Pleasantries for tenor saxophone and piano

by Michael G. Cunningham

Pleasantries was created in memory of the renowned American Jazz saxophonist Stan Getz who died in 1991. Getz was arguably at the forefront of jazz improvisation all during the second half of the 20th-Century. The natural tunefulness of his improvisation, his vibrato, an occasional human-voice quality and an elusive bittersweet element made his tenor sax style unmistakable. His Bossa Nova recordings of the 1960s helped many people to form a special link between the U. S. and Brazilian cultures.

The first movement of Pleasantries is reminiscent of the many slower ballads Getz played. The second movement attempts to portray the gravity of his life and ultimate death. And the third movement tries to recreate that happy time when he reached beyond the world of jazz with his bossa novas.


Select the headphone image above to hear the beginning of Pleasantries.

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