Daniel Kientzy, Tom Johnson

Kientzy Plays Johnson
(Pogus 21033-2)

Tom Johnson, born in Colorado in 1939, received B. A. and M. Music degrees from Yale University, and studied composition privately with Morton Feldman. After 15 years in New York, he moved to Paris, where he has lived since 1983. He is considered a minimalist, since he works with simple forms, limited scales, and generally reduced materials, but he proceeds in a more logical way than most minimalists, often using formulas, permutations, and predictable sequences.

Daniel Kientzy (Perigueux, France, 1951) plays the entire saxophone family, from the sopranino to the huge contrabass. Playing alto with a recording of six alto saxophones, (one section is on baritone) Kientzy Loops is, like most of the disk, is a chance to check out the amazing sound of the saxophone. Since the compositional approach is minimal with simple repeated cells and/or some kind of additive system, I get lost in the sound of the horns. Damm, they sound amazing. La Tortue de Mer is a short three minute melody performed on the contrabass and based on a mathematical sequence noticed by Marc Chemillier and used by the people of Vanuatu in the South Pacific in geometrical Turtle drawings. Narayana’s Cows: starting with one cow and her offspring, Johnson explains how 14 century mathematician Narayana described cows multiplying while Kientzy demonstrates on multitracked horns, each note representing a cow. Melodies get longer and longer in Infinite Melodies and remind me again how great this recording sounds. Plus I like the simplicity of minimalism.

David Beardsley
2004

Originally published in the Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter.

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