Planets In Transit, Compositions for Quartet, Septet & Big Band
Larry Porter had the opportunity to write for 4 horns, when
he was working with Thad Jones in Spain. Thad encouraged him
to continue in this direction, and after returning to Munich,
Larry formed a septet and wrote an entire book of about 14
arrangements for the group. "Planets In Transit", with its
evocative scales, is a feature for tenor saxophonist, Bobby
This edition of the Porter-Praskin Quartet is with drummer,
John Betsch, and bassist, Rocky Knauer. In "Gettin' The Drift",
they engage in some unique free-time ballad playing.
The Composers Improvisation Ensemble was founded by trombonist,
Rudi Fuesers, and provided a forum for Munich composers to
create new music for big band. Porter's "Skies Of Bavaria"
is a 3-part piece, which attempts to utilize some of Olivier
Messiaen's compositional techniques in a jazz ensemble. Specific
modes provide the basis for melodic and harmonic material.
Throughout the piece, the band is divided into two contrasting
groups of instruments: one consisting of clarinet, violin,
guitar, and piano, and the other of saxophones and brass.
Larry first met Harvey Wainapel at Berklee College of Music
in Boston way back in the 70s. Harvey has since established
himself as one of the leading voices on the saxophone on the
West Coast. His quartet tackles some Porter originals here,
such as the quirky "Nι Su Problemy", a tribute to Dodo the
Slovakian drummer, who was very fond of saying "no problem".
"Minor Sense" is line over "Pennies From Heaven" but in a
minor key. "Intimation Of Blue", a haunting piece using suspended
chords, is a great vehicle for Harvey's expressive ballad
Larry Porter Septet 1. Planets In Transit 10:11
Gerry Rusch tr, Hermann Breuer tb, Allan Praskin as,
Stern ts, Larry Porter p, Rocky Knauer b, Jamey
Haddad dr Munich, 1982
Porter-Praskin Quartet 2. Gettin The Drift 6:42
Allan Praskin as, Larry Porter p, Rocky Knauer b, John
Betsch dr Munich, 1986
Composers Improvisation Ensemble 3. Skies Of Bavaria 10:03