Originating from the roots of the classical repertoire, the saxophone has long been an instrument associated with the smooth sounds of jazz and popular music. The modern evolution of the saxophone was one fueled by such composers as George Gershwin, Alexander Glazunov, Debussy, and Ravel. They realized that the instrument's warmth and versatility were attractive elements in creating a new soloistic modern repertoire. Timothy McAllister's SCENA attempts to show the unique side of the saxophone's voice in today's musical landscape by presenting works written to push the limits. In taking a fearless approach that feasts upon all manners of music, McAllister's performance proves his ability to present a wide range of styles with an unwavering presence.
Beginning with the title track, Andrew Mead's 'Scena,' McAllister sets the tone for the entire album by interpreting highly chromatic, twelve-tone oriented passages with ease. Christian Lauba's 'Steady Study on the Boogie' is filled with explosive techniques that show McAllister's technical prowess. Paul Steinberg's 'Sax Notes' delves deep into the highest registers of the instrument. Fusing multi-phonics with digital tape sequences, the music is blended to sound as if one. Other noted works are Elliot Carter's 'Inner Song,' Stockhausen's circular 'In Freundschaft,' and Benjamin Broening's playful 'Variations/Doubles,' all of which present McAllister in highly distinguished performances.