The Tiptons Sax Quartet: The Shop Of Wild Dreams

Track

The Shop Of Wild Dreams

Group

The Tiptons Sax Quartet

CD

Laws Of Motion (Zipa! Music and Spoot Music)

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Musicians:

Amy Denio (alto sax, clarinet, voice), Jessica Lurie (alto sax, tenor sax, voice), Sue Orfield (tenor sax, voice), Tina Richerson (baritone sax, voice), Chris Stromquist (drums, percussion).

Composed by Jessica Lurie

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Recorded: Minneapolis, MN, April 23, 2008

Tipton_sax_quartet-laws_of_motion

Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

You’d think that a discussion about the music of this all-female answer to the World Saxophone Quartet would center on their individual and collective skills on various saxophones, and it’s true that they’ve got the goods in that department. But they can sing the parts just as well, and do so without messing with the vibe.

The thematic statement of this song, built on four repeating chords, is moderately exotic in a Slavic kind of way and made even more so by Lurie’s wordless vocals stating that theme. She’s joined in harmony by Denio and filled out by Orfield and Richerson’s horns. When the vocal duet become sax players, the completed front line brings out the full richness of the melody. After that and a fine alto sax solo, Lurie’s resumes her vocalese and gets increasingly intense, going from a Louis Armstrong growl in one moment to hitting a Minnie Ripperton shrill note the next. The piece ends with the quartet putting down their horns to impart a beautifully layered four-part harmony.

“The Shop Of Wild Dreams” blurs the lines between blowing and singing. Either way, the Tiptons Sax Quartet gets the job done with flair.

Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron

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