(İLadd McIntosh 1967)


Artist Comment: "I composed ELFSTONE in July 1967. The fine date is July 10, 1967. On July 22, 1967, I finished its companion piece, GALADRIEL. Both were written for jazz band and both are 203 measures in length. The pieces were written for, and performed by, the Ohio State University Jazz Workshop Big Band. I had started the band in the fall of 1963 and for five years I wrote (composed and/or arranged) the entire library and also directed the band. That band took first place honors at the very first American College Jazz Festival, which was held in Miami Beach, Florida in May 1967. That band competed at several collegiate jazz festivals in the East and Midwest between 1964 and 1968. I won best composer awards at five of those festivals. Because of my compositional and arranging skills for that ensemble I was the subject of feature-articles in The New York Times, The Cleveland Plain Dealer and Downbeat Magazine. Both pieces were recorded (I believe I still have cassette tapes) but were never released commercially. Both pieces were published originally by Downbeat Music Publishers in 1969 or 1970. They were advertised in Downbeat magazine. I later offered the pieces through my own publishing company, Machu Picchu Music, which is now defunct. If anyone is interested, they may still be purchased from me by contacting me at this e-mail address. I know I performed the pieces in Utah in the early 1970s when I was a professor of jazz studies in that state. I later performed them at California State University, Northridge, when I was a member of the faculty there. I know that both pieces have been performed by jazz bands (high school and college) all over the country. I dug out an old catalog which has brief descriptions of both works, which are as follows: Instrumentation: 5 saxes, 5 trumpets, 4 trombones, 5 rhythm (piano, bass, guitar, drums and percussion); saxes 1 and 3 double on clarinet and flute; saxes 2 and 4 double on clarinet; sax 5 doubles on bass clarinet. "A swinger! Great shout background behind each soloist. Dynamite ending with the 'mystery' chord. Fun changes. Five minutes of pure joy. Originally performed at the Notre Dame Jazz Festival. Good for doublers. Very well written and some really nice colors, too. Solos: Trumpet, Tenor Saxophone and Bass. Medium difficulty." As you can tell, I was pretty enthusiastic about this piece. "changes" refers to the chord progression. It was constructed with ease in jazz (improvised) solos in mind. "Doublers" refers to the practice of musicians who play more than one instrument. You probably already figured that out. The piece is exciting and swings along at a good clip. It was always a fun piece to perform. The background figures did, indeed, propel the soloists on toward the end of their improvised solos. I have always had a good feeling about this particular piece. So involved was I with the writing of both these pieces at literally the same time, that in GALADRIEL I quote a melodic excerpt from ELFSTONE. I had forgotten about that until I looked at both of the scores. I have always found Tolkien's trilogy and its predecessor "The Hobbit" to be among the most imaginative and compelling books I have ever read. So much so, that I read each of them twice. As a young composer in my mid-twenties, anything of interest I encountered tended to feed my musical imagination and often resulted in new compositions. Since I was so involved with my Ohio State jazz band at the time, those works were usually for that ensemble. And so it was with both ELFSTONE and GALADRIEL. I thought both names made for great titles. And, while I was not attempting to paint musical portraits of the two characters, there can be no doubt that my impression of each of them had a definite influence on what I wrote. ELFSTONE is strong, dynamic and muscular, while GALADRIEL tends to be more ethereal and exotic. So inspired, the composing and arranging of each piece was quite easy and did not take much time. It felt very good to produce both works."