Mackey - Asphalt Cocktail; Whitacre - October; Ticheli - Blue Shades | Signum SIGCD677

Mackey - Asphalt Cocktail; Whitacre - October; Ticheli - Blue Shades


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Label: Signum

Cat No: SIGCD677

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 11th June 2021



Julian Bliss (clarinets)
Joby Burgess (percussion)


Mackey, John

Asphalt Cocktail

Ticheli, Frank

Blue Shades

Whitacre, Eric



Julian Bliss (clarinets)
Joby Burgess (percussion)


Julian Bliss and Joby Burgess combine forces for these recordings made during the 2020 UK lockdown. Working from their homes (although only a few miles apart from each other), each performer combines multiple layers of clarinet and percussion to create these exciting and dynamic new arrangements of much-loved standards of the American Band Music world.

Composer John Mackey describes Asphalt Cocktail as “a five-minute opener, designed to shout, from the opening measure, ‘We’re here.’ With biting trombones, blaring trumpets and percussion dominated by cross-rhythms and back beats... Picture the scariest NYC taxi ride you can imagine, with the cab skidding around turns as trucks bear down from all sides.”

The composer’s favourite month, Eric Whitacre’s October contains “simple, pastoral melodies and subsequent harmonies inspired by the great English Romantics (Vaughan Williams, Elgar)... perfectly suited to capture the natural and pastoral soul of the season.”

Frank Ticheli’s Blue Shades is a love letter to blues and jazz music, mixed through the composers own compositional voice: “Blue notes (flattened 3rds, 5ths and 7ths)... Blues harmonies, rhythms, and melodic idioms pervade the work; and many ‘shades of blue’ are depicted, from bright blue, to dark, to dirty, to hot blue.”

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