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 A new release


Stafford JAMES (bass & compositions)

Don ALIAS (percussion)

Gene JACKSON (drums)

Emil SPANYI (keyboards)


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"Le Gecko", which has a tuning of A=442.0, starts with the rubato melody of "AU CAP BéNAT ". It is written for the specific strokes one down and two up, then reversed. The object is not to hear the stroke movement. The Calypso rhythm provides the momentum for the melody to make the melodic statement.

The second composition LE GECKO is the title song of the CD. The melody is best articulated starting on the E flat above the harmonic D on the D string. The harmonic movement is chromatic and has the cadence ending C7 to D flat major 7 flat 5 going back to F major. The strokes are 3 to 1 starting on down with mid-bow articulation. This is an excellent stroke for the melodic articulation and solo because of the reverberative projection of the stroke.

GAIA was written for tip or upper third articulation with a two in one bow stroke. Don Alias plays the seven layers of the guan guanco to symbolize the Earth Goddess.

CRISTALLISSIME was written to show how the two sides of pizzicato and arco reflect each other on the instrument. The strokes are all separated strokes which make the intervals of the double stops ring clearly.

CHANGING WORLD - Our world today

GOOD NEWS A COMIN'- WHEN AND HOW was written for the drummer to play only mallets to set the dark mood of the piece.

ESPOIR- was initially written for the famine victims of Ethiopia as part of the ETHIOPIA SUITE. The meter is in 14/8 and is subdivided into two phrases of 8/8 and 6/8. The bridge is in 4/4. The strokes are two by two in the 14/8 section and single strokes for the bridge. The Spiccato is saved for the end with the rubato melody. This was first recorded in New York with the Orchestra of St. Luke's and choreographed for 10 dancers.

KISSES AND RAINBOWS - this composition is ALL about strokes and jumping out of the position to make the next interval. The melody is best articulated mid-bow and tip as the frog takes away the flow of the line.

TONGUE AND CHEEK is justly written for the frog of the bow to the mid. A meaty sound is required .
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