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Large jazz ensemble featuring clarinet soloist; 21 parts
The muse often sparks our imagination in music, other arts, and science.
Many things happen without premeditation. Such is the case of "Verzierungen" and its creation.
It is interesting that an important and imaginative surgeon, Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall, Jr., a Professor at Howard University, was instrumental in the spark that led to this composition written for the Howard University Jazz Ensemble featuring the clarinet and cello in prominent roles.
Verzierungen (Grace Notes) draws inspiration from the spirit of Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, the brilliant jazz saxophonist, and the musical styles of be bop and J. S. Bach. The first four notes of the composition are on the name B-A-C-H in music notation: Bflat, A, C, B-natural. Variations of this motive occurs in many sections of the composition.
The piece is written in two main parts - an opening section in three-four marked stately in character, followed by the second section, a bit livelier in five-four. Elements of jazz-swing, the tango, and east Asian themes also appear in several parts of the composition.
I have been fortunate to have this work commissioned and given its premiere performance by HUJE under Music Director, Professor Fred Irby, III. ----Frederick C. Tillis