The study book 'Sax Scorchers' is a pioneering collaboration between the familiar world of hard-copy music publishing and the tremendous new energy of creative music on the web. The inspiration for this book of 20 studies began traditionally enough, with the success of our existing saxophone study books, Karen Street's, 'Street Beats', and Chris Gumbley's, '15 Crazy Jazz Studies' both of which now appear on the saxophone syllabuses of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
These albums are highly enjoyable explorations of the two composers' individual and varied styles. However, I was very aware that there was even more diversity to be tapped within the substantial pool of talent provided by all of our other Saxtet Publications composers. Fired by our original, co-operative vision, (to publish music written for saxophonists by saxophonists) I therefore asked all of our existing composers to contribute one study for this album.
I was also keen to cast the net even wider and harness some of the impressive and imaginative writing that was receiving new exposure on the web. The 'virtual' element of this album comes from a competition we launched on SibeliusMusic.com, the self-publishing arm of the notation software, Sibelius, for a one-page study in any style. Although the original intention was to publish only the winner in this album, we have ended up including three other entries which we found especially appealing.
The outcome of the project is a pan-global, multi-genre cornucopia of saxophonic diversity. Students and professionals should find plenty to get their teeth into technically as the varied backgrounds of the contributors, who span four continents, also ensure plenty of musical and stylistic challenges.
Individual studies take you on a visit to the Scottish highlands, the Punjab, the Caribbean, Tuscany, and beyond, while genres represented include pop, jazz, contemporary, classical, folk, romantic, latin, be-bop and funk.
This album has been great fun - but quite a challenge! - to compile. I hope you have fun and are challenged when you play the studies.
Nigel Wood August 2001
The book includes five pieces for ABRSM grade 6, 7 & 8 and six pieces for TrinityGuildhall grades 6, 7 & 8.
Please check our exam titles page for further details.
The Celtic Kids, Gerard McChrystal A cheerful Celtic run-around.
Highland Flung, Dave McGarry A lyrical and wistful Scottish air.
Mozartiana, Mary Gilmartin A collation of Mozart melodies requiring quick changes in articulation, dynamics and mood.
Bhangra Beats, Jan Steele A rhythmic, Punjabi-derived song.
In Limbo, Karen Street A bright, calypso style with strong syncopations and some big intervals.
Sax Scorcher, John Ross Punchy and energetic, with contrasting, lyrical central section.
Chillin' in the Hud, Andy Scott Tricky Latin-influenced rhythms and sudden changes in dynamics.
Salon de Destrabe, Gabriel Santecchia Selected score from the Sax Scorchers Study Competition
Sleaze-Ball, Chris Gumbley Exaggerated lip slurs and vibrato make a virtue of stereotypical sax sleaziness here.
Sax Roaster, Alan Bullard Selected score from the Sax Scorchers Study Competition
Atlantic Day, Lionel Ferer A baritone study with cadenza introduction to a funky work-out with some BIG intervals.
Fives, Richard Payne Off-beat quavers and changing time signatures demand plenty of concentration in this lively study.
Un Sorriso all'Ombra, R.A. Moulds An expressive, cantabile piece, requiring a full, even tone and well-controlled phrasing.
It's About Time, Rob Buckland A swing work-out for your embouchure and sense of rhythm.
See-Saw, Andy Tweed A hypnotic, legato study to test your tuning and embouchure.
Distant Song, Richard Ingham A dream-time introduction to contemporary techniques and notation.
Saxtitude, Ulrich Schultheiss Vigorous and funky, this requires a positive approach to articulation and dynamics.
Set Piece, Kyle Horch Quirky and insistent, this is rhythmically demanding - and rewarding!
Balletico, Nigel Wood Set study for The National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain entry audition.
Saxtetics, Stephen Davies A bravura exploration of hard bop and improvisational riffs. Not for the faint-hearted!