Mahogany Moods


For saxophone (soprano/alto – 1 player), bass trombone, piano
Duration: 12'


Premiered by Tim McAllister (saxophones), Randy Hawes (bass trombone), Kathryn Goodson (piano)

Program Notes:

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