Reedmen Regale Topeka audience

"Nothing satisfies quite like a night of great sax. Topeka Community Concert Association patrons got one Saturday at White Concert Hall. That is where the Capitol Quartet, a saxophone ensemble based in Washington, D.C., performed the final concert of the association's 2006-07 season.

The players - Christopher Creviston, David Lewis, Joseph Lulloff and David Stambler demonstrated the versatility of Adolphe Sax's creation with a program of classical and jazz music, with the two genres sometimes mixed.

A great example came late in the concert when CQ played the "Minutebug Waltz." For that, tenor saxophonist Stambler arranged a lively mixture of two seemingly disparate compositions: Fredric Chopin's "Waltz in D Flat Major," better known as the "Minute Waltz," and Fats Waller's "The Jitterbug Waltz."

The fusion worked with notes aplenty played with aplomb at breakneck speed without losing the familiarity of both tunes. "Minutebug Waltz" certainly wasn't the only CQ treat dishing out saxophone's four main flavors: soprano, alto, tenor and baritone. The quartet shined new light on Cole Porter's "Night and Day." It played Alan Blaylock's arrangement of how tenor saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi reharmonized Porter's tune by imposing on it John Coltrane-like "Giant Steps" chord progressions. 

When it came to classical repertoire CQ-style, Stambler took inspiration from Johann Sebastian Bach's "The Well-Tempered Clavier" to arrange a fugue in the fashion of Bach for a delightful work titled "The Fugue Well-Tampered."

The 14-work program has a lot more worth listening to, including Lewis' and Stambler's anecdote- and joke-filled introductions.

Toes tapped to CQ versions of "Sweet Georgia Brown," "Fascinatin' Rhythm" and "It Dont Mean a Thing (If It Aint Got That Swing)." "A Song for Margot," a Mark Weiser composition the quartet commissioned in honor of Stambler's late wife, was lovingly to hear. 

After a standing ovation, the saxophonists returned for an encore. They blazed through Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Flight of the Bumblebee." It left the reedmen breathless, which is exactly what good sax is supposed to do."

— Bill Blankenship, Topeka Capital-Journal