromatic Fantasy Sonata, version for solo piano
  • Performer: John Salmon (Piano)
  • Running Time: 28 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Brubeck, Dave : Two-part Adventures, for piano
  • Performer: John Salmon (Piano)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Brubeck, Dave : Tritonis, for guitar & flute
  • Performer: John Salmon (Piano)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1978

>Brubeck, Dave : The Salmon Strikes, for piano
  • Performer: John Salmon (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Brubeck, Dave : The Rising Sun
  • Performer: John Salmon (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern