MP3 Harry Skoler - Two Ones
Original jazz compositions featuring intimate portraits expressed through quintet and duo settings. The quintet’s unique sound highlights the blend of clarinet, flute and vibes/piano.
15 MP3 Songs in this album (73:59) !
Related styles: JAZZ: Contemporary Jazz, JAZZ: Mainstream Jazz
People who are interested in Benny Goodman Artie Shaw Eddie Daniels should consider this download.
• Harry Skoler - Clarinet
• Ed Saindon - Vibes/Piano
• Matt Marvulio - Flute
• Barry Smith - Bass
• Bob Tamagni - Drums
The title of this recording project by clarinetist Harry Skoler invites several interpretations. It could reference the tracks “Two Onderful” or “Two as One.” It could speak to the fact that this is a two-part recording, opening with seven pieces performed by jazz quintet, followed by eight more-intimate duos by Harry and longtime band-mate Ed Saindon, who is featured on piano rather than his better-known instrument, the vibes. But mostly, Two Ones is a project that celebrates the simpatico of Harry and Ed, who make very intuitive and personal music together. “It speaks to the combination of our individuality and teamwork as players,” Harry says. “It is a high-wire act. You have to be in sync emotionally and in the phrasing.”
Harry and Ed began working together in 1993 and very quickly discovered the affinity that makes their collaborations so enjoyable. “I think we are coming from the same musical place,” Saindon says.
Two Ones is Harry’s fourth recording as a leader, following Conversations in the Language of Jazz (1995), Reflections on the Art of Swing, a Tribute to Benny Goodman (1996) and A Work of Heart (1999). Three of the four projects have been collaborations with Ed.
Both men are on the faculty at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, and their fine band-mates here also have Berklee faculty connections: bassist Barry Smith is a longtime faculty member; flute player Matt Marvuglio, who was on the Berklee faculty when Harry was a student there in the 1970s, is Dean of the Performance Division; and drummer Bob Tamagni is an associate professor of percussion. All have extensive performing credentials. “They are very sharp players. Their quiet confidence made this project a joy,” Harry says.
At its core, this recording is rooted in emotion, both as inspiration for each composition – and their heart-felt, vibrant and highly improvised delivery. The project had a special spirit. “It was not a matter of making the music happen, but allowing it to emerge from you,” Harry says. The late clarinetist, composer and bandleader Jimmy Giuffre, who was a teacher and mentor while Harry pursued his master''s degree at New England Conservatory of Music in the 1980s, called that goal in music-making “stepping into a sea of feeling.”
Saindon wrote nine of the compositions and collaborated with Skoler on the other five. Most are ballads. Both writers say they were inspired by something real that touched them profoundly from everyday life. Nothing here was plucked out of the air – or a book of charts. It is helpful to know those inspirations in order to appreciate where the music is coming from – and where they take it.
Ed wrote the seven quintet tunes. “Leaves of Autumn” enabled him to add a new melody and reharmonize the chord changes to “Autumn Leaves” in order to create a nice mood with impact and emotion. He penned the lovely “Two as One” for his wife, Pam, as an expression of emotion, humanity and life itself. This quintet version, featuring Ed on vibes, is a change from its first appearance on Key Play, his 2005 duo album with pianist Kenny Werner. “Alpine Sunset,” Ed’s first shift to piano on this project, was inspired by a train ride Ed and Pam took through the Alps during a trip to Switzerland last year. Through Harry and Ed’s melodic interplay, you can hear the train climbing in elevation – and the breathtaking beauty of the moment.
“Joyful Sorrow” is performed twice on this CD, here by the quintet and later by the clarinet-piano duo. The title may sound like an oxymoron, but Ed disagrees. “To me, a lot of music is filled with emotion, even conflicting emotion. I tried to capture both sides,” he says. “You might hear it differently at different times, depending on who you are with.” The duo version (track 13) is more reflective and wistful, and reveals more of Harry and Ed’s uncanny and symmetrical unison playing. “Giorgio’s Theme” was written for the father of Marco Pacassoni, one of Ed’s former students who hails from Fano, Italy, a coastal city south of Venice. “I got to know Giorgio when I was doing a tour and some clinics. He and his family treated us royally,” Ed says. The vibes-clarinet combination here conjures a pleasant ride through the Italian countryside.
Ed wrote “Piazzolla” for Astor Piazzolla, whom he first heard when the “New Tango” master recorded with fellow-vibraphonist Gary Burton. He became fascinated with the Argentinean’s sound and musical expression. “We’re reaching for pure emotion and that‘s what Piazzolla was all about,” he says. The final quintet track, “Silent Serenity,” is intentionally somber to touch on the reflective side of human emotions. “I do a lot of writing in minor keys. They tend to have a lot of impact and are more powerful than major key tunes,” Ed says. The tune also became a very nice showcase for Marvuglio’s exquisite flute work. And what a joy to hear clarinet and flute playing in sync.
Harry was inspired to write the first of the session’s duo tunes, “Dad’s Clarinet,” for his father, Louis, who played classical clarinet from 1930 to 1941. He made an even more direct connection by playing it on his father‘s 1929 clarinet, which has a haunting, bittersweet tone. “This enabled me to focus on the bigger picture,” Harry says. “It’s about what this gentle, humble man has lived through – and his influence on my life.”
“Song for Jessy” was inspired by the daughter of close friends. Harry says the girl was upset about something that happened at school one day. He sat down at the piano, played “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and snapped her out of her melancholy. He never forgot the impact that the music had. Ed wrote “Life’s Dreams” because “everyone has dreams and that’s what keeps us going. It applies to anyone’s dreams,” he says. “Two Onederful” was inspired by Amelia, one of Harry’s two daughters. When she was young and recently adopted from China, he says she “didn’t want two of anything. She wanted one in each hand – she called it ‘two ones.’”
