Ode To Lord Buckley - David Amram
Recording Title   Ode to Lord Buckley
Media   Compact Disc
Record Company   Newport Classic
Catalog #   NPD85691
Year of Issue   2014
1   Overture [7:45]
2 Ballad [10:30]
3   Taxim [10:26]
Label Variations    
Misc. Notes   Composer David Ameram's musical tribute to Lord Buckley. See the liner notes below for Amram's vivid descrption of his personal friend.

Ode to Lord Buckley Liner Notes

Ode to Lord Buckley was recorded in a single live performance in March 2006 with the Orchestra of Indian Hill, made almost twenty-five years to the day after the world premiere in March 1981 with the Portland Symphony, and reuniting the principals in that first performance, composer David Amram, conductor Bruce Hangen, and soloist Ken Radnofsky. The Orchestra of Indian Hill (www.indianhillmusic.org), is made up of Boston's finest freelance musicians, colleagues dedicated to high integrity music making, and of which dear friend Bruce Hangen is Artistic Director. Ode was my first commission, accomplished with the help of family and friends (parents Matthew and Eunice Radnofsky, uncle / aunt Joseph and Hilda Jacobs, and Irene and Andy Kulin); I am forever grateful to them. I would also like to thank Susan Randazzo, Executive Director of Indian Hill Music, for making possible the release of this recording. The Prologue and Scherzo was recorded in a short session at New England Conservatory's historic Jordan Hall in September of 2005 as I recall, and the Amram Trio is from a live concert at the same venue, Feb. 16, 2010, with colleages, Boston Syrnphon principals James Sommerville (horn) and Richard Svoboda (bassoon), in an 80/ 85th birthday year saxophone concert dedicated to the music of, and attended by, composers David Amram and Gunther Schuller.(a snapshot of the two is enclosed in the cd booklet as the two old friends, horn players, composers, jazz lovers, born in the same month, exchange current phone numbers. And, it was Gunther who first heard David playing jazz French horn in 1954 at the famed Jazz Kellar in Frankfort Germany in Germany and suggested David move to NY. In 1955 David studied French horn with Gunther at the Manhattan School of Music, and Gunther attended David's Town Hall concert in 1960, in which this 'Trio' was first performed.

-- Ken Radnofsky. November 2013


Ode to Lord Buckley
from a letter to Ken, Bruce and Portland Symphony

I played piano for Lord Buckley, and spent his last night and early morning with him. A few hours later, a friend called up and said he had passed on. I have never forgotten him or that
time many years ago. Lord Buckley was the consummate performer, having total command of his instrument, which was his voice and his ability to be all the various people that inhabited the world he created for his memorable performances. He was one of the first to combine Shakespeare, the Bible and the poetry of the streets. For many of us, he was a combination of Walt Whitman, