Sax and Piano sonatas end on a high
Sonatas for Saxophone and Piano by composers including Woods and Creston begins and ends well, but wobbles in the middle
Composer: Woods, Creston, et al.
Repertoire: Sonatas for Saxophone and Piano
Artists: Alina Mleczko (alto sax), Agnieszka Kopacka (pf)
Label: Dux 0692
Woods is Phil Woods, disciple of bebop saxophone pioneer Charlie Parker, and his Saxophone Sonata does a fine job of embedding inside composed music something of the spontaneous soul of jazz improvisation. Polish saxophonist Alina Mleczko says the sonata is one of her favourite pieces, and her charismatic, roaring sound and knack for sustaining Woods’s perpetually zig-zagging lines is clearly born of bona fide devotion. Sadly the Hindemith and Paul Creston works are less convincing – Creston’s melody lines are generic and forgettable. Takashi Yoshimatsu’s evocative, albeit moderately gaudy, Fuzzy Bird Sonata guarantees the disc ends on a high.