Radiant Blues Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble, Movement 1 by Charles Booker, Todd Oxford Soloist
Review of Radiant Blues CD in Band World Magazine 2012 by Ira Novoselsky
Radiant Blues is a departure from the past recordings of Booker’s music in that solos for alto saxophone, tuba, and piano with band are included. While space limits me from mentioning the details of all five soloists, bands & conductors I assure the listener this is a first rate recording and does not utilize any “ensemble du jour”. Radiant Blues is a three movement concerto (Radiant Blues, Lament and Farewell) for alto saxophone & wind ensemble (also written with orchestral accompaniment). Elements of blues, bebop & classical stylings abound. Concertino for Tuba & Band is a one movement escapade that brings out the best from soloist and ensemble. Capriccio & Interlude for Piano & Wind Ensemble (or orchestra) is a rarity; a piano & band work of moderate length compared to the duration of a typical piano concerto. The remaining two works are Brilliant Legacy: Suite for Band and Switchback, a pair of compositions written with skillful scoring and interesting sounds appealing to performers and audiences. A fine collection of music from a composer who knows what bands want to play and what audiences want to hear.