Taylor Barnett Two Quartets: 2 For One

by Taylor Barnett

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1.
05:04
2.
04:45
3.
06:40
4.
5.
04:47
6.
7.
06:10
8.
06:20
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10.

about

“Two Quartets: 2 For One” is an exploration of the compositional and arranging possibilities for jazz quartet. In general, the long tradition of jazz quartets falls into two categories of instrumentation:

• Single horn or voice + rhythm section (i.e. John Coltrane Quartet)
• Two horns + bass and drums (i.e. Gerry Mulligan/Chet Baker Quartet, Ornette Coleman Quartet)

These two permutations of the quartet each offer particular opportunities and challenges for an arranger. The single horn + guitar, bass, drums quartet offers more chordal possibilities, due to the greater number of pitches that can be played simultaneously. Pieces such as “For Now” and “On the Zone” are harmonically driven and generally homophonic in texture (melody with accompaniment).
The two horn + bass and drums quartet lends itself to contrapuntal writing, with the trumpet and saxophone able to play two independent lines over the bass. “The Other Side” is a good example of this type of writing. The challenge for this instrumentation is to invoke a sense of harmonic fullness, with only three pitches at any time, which “For Kenny” (dedicated to the late British flugelhornist/composer Kenny Wheeler) exemplifies.

To drive home the distinction between the two quartets, I recorded the blues “2 For One” with both groups. The guitar quartet played the tune more slowly, with plunger-muted trumpet, and the guitar playing harmonic accompaniment. The two horn quartet recorded the tune much faster, and I wrote a tenor sax counterline, inspired by Thelonious Monk’s cheeky use of dissonance.
This album was recorded in two back-to-back days, by Lance Koehler. He embraced the challenge of capturing and highlighting the unique sound of each quartet, while also crafting a unified and complementary sound between the two groups.

credits

released October 14, 2019

Taylor Barnett - trumpet and flugelhorn
Alan Parker - guitar (tracks 1-5)
Randall Pharr - bass (tracks 1-5)
Emre Kartari - drums (tracks 1-5)
Marcus Tenney - tenor saxophone (tracks 6-10)
Cameron Ralston - bass (tracks 6-10)
Devonne Harris - drums (tracks 6-10)

All compositions by Taylor Barnett, NetWorth ASCAP
Tracking, Mixing, Mastering by Lance Koehler at Minimum Wage Recording
Tracks 1-5 recorded on July 24, 2018. Tracks 6-10 recorded on July 23, 2018

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about

Taylor Barnett Richmond, Virginia

Taylor Barnett is a trumpeter and composer based in Richmond, VA. He is an Assistant Professor of Music at Virginia Commonwealth University and is a member of No BS! Brass, as well as the leader of his own jazz groups.

Taylor has performed as a trumpet soloist at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Eaux Claires Fest, and on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert.
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