Garrett Harris 4 p.m., May 2
The Wild Blue
The Wild Blue
The Bomb Scare Blues
Prelude Number 9
The Wild Blue (Peter Sprague): This is the first piece I wrote with the idea of bringing a string quartet into the loop with our jazz rhythm section. The tune travels
through all of these different worlds and eventually settles into a samba groove. I originally thought of this piece as the first movement in a three-movement epic but after I finally made it to the end I realized I pretty much covered what I had to say about the great Wild
Blue. I refer to the ocean as the Wild Blue and it’s one of my favorite spots on earth.
The Beatles (Peter Sprague): I grew up listening to the Beatles and more recently I’ve been revisiting their music through the enthusiasm of our 15 year-old
daughter Kylie. It still sounds fresh and creative and for all they’ve done for the world and myself, I owe them this tune.
The Bomb Scare Blues (Peter Sprague): We’ve been playing this blues tune with the Consort over the last couple of years and it was a song existing without a title. Then, last September at a performance at Palomar College, our gig was cut short because some wigged out bohemian called in a bomb scare and the whole
school had to be evacuated. We didn’t get to play the blues that day but at least we found a title for the tune that stuck.
Prelude Number 9 (Johann Sebastian Bach, arranged by Peter Sprague): This is Bach’s perfection from the Well Tempered Clavier. I first heard and fell in love with the piece from a record by the vocal group The Swingle Singers back when I was a young fellow. They sang all of Bach’s counterpoint on top of a swing groove and this gave me the idea for my arrangement.
Day Danse (Chick Corea): Chick Corea has been a big influence on my music with his incredible abilities in both composing and playing. One of my favorite recordings
of his is My Spanish Heart and this is where his tune “Day Danse” comes from. It’s a flamenco inspired piano conversation with a string quartet. For our version we’ve swapped out the piano for a guitar.
Karin’s Psalm (Peter Sprague): I wrote this tune for my friend Karin Schalm many years back. It was the
second big composition I wrote for the Consort and it explores a backbeat groove masterfully played by Duncan.
Mudra (Peter Sprague): The traditional dancers of India tell stories with their hands and each of these gestures is called a mudra. My vision is that musicians tell stories with their hands too, and as we form chords and finger notes on our fretboards we’re sharing our secrets of sound.
The Duke (Dave Brubeck, arranged by Peter Sprague):
Dave Brubeck wrote this song for Duke Ellington and one of my favorite versions of this tune is the one that Miles Davis recorded on his Miles Ahead record. Gil Evans did the arrangement and I took some of his ideas and went my own way with it. I dedicate this tune to my father Hall
Sprague who had the wisdom to keep the Miles record on constant rotation when I was growing up.
Mahavishnu (Peter Sprague): I’ve always been interested in the music from India and when John
McLaughlin teamed up with two Indian percussionists plus L. Shankar on violin to form his super group Shakti, their fusion of jazz and ragas was a real inspiration to me. McLaughlin’s Indian name at that time was Mahavishnu and my piece launches from that sonic world that he and his band lived in.
Isfahan (Chick Corea, arranged by Peter Sprague): For all of our live shows we like ending the concert with Chick Corea’s high energy composition “Isfahan”. I heard Chick play this with his string group and I love the way he’s come up with a zillion different ways to travel from D minor to G minor.