MP3 Saxlife Plays Yes: Total Sax Retain - ROCK: Progressive Rock
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5 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Progressive Rock, ROCK: Instrumental Rock
CONFESSIONS OF A YES FAN
Hi, my name is Jamison and I'm a Proton. (Hint: protons are positively-charged particles.) I've been a huge fan of music since I can remember, but no music has ever touched or affected me like the creative monolith that is YES. Whatever the current personnel, this is a band that is the epitome of the phrase 'The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.' (Or maybe that should be, 'The soul is greater than the hum of its parts'?)
This album is the culmination of almost 30 years of being a Yes fan. It has taken me 6 years to put it together. I know Yes' music pretty intimately, and I've tried to stay true to the spirit of the music without major embellishments, while keeping within the form of the classic sax quartet. All of what you hear is scored for 4 saxophones (soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone), except We Have Heaven which is scored for bari and a chorus of altos. Plus drums on a few, and guitars on one.
If you're a Yes fan, I hope you like it. If you aren't, this probably won't convince you. Do yourself a favor: Listen to Talk, Tormato, Magnification, and Close To The Edge (in any order, but all in one setting) and hear some of the most inspiring music of the 20th century. (You might want to include Tales From Topographic Oceans, The Yes Album, and Keys To Ascension II as well...) Heck, go get 'em all. And go see the band live. Hard to believe they're still doing it, 35 years later. Lucky us!
Float your climb!
NOTES ON THE ARRANGEMENTS:
1. We Have Heaven-a beautiful Jon song from "Fragile" that he multi-tracked, a perfect candidate for saxual re-creation. Brother George put down several drum bits that I didn't remember until it came time to mix.
2. Turn of The Century-the one that started it all, perhaps my all-time favorite Yes song. A tale of love, loss and ultimately hope, I can't even think about this one with out getting goosebumps. That's me on cymbals.
3. Hovian Fantasy-- my second arrangement, a bit more 'interpretive' in several sections than the others. The term 'Hovian' comes from a fan somewhere citing something as being quintessentially Steve Howe-like. Steve Howe is one of my all-time favorite musicians, stunning virtuoso chops combined with a quirky sensibility, FIRE and a truly unique musical voice. Here are some of his melodies that I've strung together. (Note that 'Arada' appeared on his '94 solo release "Not Necessarily Acoustic.") Look for the Monty Python reference.
4. And You And I-another long-time favorite. I chose to embellish the middle thematic section with my own orchestration, and improvised a bit where the guitar comes in-- it's way down in the mix, grab those headphones! Thanks to George for the guitar work (amazing how far three chords can get you!) and that's me on triangle.
5. The Big Medley-This one wrote itself, one night playing 'Yes DJ'. Many favorites here. Special thanks (again!) to George for the awesome drum energy-your exhuberance is obvious! (Note that when we recorded the drums, he had nothing to play to except a lead sheet, the song in his head and my frantic conducting, which he managed to ignore fairly successfully.)
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