FRIDAY FIVE: PRISM QUARTET / TIMOTHY MCALLISTER AND LIZ AMES, VON SIWEL, DOOGATRON, FLIGHT PA
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Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.
This week features classical-jazz-new music by PRISM Quartet / Timothy McAllister and Liz Ames, R&B via Von Siwel, techno by Doogatron, emo-indie courtesy Flight Patterns, and synth-pop by Rosary.
Timothy McAllister and Liz Ames, Project Encore, Vol. 1 PRISM Quartet, Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Band PRISM Quartet, "Pueblito Viejo" b/w “Paquetá” The Ann Arbor duo of saxophonist Timothy McAllister and pianist Liz Ames commissioned 14 composers to write "encores"—shorter pieces that can be played after a longer work but don't call on old tunes and tropes to get the job done. Project Encore, Vol. 1 is a terrific collection that touches on classical, jazz, and new music without resting too long in any one genre. Some standouts include Nina Shekhar's recasting of the sax solo from Wham!'s "Careless Whisper" as an extended-horn-techniques workout called "Careful Shouts," and Jennifer Jolley's "Lilac Tears," which was inspired by Prince's epic guitar solo during his 2004 performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” at George Harrison’s posthumous induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Retired longtime UMich professor Marianne Ploger contributed the gorgeous "Elegy," and U-M grad Chad Hughes composed the genre-hopping "S.L.I.C.E.," which stands for "Soulful Latin in a Classical Environment."
McAllister is also a member of PRISM Quartet, an all-saxophone chamber group formed at the University of Michigan in 1984. In April, PRISM released its recording of William Bolcom’s "Concerto Grosso for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra," which the sax ensemble premiered with the Detroit Symphony in 2000. PRISM first recorded the work on the 2011 release Concertos for Saxophone Quartet with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, but Bolcom adapted his piece for sax quartet and wind ensemble, and Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Band features PRISM alongside the Temple University Wind Symphony.
Also in April, PRISM released a two-song single — "Pueblito Viejo" and “Paquetá” — showcasing two South American tunes.