|Mark Watkins||Soprano and Alto Saxophones|
|C Raymond Smith||Alto Saxophone|
|Sandon Mayhew||Tenor Saxophone|
|Jon Gudmundson||Baritone Saxophone|
"Could this be "Supersax" re-inventing themselves after entering the witness protection program?" "These cats are dazzling in every way!" … "Beautiful, intelligent, soulful, swinging and all done with the highest caliber of performance." (Noah Peterson, KPSU Radio Portland), From the Gene Harris to the Villa Celimontana Jazz Festivals and locations around the world, FOUR is received exuberantly for their impeccable performances of music originating entirely from within the group (Walrus Music and Dorn Publications). About their second CD, On a Warm Summer’s Evenin’ (2010, Jazz Hang), Ed Calle (Miami Saxophone Quartet) comments, “"Supported by rock-solid jazz and orchestra ensembles, On a Warm Summer’s Evenin’ is a celebration of diverse musical styles by an inventive writer and FOUR outstanding saxophonists who are as equally at ease unselfishly serving the demands of an ensemble as they are navigating the rigors of solo duties. To all involved, thank you for the music and the artistry. Godspeed FOUR.”"
Freer ör Edgier - Mark Watkins
Freer ör Edgier came about as a request for a tune that was "freer or edgier." The music of the late Esbjörn Svensson and E.S.T were influential to this composition. The motif is spun out a la a 21st-Centruy Bach counterpoint with a broken jazz feel. Solo sections are in 8- and 4-bar units of layered accompaniment inspired by but sounding nothing like Tower of Power funk.
Ornithology - Charlie Parker, arranged by Mark Watkins
A tribute to the legendary Charlie Parker, this composition realizes two different Parker solos. One is treated contrapuntally while the other is in a homophonic Supersax style. Due to these alto solo settings, improvisation is in the tenor part.
The Revival - Mark Watkins
In contrast to the technically challenging compositions in this recital, The Revival is a hard swinging gospel blues. The composition has two main themes or heads - the first is a quasi stop-time with alto riffs and in the second reference is made to Stanley Turrentine's Prayer Meetin' with its ostinato bass line and sustained melodic material.
Don't Step On Your Neck - Mark Watkins
Compositionally complex, this work is based on fourths, altered and poly-chords, and altered scales. Following a bari cadenza is a technically demanding, energetic shout chorus of layered, driving riffs and almost familiar patterns where the primary difficulty lies in the alto and tenor. The title refers to the travesty of stepping on one's saxophone neckpiece.