Preview tracks on YouTube:
Ode to Joy by the Larry McDonough Quartet, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4h6AplVirI
Sirocco by the Larry McDonough Quartet, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_aGSOpSn-Q
JazzInk, Jazz Face: Larry McDonoughm Pleads the Case for 7/4 , By Andrea Canter
“Legal Aid attorney Larry McDonough has a long history of supporting those who most need it, and can least afford it. That social activism carries over to his music. Larry not only rearranges standards and modern hits, often in odd time signatures, he has also been involved in a project that turns children with disabilities into composers. Through the creative hardware and software applications of the Fingersteps Project, McDonough has used student melodies as a launching pad for fully formed jazz works, some of which he has recorded and which he performed at the celebration of his Baby Blue Arts DVD at the Dakota (April 5th). He now has seven such compositions, the first of which he recorded on his quartet’s Simple Gifts, and a few of which will be on his next recording project, a duet with saxophonist/poet Richard Terrill dubbed Solitude.”
LMQ DVD Release, Dakota, April 5, 7:00 pm, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Jazz / Larry McDonough, By Dan Emerson
“St. Paul-based jazz composer and pianist/vocalist Larry McDonough is celebrating the release of his new DVD, "Live at Music Connection." The original disc features poetry and odd-metered jazz based on melodies from children with disabilities, along with Beethoven, Dave Brubeck, Bill Evans, Spinal Tap, Led Zeppelin and others. The children are McDonough's daughter, Rosie, and Jennifer and Patrick Moffatt, the children of Dan Moffatt, who created the Fingersteps Projects, enabling children with disabilities to create melodies using adaptive computer equipment. McDonough, also a [former adjunct] professor at William Mitchell College of Law, will be accompanied at the Dakota by saxophonist and poet Richard Terrill, drummer Chaz Draper and bassist Craig Matarrese.”
Minn Post, By Pamela Espeland
“On Thursday at the Dakota, Legal Aid lawyer, law professor, family man and jazz pianist/composer/vocalist/arranger Larry McDonough releases his DVD, “Larry McDonough Quartet: Live at Music Connection.” McDonough’s music is thoughtful, mellow, studied jazz—close-your-eyes-and-listen jazz. More feeling than flash, more poetry than pyrotechnics, though he does play around with odd meters. The program includes Beethoven, Brubeck, Bill Evans, Spinal Tap, Led Zeppelin, and melodies from the Fingersteps Project, with compositions based on melodies written by children with disabilities including McDonough’s daughter Rosie.”
“‘With a feathery touch that recalls Bill Evans but with more fingers and a unique approach to time that makes the most worn carol or standard a new adventure’ –Andrea Canter. One of the most unique voices in the local jazz scene, Larry McDonough is an exceptional pianistic talent. His original music and odd-meter versions of jazz standards have kept him in demand since the 1970s. McDonough scaled back his performing and recording in the 90?s to raise a family and earn a law degree, and is now finding that perfect balance between work, family, and music. He has released several recordings with different ensembles over the past few years, and his live shows with his quartet are as transcendent as ever. ‘They play in a very open fashion where all you want to do is kick back, relax, and let the music take you away to a place untraveled.’ -John Book.”
Live at Music Connection contains the first television performance of the Larry McDonough Quartet, recorded by Baby Blue Arts at Minnesota Connection in Edina, Minnesota, for viewing on public television stations around the country. LMQ performs two pieces first released on the Simple Gifts CD, two new ones penned by McDonough, and one holiday song.
For Ode to Joy, recorded on Simple Gifts, McDonough arranged the Beethoven piece in the style of a Bill Evans waltz, with the A section over a C pedal and the B section over a G pedal. It starts quietly with each solo increasing in intensity, culminating in the Draper’s drum solo, and then back to the B section.
A Rose for Two is from the Fingersteps Project, in which compositions are based on melodies written by children with disabilities with adaptive computer equipment. The piece is based on melodies written by McDonough’s daughter Rosie, and Jennifer and Patrick, children of Fingersteps creator Dan Moffatt. Rosie wrote the A section melody, Jennifer and Patrick wrote the B section melody, and McDonough placed them over shifting minor harmonies and a 5/4 meter, with a free improvisational section in the middle of the piece.
