"Unleash the Beast!"
an album by...
The Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble
R. Winston Morris,director
|The Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble
| Lloyd Bone
| Jason Byrnes
| Josh Wright - bass
Dolby Miller - drums
Randy Gouge - guitar
Devon Brewer -percussion
TUBA QUARTET NO.1 IN C MINOR, OP.3............Kenyon D. Wilson
- ROBIN HOOD FANFARE............Michael Kamen/tr. Jon Oliver
- ST. ANN'S FUGUE...........................J.S. Bach/tr. Jerry Beckman
- BEAST!.................................................................Gregory Danner
- TUBAS LATINAS.............................................Aldo Rafael Forte
- THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR SUNRISE.......arr. David Butler
BASS CLEF JAZZ featuring
- SUNRISE LADY................Bruce Johnston/arr. MichaelO'Conner
- SO WHAT.....................................Miles Davis/arr. Richard Perry
- Jason Brynes,tuba
- Lloyd Bone,euphonium
- Josh Wright, bass
- WALKIN'........................................Miles Davis/arr. David Esleck
- Randy Gouge,guitar
- Kelly Thomas,euphonium
- Jimmy Vaden,tuba
- COURTSHIP............................Bob James/arr. Michael O'Conner
- SHINY STOCKINGS....................Frank Foster/arr.Richard Perry
- Anders Tofting Swane Lund,tuba
- CHAMELEON.........................Herbie Hancock/arr. Richard Perry
- LA FIESTA..........................Chick Corea/arr. John W. Arnold, Jr.
- Jason Byrnes,tuba
- Jon Oliver,euphonium
- Randy Gouge,guitar
- Sean Mays,tuba
Set in three movements, the quartet follows the traditional pattern of fast-slow-fast. The first movement is a four-voice fugue in the Classical style. The second movement, Lament, begins with a short exchange between two solo tubas followed by a bittersweet melody presented in minor, then transformed to major. The final movement, Dance, is a fast paced rondo with frequent meter changes.
Kenyon Wilson is a former member of the TTTE, having received his Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Tennessee Tech University in 1992. He was then awarded a graduate assistantship at Baylor University where in 1995 he received a Master of Music in both tuba performance and music theory. Mr. Wilson is currently the Tuba/Euphonium Instructor at University of Tennesee at Chattanooga .
In the fall of 1994, after receiving an unprecedented fifth invitation for the Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble to perform at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Winston Morris asked me about writing something for the New York performance. His only direction to me was "make it as hard as you want!" In January 1995, BEAST! was born. The composition merges an octatonic tonality with extended instrumental techniques, including such timbral effects as coin taps, air effects, half-valve glissandi, and chant. The composition is technically and musically demanding. I thank Winston Morris and the students of the TTTE for the long hours of rehearsal and outstanding performances which BEAST! has received.
Aldo Rafael Forte
Tubas Latinas, Overture for Tuba Ensemble, was commissioned by Ernie Walls for the Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble and is dedicated to that outstanding group of musicians and its director, R. Winston Morris. In November 1991, I was on the Tennessee Tech campus and visited with Winston for the first time in over ten years when he asked me to write a piece for his group to perform on their upcoming spring tour which was to include performances at the National MENC Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, and later at the International Tuba Conference in Lexington, Kentucky. I accepted the commission and completed Tubas Latinas in January 1992.
Tubas Latinas contrasts Spanish and Latin American musical elements. In writing this work, I was inspired by Latin and Spanish music I had heard my father play on his guitar during my early chilhood years in Cuba. Tubas Latinas is approximately seven minutes in length and is scored for two euphonium and three tuba parts as well as optional percussion parts. The piece consists of four sections in a slow-fast-slow-fast format. The first section is a short, slow introduction featuring the first euphonium part in a cantabile Spanish style melody. The second section is highly spirited and consists of a bullfight bravura type music which is occasionally interrupted by syncopated jazz rythms. In the third section the opening melody of the introduction returns, this time dressed in different garb. A solo tuba cadenza leads to the long final section. This final section introduces Latin style rhythms enhanced by the optional percussion. It opens with a melody in the euphoniums played over claves and maracas and a bass ostinato inspired by the conga music of the Cuban carnival season. This leads to a development of material from the second section of the piece . Eventually the bass ostinato returns. Afterward, the mood changes when cowbells and tambourine accompany a legato melody based, again, on material from the introduction, the piece ends lively with a return of the bass ostinato and a final "Ole!" from the entire ensemble. The Latin style rhythms should be played effortlessly, never hurried or labored. Tubas Latinas is published by TUBA Press.
