Riesenschritte : for alto saxophone and pianoforte
by Andrián Pertout (2008)
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Riesenschritte for alto saxophone and pianoforte was commissioned by American saxophonist Noah Getz and represents a contemporary interpretation of John Coltrane's seminal work Giant Steps - the title track of the album 'Giant Steps', and a benchmark for most saxophonists. Giant Steps was recorded at Atlantic Studios, New York, USA on May 5, 1959, and released on Atlantic Records in January, 1960. This particular recording features John Coltrane (tenor saxophone), Tommy Flanagan (pianoforte) and Paul Chambers (contrabass). Coltrane was the "most influential and controversial tenor saxophonist in modern jazz", and the Coltrane changes (a strategy of chord substitution utilized in the composition based on the augmented cycle (CMaj7 [Bbm7, Eb7], Ab [F#m7, B7], and E [Dm7, G7]) "created a harmonic revolution", and became a substitute pattern applicable to any standard jazz chord progression. In 'The Jazz Theory Book Mark' Levine points out that "although Giant Steps is a very challenging tune, its 26 chords (10 key changes equal to 11 tonal centres) are just V-I and II-V-I progressions in only three keys: B, G, and Eb."
Instrumentation: Alto saxophone, piano.
Duration: 9 min.
Commission note: Commissioned by Noah Getz.. Commissioned by Noah Getz.
First performance: by Noah Getz — 13 Mar 09. Harold Clurman Concert Series, Stella Adler, New York, USA
The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
John Coltrane's album Giant Steps ; Jazz.
Riesenschritte’ was commissioned by American Saxophonist Noah Getz and represents a contemporary interpretation of John Coltrane’s seminal work Giant Steps – the title track of the album ‘Giant Steps’, and a benchmark for most saxophonists.
Coltrane was the “most influential and controversial tenor saxophonist in modern jazz”, and the ‘Coltrane changes’– a strategy of chord substitution utilized in the composition based on the ‘augmented cycle’ (CMaj7 [Bbm7, Eb7], A" [F#m7, B7], and E [Dm7, G7]) – “created a harmonic revolution”, and became a ‘substitute pattern’ applicable to any standard jazz chord progression. In The Jazz Theory Book Mark Levine points out that “although Giant Steps is a very challenging tune, its 26 chords (10 key changes equal to 11 tonal centres) are just V-I and II-V-I progressions in only three keys: B, G, and Eb.”
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Performances of this work
4 Nov 14: Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse No.1 Hall, 32nd Asian Composers League Festival & Conference 2014, Yokohama and Tokyo, Japan. Featuring Sumihisa Arima, Masashi Kimura, Mayuko Ohno, Masahiro Tamura, Yoshihiro Tsuchiya.
13 Mar 09: Harold Clurman Concert Series, Stella Adler, New York, USA. Featuring Noah Getz.
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