Alternate Title: 


Year Authored (or revised): 



cham orch:1/pic-0-cl/bcl-1, 1-1-1-0,perc,hp,pf,vln,vcl,cb

Duration (min): 



"The last work Overton apparently completed was Pulsations (1972, CRI), which perhaps surprisingly returns to his early ‘50s disruption and dislocation of jazz and classical procedures. Brisk rhythms and isolated “solos” suggest the loose syncopation and spontaneity of jazz, instruments chatter, a bass line accompanied by drum kit slides into a Schuller-like noirish feel – and then suddenly Stravinsky takes over. Brusque trombone and staggered brass, calming but ominous string sighs, all small, abstracted, yet recognizable similarities to The Rite of Spring impede the music’s progress. The jazziness returns as tempos quicken.

There’s an amusing, entertaining veneer to Pulsations (the moody middle section notwithstanding) in contrast to the earlier compositions’ serious, conscientious demeanor. It suggests Hall Overton was a complex figure, capable of alert, if low-key, meticulousness as a collaborative jazz artist, and a deep, discursive imagination in a more formal mode of expression. It’s a shame that of his classical works, only a brief, moody, but striking piano piece, Polarities, is available on CD – and that only a handful of examples were recorded at all, now neglected remnants of the LP era. It’s not surprising we don’t really know who Hall Overton was, but it’s time we had a chance to become better acquainted."

Art Lange©2009  From "A Fickle Sonance"

Print Edition Price: 

$49.95 conductor's score; contact ACA for set of parts
Place an order/Inquire about this work