Baltimore Rowhouse is an extended piece with dramatic changes in mood and style. It begins as a ballad featuring alto sax, suddenly shifts to rock-fusion guitar, and finally has a film noir flavor. Serial techniques are used in subtle ways throughout the score and provide compositional structure. The piece strikes a balance between notation and improvisational freedom for both the soloists and the ensemble musicians. Recorded by Amy Leonard, violin; Jason Shapiro, alto saxophone; Jeff Knoettner, piano; E. Shawn Qaissaunee, guitar; Peter McCarthy, bass; Skip Rohrich, drums; and David Arivett, horn section.
The melody in the ballad section is based on 12-tone rows over conventional jazz chord progression. The chord progression serves to ground the melody so it does not sound atonal. The chord progression in the solo section (7) is roughly based on the tone row used in the 4-bar bridge of the ballad (3). After the guitar solo, the horn voicings over a pedal point (8) are based on the first four notes of the ballad bridge.
The mid-size ensemble score is for jazz soloist, 5 wind instruments, and rhythm section. Flexible instrumentation is used to enable the music to be played by many combinations of instruments. Mid-Size Ensemble describes the concepts I used in this piece.
As a performance option, omit the intro and start with the soloist's triplet in measure 8.