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The concert featured a tradional jazz repertoire s...
The concert featured a tradional jazz repertoire such as the beautiful "Lament" by J.J. Johnson and "Well You Needn't" by Thelonius Monk but also included original compositions and arrangements of other popular songs such as "Naked As We Came" by Iron and Wine and "Strawberry Fields" by Lennon and McCartney. "Naked As We Came" was one of the most impressive songs of the evening. It used sustained and rolling chords in the piano with a walking bass line while the soprano saxophone played a legato melody that complemented the accompaniment. The overall feeling was optimistic. In a second section, Davis and Deleault explored aural effect of the saxophone playing directly into the body of the piano while the piano sustained chords. The result was a series of beautiful and vibrant overtones as the two instruments combined.
Other songs were upbeat and inspiring, such as Ron Boucher's "Three's a Waltz." The piano began softly, the saxophone echoed the theme and ornamented the melody, and the piece reflected happiness and contentment. The saxophone mixed lighter timbres with a more robust attack while the piano used a nice range of dynamics. Don Davis' composition titled "June Theme" really drew the audience in as the theme, played in octaves, overlapped with the piano. Both of Joe Deleault's compositions, "Four Winds" and "Coming Home," were expressive and interesting. "Coming Home" closed the concert and became a personal favorite due to its sensitivity and warmth. The duo's version of "Softly As In A Morning Sunrise" by Oscar Hammerstein II was presented almost as ragtime and drew much applause.
There were many great musical moments in the performance, some planned and some improvised. Don Davis displayed a mastery of bass clarinet, alto and soprano saxophone, and achieved the same flexibility and excellence at improvisation with different timbres. Joe Deleault played with equal technical mastery and innovation on an instrument that can provide much rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic variety.