Donal Fox: Scarlatti Jazz Suite Project
  • Classical music composed by Domenico Scarlatti Donal Fox's jazz plays upon many traditions

    "Fox's band has the Modern Jazz Quartet's poise
    and John Coltrane Quartet's power"

    Composer/pianist Donal Fox has forged a unique amalgam of jazz, Latin American, and classical music. Past projects have focused on Johann Sebastian Bach, but the centerpiece of Saturday night's Regattabar performance was a jazz suite incorporating the music of Domenico Scarlatti .

    Fox was accompanied by vibraphonist Stefon Harris, bassist John Lockwood , and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington. This instrumentation inevitably brings the Modern Jazz Quartet to mind, but Fox's band married that group's cool poise with the power and momentum of the John Coltrane Quartet.

    The opening number was based on an Astor Piazzolla tango. Rather than presenting the usual string of solos, piano and vibraphone engaged in a fluid, improvisatory dialogue. Lockwood and Carrington's bass and drums provided active but essentially supportive background for the friendly jousting of Fox and Harris.

    The second number was Fox's ``Inventions in Blue," which drew from Bach's Two-Part Invention No. 4 in D Minor. It began as a rapid, African-sounding vamp, spelled by lyrical piano chords that floated over the pulsating rhythm. Harris's swinging, bluesy solo was bouyed by Lockwood's walking bass and Carrington's urgent ride cymbal.

    By Kevin Lowenthal, Globe Correspondent June 2006
    © Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

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