Larry Ankrum | The Dream of the Ballerina

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Jazz: Jazz quartet Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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The Dream of the Ballerina

by Larry Ankrum

Great jazz and sensual ballads played by four of New Orleans' top musicians. The title song was inspired by a girl who dreamed of becoming a professional dancer, but never had a chance. Jazz melts into ballet in the music video shot based on this story.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz quartet
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Best Friends
8:12 $0.99
2. A Day in Athens
5:55 $0.99
3. The Dream of the Ballerina
6:51 $0.99
4. Le Chapeau De Monk
6:44 $0.99
5. Champagne Moon
7:43 $0.99
6. Cartas De Suelto
9:06 $0.99
7. The Worse the Deed the Better the Confession
4:43 $0.99
8. The Silent Part of Your Soul
5:35 $0.99
9. Searching for What You Never Lost
11:14 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
This album has it all, intriguing original tunes, great solos, close interplay between the musicians, and intense emotion. The music was recorded in New Orleans in the same way as the great Blue Note albums of the '50s and '60s, a rehearsal the day before the session, then playing live in the studio.

"This formula has worked well for me in the past," said saxophonist, flutist, composer Larry Ankrum, "and most of the tunes are first takes. Piety Street Recording Studios has been my studio of choice for several years now."

The quartet is the same as on Ankrum's last album, Without Reasons, but with James Singleton from Astral Project on bass. The rest of the cast is the same: Larry Ankrum on tenor sax, flute and alto flute; the brilliant young pianist Joe Ashlar; Kevin O'Day on drums and percussion; Wesley Fontenot at the board; and the great New Orleans trombonist Jeff Albert producing.

The music is an eclectic mix of original compositions and group improvisations. There is definitely a feel good quality about this recording. All the tunes were written by saxophonist Larry Ankrum during a period of extensive world travel in the months just prior to the recording session.

Here is what Larry Ankrum had to say about the tunes:

"Best Friends" reflects that warm feeling one gets from being with someone with whom you can share anything and everything. It was inspired by my daughter, Christine, when she was just a little girl.

I had the opportunity to visit Athens, Greece several times, and, coincidentally, the last time I was there, a dear friend of mine happened to be there on the same day. We had a great day together and that wonderful visit with her resulted in the song "A Day in Athens".

The title tune, The Dream of the Ballerina, is very special. This song was inspired by the dream of a beautiful Ukrainian girl to be a professional dancer. Unfortunately, although she had the soul of a dancer and the desire to work long and hard, she never had the opportunity to pursue her dream until it was too late for it to become a reality. James Singleton is prominently featured on this haunting ballad in a duet with the alto flute. There is a video for this song on youtube. It's a beautiful little love story shot in St. Petersburg, Russia, produced by Hire the Muse.

"Le Chapeau de Monk" (Monk's Hat) is dedicated to Thelonious Monk. His compositions and his unique playing have always inspired me.

I wrote "Champagne Moon" while I was in South America after enjoying a pleasant night under the stars and the bubbly champagne moon.

The next tune, "Cartas de Suelto" is a tango dedicated to a great friend who writes me short intense notes. I used the tango rhythm to reflect that intensity. This was also written while I was in South America. Kevin O'Day plays a wonderful drum solo at the end of this arrangement.

"The Worse the Deed the Better the Confession" is played by saxophone, bass, drums. The solo section is completely free.

The last two songs, "The Silent Part of Your Soul" and Searching for What You Never Lost" are group improvisations. I just said, "Let's play something completely free", and we were off and running. The first tune went so well, I said, "Let's do another one." Playing freely like this was a perfect end to a wonderful day of music and friendship.



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