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The Joy of Sax

Quartet plays jazz-inflected classics on old-school instruments.


Expect to see many glassy-eyed and reverential fans at tonight’s performance by the Rascher Saxophone Quartet. “I wouldn’t say they’re a cult exactly, but they have a following who subscribe to their philosophy,” says composer Mathew Rosenblum, who wrote “Mobius Loop,” one of the group’s most popular pieces. Founded by the late German American classicist Sigurd Rascher in 1969, the quartet adheres to its namesake’s aesthetic ethos -- namely, music sounds better when played on old instruments.

The group has gone through several personnel changes over the years. Today's lineup (featuring soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophonists) includes “some of the most amazing musicians I’ve ever worked with,” says Rosenblum. “They go for a blend you can’t always get with other instruments.” Rosenblum, a jazz musician, admits he was somewhat surprised when the classical group asked him to compose songs for its program in 1998. “I sort of slipped in my jazz without them really realizing it,” he says. “It was kind of cool to go back to my roots.”
Fri., Jan. 26, 8 p.m.

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