Lincoln Mayorga (piano) & Al Gallodoro (alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet)
Harmonie Ensemble/New York, Steven Richman
In this swinging set of ‘symphonic jazz’, Steve Richman and the Harmonie Ensemble/New York recreate the original orchestrations made by Ferde Grofé for the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. The programme features Gershwin’s immortal Rhapsody in Blue (with soloist Lincoln Mayorga and legendary reedman Al Gallodoro), the I Got Rhythm Variations, and a selection of George’s Broadway tunes, including Summertime in a beautiful reading by Al and Lincoln. Not to be missed is the acoustic (!) version of The Yankee Doodle Blues which the HE/NY recorded on a wax cylinder using a 1909 Edison Fireside phonograph.
“Richman’s spot-on sense of pacing, balance and emphasis guarantee that every Grofé-conjured utterance receives discerning and shapely animation. The ensemble and solo playing likely would bowl over both the composer and Whiteman.” Gramophone
“[Mayorga's] playing is assured, with an appealing flexibility. And the contribution of Steven Richman's Harmonie Ensemble New York is a delight: beautifully recorded (you can actually hear the banjo for once), crisply played, and stylistically spot-on...Altogether, a fascinating and hugely enjoyable disc.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2010 ****
“Gallodoro really struts his stuff with the clarinet flourish...Mayorga achieves bristling momentum without charging through all those lovely melodies...This is the most consistently pleasing recording I've heard this year...if you think you've already got as many versions of Rhapsody in Blue as your credit card can handle, think again.” International Record Review, July/August 2010