Sauter-Finegan Orchestra: Horseplay
The Sauter-Finegan Orchestra
The Best of Sauter-Finegan (Collector's Choice Music CCM 078-2)
Nick Travis, Joe Ferrante, Bobby Nichols (trumpets), Kai Winding, Eddie Bert, Bart Varsalona (trombones), Bill Barber (tuba), Sid Cooper, Russ Banzier, Al Klink, Charles Albertine, Danny Bank (reeds), Ralph Burns (piano), Mundell Lowe (guitar), Verlye Mills (harp), Trigger Alpert (bass), Don Lamond (drums), Bunny Shawker, Walter Rosenberger (percussion).
Composed by Eddie Sauter.
Recorded: New York, February 18, 1953
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
Eddie Sauter and Bill Finegan were asked to write 6-minute compositions for release on extended-play 45-rpm records to promote the EP medium. (Perhaps RCA Victor was still smarting from the 45's failure to win the competition with 33-1/3 LPs.) Giving an extra three minutes per side to these particular two composer/arrangers was a gift to them, and ultimately a gift to listeners. While some still argue whether the music was jazz or even jazz-influenced, the sheer virtuosity and compositional brilliance of Sauter and Finegan makes the argument moot.
"Horseplay" is Sauter's show all the way. Making the most out of few compositional materials and showing a mastery of form, the piece is based on the melody of a children's song, repeating and expanding to a climax – a favorite Sauter compositional device. This is a subtle piece, not as flashy orchestrationally as other works in the S-F book, but certainly one of the gems in their catalog.
Reviewer: Jeff Sultanof