Information and details re: Odd Couple Quintet album:
Recording Date: April 6, 2014 at SPIN recording, NYC
Producer: John Clark, with MUCH assistance from Pete Levin and Franz Hackl
Mixing, Editing: John, Pete, Franz. Mastering: Franz Hackl, @Hacklmusic Studio
CD Package Design: Larry Chernicoff
“…a large audience who listened and were wowed by the creative improvisations of
Clark and Rabinowitz, the horn and bassoon Odd Couple, with their Quintet colleagues brilliant percussionist Abe Fogle, Freddie Bryant, guitar, and Marty Jaffe, bass. Saturday night’s concert had the Odd Couple and guitarist Bryant prove their classical integrity and offer some amazing jazz re-interpretations of Telemann and J. S. Bach with new compositions by John Clark joined by Masako Yanagita, Salvatore Macchia and Estela Olevsky.
The diverse range of music presented by these talented musicians over the entire weekend was astonishing and inspiring.”
Here’s what some notable people had to say about this project:
– “Awesome! It gave me great pleasure to hear the great John Clark! Virtuosic Horn playing! Fantastic arrangements! Great fun! It made me smile from ear to ear!” (Julie Landsman, Principal Horn of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra (retired, but still very much active!)
– “There are so many versions of the Mozart Horn Concerti out there and so many fine ones, it’s hard to justify doing another. John Clark has a found a reason. The arrangements are unique and will make any music lover familiar with these pieces smile!” (Stewart Rose, principal Horn of the Orpheus Orchestra)
– “John told me about this project a while back when I saw him with the Mingus Orchestra, and I was excited about it right away ! What a great idea from our own king of the Jazz horn! I can’t wait to hear the results, I know it’s gonna be really cool!” (Jeff Lang, associate principal Horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra)
– “ …the bassoon and the horn have had a brotherly relationship in the orchestra and in smaller chamber groups like the woodwind quartet for centuries. They both have a softer and less harsh attack in contrast to trumpet and sax, with the ability to play haunting melodies. Although their supportive role in larger ensembles is similar, they have distinctive tonal differences because one is a reed and the other a brass. Another unique ability of both instruments is their huge range (3 1/2 octaves on bassoon, 4 octaves on French horn). Those that feel classical music has fossilized and miss the surprise of improvisation (the way Mozart actually performed his compositions); will want to hear this music!” (MIchael Rabinowitz, bassoonist with the Odd Couple Quintet)
– “There are many wonderful recordings of the Mozart Horn Concertos to choose from, and this CD promises to be a refreshing addition to the group. I can’t think of a more fun way to get inside the concertos and understand what Mozart had to say in a whole new translation. The skill and enthusiasm of these fine musicians and the clever arrangements leave me all smiles! (Laura Klock (Professor of Horn, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Principal Horn, Springfield Symphony)
– “..It’s a real artistic effort to synthesize both musical styles and given material by a composer who’s a kindred spirit to improvisers of all periods…the piece works. The rhythmic setting is perfect for the Mozart. Gives it a whimsy that the composer is known for, and still reflects the depth of the music. The guitar is a wonderful color to complement the varied instrumental sounds; while taking the accompaniment to surreal places. Would have liked to hear you blow more. – but then again, your phrasing makes the concerto sound improvised – great lines…” (Dave Taylor, world-renowned Bass Trombonist and composer)
– “Here at Composers Concordance, we try to feature John Clark as often as possible. John’s distinctive compositions and arrangements are always fun and interesting to rehearse, perform, and hear in concert. His horn-playing skills are unparalleled. John’s friendly and collaborative approach helps strengthen every music project in which he chooses to participate. His vast accomplishments speak for themselves, including his work with Gil Evans, Gunther Schuller, and Jaco Pastorius, among hundreds of others. As far as we’re concerned, the merits of this current project are self-evident; composed with great craft and creativity, these intrepid send-ups, reinterpretations, and re-contextualizations of music of the past are simply marvelous. The personnel – Michael Rabinowitz and Abe Fogle among them – are all master artists on their respective instruments, yielding extraordinary results.” (Milica Paranosic, Dan Cooper, & Gene Pritsker, Co-Directors, Composers Concordance)
The new group is aptly named, since the two instruments are truly an “odd couple” to front a jazz group. Clark and Rabinowitz are arguably the leading jazz players of these difficult instruments, and Clark comments: “We weren’t thrown out of our traditional roles (in the orchestra) the way Oscar and Felix were ignominiously thrown out of their homes. We boldly set out on this perilous journey and we defy critics to call our instruments odd!!”
Members of the Odd Couple Quintet are: John Clark (French Horn), a jazz and freelance musician in New York City, who has performed and/or recorded with Gil Evans, McCoy Tyner, the Mingus Orchestra, the Heath Brothers, Jaco Pastorius, among many others; Michael Rabinowitz (Bassoon) who has worked with artists such as Joe Lovano, Wynton Marsalis, Elvis Costello and is a founding member of the Charles Mingus Orchestra; Freddie Bryant (Guitar), who has collaborated with musicians from a wide variety of backgrounds such as Salif Keita, Badal Roy, Tom Harrell, Sheila Jordan, Randy Brecker, the Indian sitarist Shubhendra Rao, and traditional groups in Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E; Mark Egan (Bass) who is one of the most respected and in-demand electric bassists today, has recorded with Sting, Roger Daltry, Marianne Faithful, John McLaughlin, Pat Metheny, among many many others; and Abe Fogle (Drums), who is currently working with Rob Thomas of ‘Matchbox Twenty,’ and has also toured and/or performed with Kenny Garrett, George Coleman, Kool and the Gang, D’Angelo, Kelis, to name just a few.
SPECIAL GUEST ARTIST: Pete Levin on piano / keys!
Be sure to visit the websites of the musicians of The Odd Couple Quintet.
…your concert with the Odd Couple Quintet was off the charts!
You and your group amazed the entire audience and was one of
the true highlights of the weekend…
from L to R:
John Clark, French Horn
Mark Egan, Bass
Michael Rabinowitz, Bassoon
Abe Fogle, Drums
Freddie Bryant, Guitar
Pete Levin, Piano & Keys