The inspiration for “Jenna’s Voice” was simply hearing Jessy’s sister’s voice on the telephone one day. “The child had such a musical voice on the phone,” Harry says. The duo version of “Joyful Sorrow” is followed by “Don’t Say Words,” which is dedicated to Harry’s other daughter, Gianna, who also is adopted from China. Harry says Gianna changed the lyrics to “don’t say words” when singing the lullaby “Mockingbird” (“Hush, little baby, don''t say a word. Papa''s gonna buy you a mockingbird.”)
This splendid session closes with Ed’s tune, “Hope,” which he calls a song of great emotion. “It is very positive and was written to “leave the listener with a nice high,” he says.
It was a treat to hear so much of Saindon’s piano playing on this CD, in addition to the pianistic approach that enriches his four-mallet technique on vibes.
“There is a sense of something profound at work when we play together,” Harry says. “I listen to the tracks and say, ‘These things sound very well rehearsed.’ They weren’t. We’re all soloing all the time, even when one person is stretching out. It’s all about the group sound.”
This project could have been called “Emotion” because that’s what it is all about: How emotion and friendship enable like-minded musicians to create something greater, stronger and deeper than even they could imagine.
-Ken Franckling, October 2008
(Veteran freelance jazz journalist and photographer Ken Franckling was United Press International’s jazz columnist for 15 years. He now writes for JazzTimes, Jazziz, HotHouse, https://www.tradebit.com and other publications.)
Harry Skoler - Bio
Jazz clarinetist Harry Skoler was born in Syracuse, NY in 1956. Harry is Associate Professor of Woodwinds at Boston''s prestigious Berklee College of Music. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee in 1978, and a Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory in 1986, where he studied with legendary jazz great Jimmy Giuffre. His recordings include Conversations in the Language of Jazz, Reflections on the Art of Swing - A Tribute to Benny Goodman, A Work of Heart on Brownstone Recordings and Two Ones on Soliloquy Records.
He has authored articles on jazz education, including a "Pro-Workshop" article in Downbeat magazine, and has been included with a biography and philosophy of artistry in Gianluca Campagnolo''s Volume 10 method book for clarinet, which features bios and tips from many of today''s prominent clarinetists. In 2005 Harry contributed to a clarinet method book by Vandoren and published by Carl Fischer entitled THE VANDOREN ETUDE & EXERCISE BOOK FOR CLARINET - THE SECRETS OF TEN MASTER CLARINETISTS. In 2007 Harry contributed to a jazz saxophone method book by Vandoren and published by Carl Fischer entitled THE VANDOJAZZ ETUDE AND EXERCISE BOOK FOR SAXOPHONE - THE SECRETS OF TEN MASTER SAXOPHONISTS. He has garnered numerous national and international reviews, including reviews in JazzTimes, Downbeat, and Jazziz among others. Cover features include Strictly Jazz, Jazz Quarterly, Northeast Performer, and Jazz Now magazines - and bio/reviews in AMG''s All Music Guide to Jazz book. He has been "charted" for national radio airplay on Gavin Magazine''s Jazz Chart, and in April 2000, he charted at #8! on Jazziz magazine''s Top 40 "Radioactive" chart. Performances include national jazz clubs and festivals, including performances at the Blue Note in NYC, and tours in Costa Rica, Japan and Norway.
In addition to touring with his group, Harry reaches thousands of young people each year with the educational ensemble "Adventures With Jazz". Harry has been featured on many national radio interviews and on the nationally televised BET program "Jazz Discovery". Endorsements include Boosey & Hawkes/Buffet Clarinets, Vandoren Reeds, Mouthpieces, and Accessories, and Applied Microphone Technology, Inc. He lives in Haverhill, MA with his wife Joanne, and children Daniel, Amelia, and Gianna.
Ed Saindon - Bio
Coming from the “four mallet school,” Ed Saindon has developed and continues to refine a pianistic approach to mallet playing which involves a consistent utilization of all four mallets along with a variety of dampening techniques. Saindon has absorbed and transferred the influences from the piano lineage that stretches from Waller and Tatum up to the present. Originally a drummer, Saindon began playing the vibraphone along with piano while attending Berklee College of Music in Boston from 1972-1976.
As a concert artist, Saindon has traveled throughout the U.S., Europe, Brazil, Mexico and Japan. He has played and or recorded with Ken Peplowski, Warren Vache, Kenny Werner, Mick Goodrick, Fred Hersch, Peter Erskine, Jeff Hamilton, Louie Bellson, Howard Alden, Herb Pomeroy, Dick Johnson, Dave McKenna, Marvin Stamm, Michael Moore and others. Previous recordings include Key Play with pianist Kenny Werner and Depth of Emotion with Dave Liebman on soprano.
In addition to performing, Saindon’s other passion is music education. He is a Professor at Berklee where he has been teaching since 1976. He is also active in the field of music education as a clinician and author. Saindon is a clinician for Yamaha and Vic Firth giving clinics and residencies on vibraphone, marimba, piano, drums, jazz theory and harmony, composition and improvisation. Berklee Press has published his book Berklee Practice Method: Vibraphone and German publisher Advance Music recently issued his new book Exploration in Rhythm, Volume 1, Rhythmic Phrasing in Improvisation.
In addition to writing books, Saindon has authored many articles on music education, jazz theory and improvisation. He is currently the vibraphone and jazz mallet editor for the International Percussive Arts Society’s magazine Percussive Notes. His articles have appeared in many publications including Downbeat, Percussive Notes, and Percussioner International.