Flute Journal editorial board member Robert Bigio recently reviewed a CD by flutist Noam Buchman, originally for Flutist Quarterly then reprinted for Flute Journal. His response was enthusiastic, particularly for one piece on the record, the suite by Uri Brener entitled Jazz Sebastian Bach. He writes:
Claude Bolling’s Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio is another of those standard works that is played so often we can forget how enjoyable it was on first hearing. Buchman has had the clever idea of commissioning another work for the same combination of instruments from Uri Brener, Jazz Sebastian Bach. This is a delicious work that I hope someone will publish soon; players will love it, and so will their audiences. Arguments will doubtless be made that jazz is an improvisatory form and this fully-notated work can therefore not be jazz. Whatever it is, this piece is wonderful to listen to. Brener has taken some movements from Bach flute sonatas and jazzed them up in the styles of Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea and others. It has to be said that bits of the Bach B minor sonata are pretty jazzy to begin with, and I can understand why this was one of Brener’s choices. Noam Buchman, for all his strict classical training (he is first flute in the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra) is not afraid to let rip with some dazzling playing.
Later, I happened to meet the composer of Jazz Sebastian Bach, Israeli pianist Uri Brener. He offered me the publishing rights to the piece which I was happy to accept as it promises to be very popular among flutists. It will be published by Flute Journal’s parent company Harmonia Books & Music.
To hear selections from Jazz Sebastian Bach (slightly out of order on YouTube unfortunately), with Noam Buchman and Uri Brener, click below:
Highly acclaimed Israeli flutist Noam Buchman is Principal Flute of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. In 2014 he was preparing a recording of slightly more popular pieces for flute. He turned to Claude Bolling and chose four movements from his popular Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio. In seeking more material, he wondered why there were not more pieces like the Bolling Suite. Not finding any, Buchman decided to commission something.
Jazz Sebastian Bach is a suite of five pieces for flute and a jazz trio based mostly on movements from Bach’s flute sonatas. Each movement features a specific point of view from which Bach’s music is being approached: from Jacques Loussier and Claude Bolling, via Dave Brubeck and Michel Legrand, to Chick Corea and the author’s own attitude. Hence the subtitle of the suite: “Casual Encounters…”
Described as “wildly successful” the Bolling Suite has been adopted by classical flutists everywhere since it was recorded by Jean-Pierre Rampal. But, as Buchman discovered, no similar pieces have since emerged to meet the demand it has created. Until now. Uri Brener’s piece shows promise of filling the gap in the marketplace, while also satisfying musical criteria for quality among professionals.
Geoff Eales, one of the most highly-regarded pianist/composers in the UK, performs as a duo with Andy Findon, “Europe’s most recorded flute player.” They have adopted this suite and are anxious to premiere it in the UK. As Geoff wrote to me: “We both think that it’s a great piece and has a lot of potential.”
In the US, highly-regarded multi-instrumentalist Tereasa Payne has also adopted our piece. She will be giving its US premier at the National Flute Association convention in Minneapolis, August 11th. Described by flute star Jimmy Walker as “. . . one of the bright new woodwind stars on the planet,” Teresa’s comment to me was “I’m looking forward to performing this wonderful piece!”
With this level of enthusiasm from professionals, and pre-publication orders coming in from major retailers, Jazz Sebastian Bach looks set to be a solid success in the marketplace.
For those attending the NFA convention, Tereasa will perform the work as part of the Jazz Meets Classical concert, Friday August 11th, Auditorium 3, 5 pm. A special souvenir edition of the sheet music will be available at the Carolyn Nussbaum Music Co. booth in the Exhibit Hall.
To hear selections from Jazz Sebastian Bach (slightly out of order on YouTube unfortunately), click below:
Comments are closed.