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Premiered by Tim McAllister (saxophones), Randy Hawes (bass trombone), Kathryn Goodson (piano)
I’ve been very fortunate to have been able compose for some of today’s great instrumental soloists, and “Mahogany Moods” is certainly no exception. Being asked to write a piece for Tim McAllister, Randy Hawes and Kathryn Goodson is like being asked if you wouldn’t mind winning the lottery.
The 2nd part of the title – “Moods” – is self-explanatory. The piece winds its way through various states of nostalgia, “cool”-jazz, funkiness, anxiety, pathos and excitement.
I arrived at the first part of the title – “Mahogany” – in a round-about sort of way. I was trying to think of something that captured the three performers, and I was led to Mahogany when thinking about their rich sounds, and also the common material often used for piano construction. It was only after finding that word that I realized how perfectly it matched their names: “M” for McAllister, “H” for Hawes, and “G” for Goodson, spelling “MaHoGany”.
My main goal of the piece was to give players of this caliber a vehicle for self-expression, while being enjoyable chamber music to perform. I certainly am indebted to them for giving me the opportunity for this collaboration.
Jim Stephenson; August, 2015