A work in lauda form for electric guitar, cello and bass clarinet.
Lauda Rubata a Tre
Commissioned by the York Late Music Festival this piece draws on the fact that three of Gavin Bryars’ musicians, who have played with him in various ensemble configurations over the years, were performing together in the rest of the programme, though he had never previously written for these three players as a self-contained unit. The dedications help clarify the musical imagery.
One part of the dedication is “In Memoriam Chico Hamilton”. Chico Hamilton led a number of interesting and innovative quintets/sextets in the 1950s, having been the drummer in the original Gerry Mulligan quartet, and in the film Jazz on a Summer’s Day (Newport Jazz Festival 1958) there is a lovely drum solo in which he just uses mallets.
His own groups employed imaginative and unusual combinations of instruments, and in the late 1950s he led a group that included electric guitar, cello and the bass clarinetist Eric Dolphy (though generally playing flute at that time) – and this trio is what we have here. The guitarist was Dennis Budimir (later replaced by Jim Hall) and the cellist Fred Katz (almost certainly the only jazz jazz cellist of the period who, unlike Red Mitchell or Oscar Pettiford, had not stepped down/up from the double bass).
Chico Hamilton died quite recently, within a few weeks of Jim Hall and Fred Katz… Dolphy, of course, died in the 1960s.
The other dedication is to my friend and former student Craig Vear, who had a work in the same concert. I first met Craig I interviewed and auditioned him as a drummer. In the absence of any drum kit in the vicinity, I had him play rudiments on my metal brief case – which would not have been so severely damaged had he, like Chico Hamilton, used mallets…