Ever since my first visit in the summer of 1998 Paris has been my favorite city in which to compose. I have returned many times, always with great results. But with the dollar doing so poorly against the euro last summer I decided to forego croissants and café crèmes in Paris for bagels and lattes in New York. I lived on 13th Street, snuggly between the East and West Village. I was within a few blocks of Washington and Union Squares, the Village Vanguard and the Blue Note, an all-night café on MacDougal and a crazy late night Egyptian place on 1st Avenue.
I strolled streets rather than rues. But my routine was the same. I composed everywhere: parks, restaurants, coffee shops, subways. The sights and sounds of my daily life, even the smells, found their way into my writing.
Village Scenes for Alto Saxophone and Piano is the result of that compositional retreat. It was commissioned by James Bunte and David Riley for a tour that included performances at Cincinnati Conservatory, Indiana University School of Music and Washington and Lee University. The tour culminated in New York at Carnegie Hall.
This composition is dedicated to my friend and spiritual advisor, that guru of positivity, David Amram.<
Listen to this complete composition in the Jukebox