Saxophone Quartet

rhysonsax

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Surrey, UK
#41
Our sax quartet performance last night went pretty well, just six arrangements in a 20 minute segment of a concert in a local church.

I had my Zoom recorder set up in front of the group and it captured the sound pretty well. Here are three numbers if anyone is interested.

La Cumparsita - 4 FABB Saxes 8 Sept 2018.MP3 - Box

A Foggy Day - 4 FABB Saxes 8 Sept 2018.mp3 - Box

Gemini Rising - 4 FABB Saxes 8 Sept 2018.mp3 - Box

Things for us to work on, both individually and as an ensemble, but I'm looking forward to the next public performance whenever that is.

Rhys
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
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#44
I enjoyed these, a lot. Well done.
Overall the sound is lovely.

Just a couple of observation, if I may (BTW I don't know any of the 3 pieces, so this is based on my ears only)

a) In "A foggy day" do you all sound the chords together at the start? or are they written slightly apart? The opening seems a little uncomfortably "staggered"

b) there seemed to be a spell in the middle of La Cumparsita where the tempo increases, and I couldn't decide if it was intentional. It felt slightly uncontrolled at that point.

As you say, a few things to work on, but definitely very enjoyable.
 

rhysonsax

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#45
Nice bari sound! :sax:
The soprano player needs to give it a bit more welly in my opinion.
Thanks @nigeld - that's your old Vandoren mouthpiece in action.

I think that @kevgermany is probably right and the balance was better from the audience perspective - I had to put the Zoom quite near to us (set up in a horseshoe shape) and it seemed to pick more of the bari and tenor.

Rhys
 

rhysonsax

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3,268
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Surrey, UK
#46
I enjoyed these, a lot. Well done.
Overall the sound is lovely.

Just a couple of observation, if I may (BTW I don't know any of the 3 pieces, so this is based on my ears only)

a) In "A foggy day" do you all sound the chords together at the start? or are they written slightly apart? The opening seems a little uncomfortably "staggered"

b) there seemed to be a spell in the middle of La Cumparsita where the tempo increases, and I couldn't decide if it was intentional. It felt slightly uncontrolled at that point.

As you say, a few things to work on, but definitely very enjoyable.
Thanks @MandyH - good observations and fair comment. The start of Foggy Day is supposed to be in 2 and big chords all together, but it can be hard to keep a pulse and move together - we are used to playing in big band with a rhythm section. I think we need to work not only at feeling a pulse but watching each other better.

Rhys
 

jbtsax

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Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
#48
Thanks @nigeld - that's your old Vandoren mouthpiece in action.

I think that @kevgermany is probably right and the balance was better from the audience perspective - I had to put the Zoom quite near to us (set up in a horseshoe shape) and it seemed to pick more of the bari and tenor.

Rhys
Very well done. I especially liked the precise and well controlled bari playing. I think the best thing this group could do is listen to the recording as a group and do an honest self-appraisal noting which things come across well and what things need improvement.
 

Justin Chune

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The Athens of The North
#49
That sounded great. My quartet is long gone and I have passed a lot of our music over to the younger set so they can enjoy it. I don't have contact details, but I can recommend Don Ashton as a source of great sax quartets.
 

saxyjt

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France
#52
I sometimes wonder if Phillipe Marillia ever played saxophone, especially Baritone. I think some 4a4 quartet arrangements are by him (I might be wrong, though). Some of his arrangements are rather good, and others leave you wondering what he was thinking at the time of the arrangement - octave / 12th leaps! Etc.
What are we asking him??
:confused: Sorry, I didn't realise I was referring to a 3 years old post! But he is a 'saxophonist' and other things... From what I read online. :eek:
 

rhysonsax

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Surrey, UK
#53
I would like to organise for our saxophone quartet to play for the residents in my mum's care home. I think that some members of the forum may have done similar things and can offer us some hints to help us.
  • We would play in one of the lounges, which isn't a huge room. Do you think the sax quartet could be a bit LOUD for the residents ?
  • I am guessing that we would play for about 40 minutes and our material should tend towards the recognisable tunes and avoid too much frantic, funky or modern stuff.
Any thoughts ?

Rhys
 

MandyH

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#54
Playing in a care home is a lovely experience. Probably best to keep the music to "their era" If there happens to be any tunes they might know words for, be prepared for singing (which can be off-putting when not quite on the beat that you want to stick to!)

(sweeping generalisation here ...) most care home residents are harder of hearing, so the fact you are loud may not matter, but you can all play mf rather than f, it might help! (I once played solo, and a lady in the "audience" said "I wont be able to hear you, I'm totally deaf" however, it was obvious that she could "feel" me - she was tapping along)

40 minutes is a good maximum - check with the care home staff/ manager, it might be that they have a "slot" you need to fit into - between morning coffee and lunch, say. We once were asked to play 2 x 20 minutes, because Santa had to come & deliver presents :D

Enjoy, and be prepared to interact/chat with the audience before or after you play - they are always welcoming to visitors - it's nice to have different faces around the care home.
 
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