Tackling brave new territory in the conservative-leaning realm of
classical music tradition takes a unique blend of conviction, refined
talent and a bit of damn-the-torpedoes ambition. Those qualities are
amply in evidence with the New Century Saxophone Quartet, not to
mention a finely honed musicality deserving wider acceptance. … Polish
and vitality distinguish the group. … Inherently, the New Century
Saxophone Quartet is a crusading unit, spreading the gospel about this
maligned instrument’s serious aspirations. They made believers here.
— LOS ANGELES TIMES
What distinguished this performance was that all of
this was so well done with so little apparent effort or premeditation.
— THE WASHINGTON POST
The aural equivalent of spiked eggnog, this album
mixes festivity and funk; Lenny Pickett’s hilarious klezmer-style “God
Rest Ye Merry Gentle Mensch” is alone worth the price of admission.
— CHICAGO TRIBUNE
A virtuosic display of dexterity and keen ensemble
work. … The quartet demonstrated both the liquid sinuosity and the
pointillistic snap of the saxophone. … The players handled it all with
— THE NEW YORK POST
The Mozart was played with the precision and grace of
the Juilliard String Quartet.
— PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
The New Century Saxophone Quartet has avoided gimmicks
in this remarkable reinvention of carols that is the freshest Christmas
CD I’ve heard in years. … The result are Christmas carols that come
alive, rescued from the bin of repetition and jaded familiarity. …
Throughout, the quartet performs sensitively, always keeping the carols
— and their spirit — at the forefront.
— PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE
“Precise, synchronized playing was matched by a
balanced blend. … A total winner.”
— KALAMAZOO GAZETTE
“The New Century Saxophone Quartet is a superbly
— THE BUFFALO NEWS
Played with the kind of dexterity and precision that
made you want to either sell your saxophone or hit the practice room
for the next 10 years.
— THE NEWS OBSERVER (RALEIGH, N.C.)
Doing for saxophones what Casals did for the cello and
Segovia, for the guitar.
— SPECTATOR (RALEIGH, N.C.)
A festival of virtuoso fireworks. It may have been
cold and nasty outside, but inside the North Carolina Museum of Art’s
auditorium, things were cookin’.
— SPECTATOR (RALEIGH, N.C.)
An unusual take on familiar Christmas songs. … This
release will particularly appeal to saxophone fans as well as anyone
looking for holiday music with a little different bent.
— DENVER POST
A smoothness of sound, blend of ensemble and range of
nuance that often astonishes. … No mere technicians but artists who
entered into the spirit of the music with wit and fantasy.
— GREENWICH TIME (CONN.)
The New Century Saxophone Quartet is a breath of fresh
air. … Indeed the disc A New Century
Christmas is unique among this [year’s] crop ... It presents
amusing and ingenious arrangements of Christmas tunes by a diversity of
living composers, and the results are fun and original. By refusing to
be gulled by the Christmas hype, the quartet has created something
fresh and irreverent — and it will probably still sound good long after
the turkey has become soup.
— BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
A revelation. … This is no ordinary recording but a
devotedly virtuoso traversal of some of the most mind-bogglingly
ingenious and inspired counterpoint ever committed to manuscript.
— INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW
They combine great technique and elegant musicianship
with a wonderful sense of chamber music.
Played with such a catching and playful gaiety, the
entire audience was won over easily by the quartet. The dynamic
qualities of the quartet shone through in its unforced subtlety.
— LEIDSCH DAGBLAD (THE NETHERLANDS)