Jon De Lucia’s little orchestras delight me, so I follow them whenever I can. No matter how many players are gathered, there’s always shifting timbres, beautiful ensemble textures, a range of energies from serene to soaring. Here’s one gorgeous romp from his Octet’s most recent appearance: Jimmy Giuffre’s arrangement of THE SONG IS YOU. Properly speaking, I think the title should be corrected to THE SONG IS US, but the composer had never heard this octet in action.
Incidentally, should any more “traditionally-minded” readers be tempted to turn away from this dangerous venture into mid-century Modernism, I urge you to courageously listen: there’s an irresistible momentum, and even a passage of collective improvisation (let’s call it a little jam session) sure to delight even the most seriously loyal archaeologist.
For this occasion, the Octet was Jon De Lucia, alto, clarinet, flute; John Ludlow, alto; Jay Rattman, tenor, bass clarinet; Marc Schwartz, tenor, clarinet; Brad Mulholland, baritone, clarinet; Reuben Allen, keyboard; Aidan O’Donnell, string bass; Steve Little, borrowed drums. Later in the evening, this Octet played two pieces from the Alec Wilder Octet with special guest Alison Mari on oboe/English horn.
The occasion was also to celebrate the release of Jon’s book, Bach Shapes (Bach Shapes), certainly worth a look, even for those of us whose saxophone careers are not yet fully in motion.
And speaking of “in motion”:
I promise to share more music from this delightful evening. The Octet does my heart good, and I hope yours as well.
May your happiness increase!