McDonough wrote Lady Day based on the Frank Reed poem about Billie Holiday thinking back over her career, matching the melancholy of the beginning with minor-major 7th harmonies, the hopefulness of the middle with major 9th sharp 11ths, and the uncertainty of the ending with the original harmonies. McDonough first sang Lady Day on Simple Gifts, with his vocals have been likened to Chet Baker (Hrayr Attarian, All About Jazz; John Ziegler, KUMD Radio).
Sirocco is the name of a hot east wind blowing from Northern Africa across the Mediterranean Sea to Southern Europe. McDonough put it in 7/4 time with 7 bar phrases, with a “hot” A section and “cool” B section to simulate the sirocco winds. LMQ performs a short version of Sirocco behind the credits, with the full piece included as a bonus.
Finally, on Angels We Have Heard on High, McDonough recasts the holiday favorite in a rolling 7/4 time, with Terrill playing the melody on soprano at the beginning and McDonough singing on the way out.
Also included is the introduction by BBA host Laurie Patton, and her interview with McDonough about LMQ, and A Rosie for Two in particular.
Legal Aid lawyer and law professor Larry McDonough was selected by William Mitchell College of Law as one of "100 Who Made a Difference" over the 100 year history of the school. He also is a St. Paul jazz pianist and singer, performing around the world and recording with his group the Larry McDonough Quartet as well as solo, and in duos and trios. He has performed with legendary saxophonist and composer Benny Golson, Trombonist Fred Wesley, and trumpeter Duane Eubanks, as well as a who’s who of local jazz artists, and was inducted into the Minnesota Rock Country Hall of Fame for his work in the group Danny’s Reasons.
Sax player and Minnesota State University Mankato English Professor Richard Terrill received the 2004 Minnesota Book Award for Poetry, for his poetry compilation “Coming Late to Rachmaninoff” (University of Tampa Press, 2003). Richard Terrill, tenor sax, has been performing with Larry McDonough since December 2001. He also has performed with guitarist Jim McGuire and with Chaz Draper's Uptown Jazz Quartet. As a college student, Terrill was a member of the award winning University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Jazz Ensemble, and performed with later-to-be Pat Metheny keyboardist Lyle Mays in the Lyle Mays Quartet, winner of small group honors at the Midwest College Jazz Festival. He has also worked with pianist Geoff Keezer. He teaches creative writing at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Bassist, Mingus stylist and Minnesota State University Mankato Philosophy Professor Craig Matarrese Craig Matarrese moved to Mankato after playing bass in Chicago and Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, over seven years. He has performed with Ron Bridgewater, Jeff Helgesen, Thomas Wirtel, Morgan Powell, Tim Green, and others, and studied with bassist Scott Mason in Chicago. He studied music and philosophy as an undergraduate at Northwestern University and went on to get his Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Drummer Chaz Draper played his first professional gig in the sixties and has been playing ever since. Gigs have included touring and recording on four continents. He has recorded or performed with Freddie Frederick Orchestra, Joe Schultz, Mamie Van Doren, Michael Johnson, Lawrence Welk, Billy Preston, Free and Easy, Helen O'Connell, Billy Barber, Flym Johnson, Aura, Myron Florin, Rise and Shine, Uptown Jazz Quartet, Mankato Symphony Orchestra, James Darren, Smokescreen, and the Minnesota State Band, and has taught at Bethany College. Andrea Canter, Jazz Police, said of him: “propulsive percussion that suggested the drum kit had suddenly doubled in size.”
The Larry McDonough Quartet
Larry McDonough, Piano, Voice, Compositions and Arrangements;
Richard Terrill, Tenor and Soprano Saxes;
Craig Matarrese, Bass; and Chaz Draper, Drums
Baby Blue Arts Video Team
Laurie Patton, Bruce Lehrer and Dick Erickson
Filmed and recorded at Music Connection, Edina, MN,
Cover photo: Carol Bergquist
Duplication: Copy Cats
© 2012 LM Jazz and Baby Blue Arts
Live at Minnesota Connection is available for purchase for $10, with proceeds going to Baby Blue Arts to support its work.
Contact Larry McDonough at email@example.com