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Robert Carl: Duke Meets Mort (1992)
for saxophone quartet

The following notes were written by the composer to accompany the recording of this work on the Lotus Records label (LR 9722CD) performed by the Vienna Saxophone Quartet.

Duke Meets Mort is a meeting at a "summit" between two American originals, who, while we mourn their loss, can now hopefully get to know one another a little better.

Specifically, the piece takes six chords (never quite in their original sequence) from Duke Ellington's Mood Indigo and interprets them freely in the voice of Morton Feldman. I've always felt a correspondence between Ellington's "Indigos" and Feldman's delicate, ethereal vision, so this "jam" should not be too much of a surprise. The piece should be played throughout with hushed reverence, an homage and prayer.

Duke Meets Mort was originally written for a student ensemble at the Hartt School, the Nice Guy Quartet. Eventually the Vienna Saxophone Quartet heard a tape of the work, and took it into their repertoire, making it entirely their own. I am deeply indebted to their exceptional commitment and musicianship, which has given the piece the best possible opportunity to make its way in the world since its composition.

Duke Meets Mort is published by:
Kleine Stadtgutgasse 10/4
A-1020 Wien

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