Mikel Kuehn - Works

Tenor Madness (2007), for 3 tenor saxophones (Sean Patayanikorn, Theofilos Sotiriades, Joel Diegert ): [Flash Required]

Program Note

Tenor Madness, for three tenor saxophones, was loosely inspired by the 1956 classic jazz recording of the same name featuring Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane. The title track of Rollins’ recording is a showcase for the two tenor players over a 12-bar blues; the last third features a section where Coltrane and Rollins “trade fours” (alternate four bar solos). In this section – as they influence each other’s muse by passing a myriad of interesting musical ideas back and forth – it is difficult to tell the players apart. This dialogue inspired in my piece an intense musical discussion between the three players, using a more abstract harmonic language. The majority of my Tenor Madness was written in May and June of 2006 – exactly fifty years after the jazz recording – while I was a resident at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

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