Sultana for sax and piano

Over a year ago, Timothy Roberts, saxophone soloist with the United States Navy Band, asked me to arrange “Wood,” the 4th movement of my Concerto for Soprano Sax, for sax and piano alone.  Lots of people have asked me to make a piano reduction of the entire concerto, and that’s not something I have the time to do.  The idea of having a standalone version of “Wood” that could be played on recitals and at solo and ensemble contests, though, was both a great idea, and something that didn’t take all that long to do.  Well, once I finally started it.  Yesterday.

So, it’s done.  After 24 hours, I have a “new” piece: “Sultana,” for saxophone and piano.  In trying to come up with a title for the standalone version, we played with this idea that it sounds vaguely North African — sort of like Algiers or Marseilles, with that sort of French-but-more-ethnically-ambiguous sound.  It was tough to find a title that didn’t need the word “tango” in it, since this piece is so obviously a tango.  I was tempted — yes, I have two pieces with “tango” in the title, but how many pieces did Joplin write that used the word “Rag” and how many times did Sousa write something with “March” in the title?  Still, that was the obvious thing, so we didn’t go that direction.  Instead, AEJ came up with “Sultana,” the word for a female sultan (and also the word for a sultan’s “main” wife).  There haven’t been many female sultans, but there actually was on in Algiers, of all places.

Sultana” is a slightly modified transcription of “Wood,” with just a few extra notes in the solo part.  Although I intend it to be played on a soprano sax, I’ll be including both Eb and Bb solo parts in all sets that I sell ($20 plus shipping! A steal!), so you could play it on soprano, alto, tenor, or I suppose even baritone sax.  (If you do that, please send me a recording; I’d be most curious to hear the piece on a bari, although I wouldn’t expect it to sound… what’s the word?  Good.)

Seriously, though I’m curious to hear this arrangement at all. If you ever play it, I hope you’ll send me a recording!

I’m off… It’s cookie time!


Liz Love says

I would like some credit.

Thank you.

Cathy says

It's official - AEJ's intelligence intimidate me.

Heck, it's taking me quite a bit of time, an online dictionary and several revisions for me to get this comment just right, knowing that she may just see it.

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