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For those of you who love the Classical Saxophone sound as well as Jazz here's a wonderful new CD featuring the music of George Gershwin.

If you have not heard of Frederick L. Hemke, you can look him up on Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Hemke

I was fortunate enough to attend the Midwestern National Saxophone Alliance last week (at Northeastern Illinois University) and heard a lot of great lectures and performances, including a 3 hr master class given by Dr. Hemke. That's where I bought this newly released CD.

Fascinating Rhythm -Sins of My Old Age. Frederick L. Hemke Alto Saxophone, The Figard String Quintet, with arrangements of the music of George Gershwin by Jonah Blum.

I'm familiar with virtually all of the songs, but listening to this CD is like hearing many of these songs for the very first time but with a haunting and warm familiarity.

For example "A Foggy Day" is played very slowly and even though I have heard and played this song many times, played at a much faster tempo, this performance brings out an almost hidden melodic line that I have never noticed before. This version is heartbreakingly beautiful -both mournful and joyous at the same time.

After listening to this CD over 5 times, I am more than ever in awe of Hemke's incredible musicianship both in overall interpretation and absolute control of his saxophone's voice.

Finally even though this album is listed under the Classical genre, in my opinion it really straddles the boundary between Classical and Jazz.

It's not available on amazon, but I found a place where it is:

You can hear a preview by checking song and then clicking on the Loudspeaker Icon!

http://www.digstation.com/albumdetails.aspx?albumID=ALB000064421

If you enjoy it half as much as I do, you will be in Heaven.

Dan
 
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