-The Ugly Duckling

Saxophone Concerto

by Sonia Jacobsen

“The Ugly Duckling” was initially intended as music for a ballet based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same title. The story is about a swan born into a duck family. Being an outsider, he is expelled from the duck society, and travels out into the world. He goes through a series of obstacles and challenges trying to survive the harsh world, until he finds out that he is not just an ugly duckling, but in fact a very fine swan. As with most H.C. Andersen fairy tales, the story has many levels of meaning which makes them entertaining for both children and adults. Sonia Jacobsen’s aesthetic ideal is to do something similar in her music. She strives towards writing music that can be listened to on many different levels, from surface listening to in-depth analysis, regardless of the musical education of the listener. The imagery of a duck pen at war, a wounded duck limping away, the emotional ups and downs etc. are largely depicted musically, sometimes in a descriptive, almost Disney-esque way.

by Jim Hall
jh From the opening tremolo and percussive beats of Ragman you can imagine early morning stirrings of life in an alley. The plaintive wail of the saxophone announces the ragman's arrival, and the guitar tells the Ragman's story as he goes about collecting and selling paper and rags. Jim says that when he was a child he thought the man was yelling "paper X," and you can almost hear it yourself in the Eastern European flavoring of the melody. Then the saxophone takes over as the Ragman tells his own story. You can see him dancing atop his horse-drawn cart, at other times hondling with the old ladies, and in the end you can picture him going back down the alley as night falls.
-Written by Devra Hall 

-My Funny Valentine
arranged by Erlend Skomsvoll
pic erlandskomsvoll ERLEND SKOMSVOLL is known by Norwegians as an arranger/composer as much as a piano player. Throughout the years he he has developed a rhythmically and melodically very distinct style, which has made him today's hottest arranger when Norwegian pop and jazz artists go symphonic.
At the Molde International Jazz Festival in July 2000, Skomsvoll arranged and conducted a successful concert of Chick Corea's music with big band "Trondheim Jazz Orchestra", featuring Chick Corea himself as soloist. Corea had given Skomsvoll a free hand with the music, and was so surprised and delighted by the result that he later went on a 2001-tour of Norway with Skomsvoll and the band.
Skomsvoll managed to match his own success when he carried out a similar project with Pat Metheny in Molde the following summer.

-Anyone Got One?
by Sonia Jacobsen
pic soniajacobsen Bio of Sonia Jacobsen
-Vango Tan Gogh
by David Cutler
pic david cutler
Bio of David Cutler

This offbeat, post-modern adventure is a far cry from traditional tango, but it does attempt to capture the passion found in this intense Argentinean dance style, while touching upon elements of jazz, country and western, heavy metal, and classical.

by Sonia Jacobsen
The recurring motif is an exact transcription of the Australian bird 'pied butcherbird', which has the peculiar habit of drying the meat of it's catch in the wind before eating it - therefore the name. The song of the pied butcherbird is easily mistaken with a human being whistling. The mood of the piece hints to the macabre and devilish aspect of a fable'ish character whistling while preparing his catch for consumption...

by David Cutler
pic dc
"I MUST communicate directly with my audience, but I will not dummy down my music. I will not compromise the integrity of what I hear." -D.C.

This piece is like a puzzle to put together, with the body of the work in 13 (4+2+4+1 ½+1 ½), another section in 5, and another with the ration of 5:3. In addition to jazz, rock, and blues influences, it makes brief references to Middle Eastern music and CNN news trailers.