…from American Record Guide, March/April 1996
When it was founded in 1967 by conductor R Winston Morris, the Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble (Cookeville TN) was a pioneer in the large euphonium-tuba ensemble genre. Since then it has played five Carnegie Hall concerts, made seven recordings, and had over 600 works written for it. The present ensemble consists of five euphoniums and nine tubas, and it sounds marvelous.
Three of the works were composed for the TTTE. Kenyon Wilson’s Quartet includes a terrific Fugue, a soulful Lament, and a lively, polymetric Dance. Gregory Danner’s “Beast!” seethes with primal energy and includes percussion sounds and tribal chanting. “Tubas Latinas,” by Aldo Rafael Forte, is an inventive and entertaining melange of Spanish and Latin American elements, including percussion.
The disc opens with student member Jon Oliver’s arrangement of Michael Kamen’s rousing “Robin Hood Fanfare” (the notes say nothing about what it was for originally). The other transcriptions—a good-humored “The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise” and Bach’s “St. Ann Fugue”—sound excellent. The rest of the disc is devoted to ‘Bass Clef Jazz,’ where the ensemble is joined by a fine rhythm section. Several soloists have their say.
The euphonium-tuba ensemble has inherent problems, including a tendency for euphoniums to dominate the melody (and the listener’s attention) and for close harmonies to sound muddy. While skillful composers and arrangers can minimize those predicaments, good performers overcome them. Given good tone qualities, intonation, balance, and musical interest, a tuba ensemble can be just as worthy as any—and those qualities are consistently demonstrated by the Tennessee Tech ensemble. Fluffy tuba articulations occasionally reveal the players’ youthfulness, but healthy and spirited musicmaking makes this a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience.
—Barry Kilpatrick, School of Music, SUNY at Fredonia
…from the T.U.B.A. Journal, Vol. 23, No. 1, Fall 1995
The Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble (TTTE) can rightfully claim the distinction of being the most recorded, best publicized large tuba/euphonium ensemble in the world. Guided by R. Winston Morris, a noted performer and leading pedagogue, the TTTE has produced seven recordings, performed five times in Carnegie Hall, and inspired over 600 compositions for the ensemble since its creation in 1967. Unleash the Beast captivates the listener by expertly spanning a broad spectrum of styles. From the contrapuntal clarity of the Bach St. Ann’s Fugue to the aesthetically pleasing execution of extended instrumental techniques in Gregory Danner’s Beast, this ensemble plays with a precision and clarity of sound that upholds the professional standard of performance TTTE has maintained through its history. The musicianship, technical accuracy and quality of sound displayed on this disc showcase the considerable merits of three recent compositions: Tuba Quartet No.1 in C minor by Kenyon Wilson, Tubas Latinas by Aldo Rafael Forte, and the previously mentioned Beast by Gregory Danner. The liner notes for Unleash the Beast provide informative commentary describing the form, structure and history of each of these outstanding works.
The enviable precision and stylistic accuracy of the TTTE continues when they are joined by their rhythm section, the Rhythm Kings, who help propel the ensemble into exciting renditions of Latin, Rock, and swing tunes from composers as diverse as Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock. The influence of the Matteson-Phillips TUBAJAZZ CONSORT, of which Morris was a member, can be clearly heard, particularly in the quality and quantity of the solos presented by members of the ensemble. Unleash the Beast represents an outstanding combination of high quality playing, important new literature, tastefully played jazz and intelligent programming.