Calefax – Calefax

The Calefax Reed Quintet

We’re about to enter the time of year when we want to listen to American music. Memorial Day is nearly here – shall we listen to some Copland? Then comes Independence Day – time for some rousing Sousa marches? And then on to Labor Day – how about some thoughtful Barber or Virgil Thompson?

But with our summer patriotic observations coming up soon, we would like to suggest something new and different. It’s “An American Rhapsody,” a release from Pentatone. It offers a selection of American music, played by the Calefax Reed Quintet. You can listen to music you already know, but also take a musical excursion into vistas of American music you have not encountered before.

And remember that if you are a member of Classical Archives, you can listen to this entire album right now. will you find on it? Original compositions and arrangements for winds of works that include . . .

  • Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”
  • “Southland Sketches” by Harry Thacker Burleigh
  • “4 Excursions” by Samuel Barber
  • Two movements from Florence Price’s “Piano Sonata”
  • “God Bless the Child” by Billie Holiday
  • “Satin Doll” by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn
  • “In a Sentimental Mood” by Duke Ellington
  • “Overjoyed” by Stevie Wonder
  • “Airports” by Kinan Azmeh
  • “New Amsterdam” by Moondog (keep your ears open . . . there is a singer on this track too)

We predict that if you stream this CD once, it will become part of your regular listening for the summer, for national holidays . . . for anytime you want to listen to something exceptionally good.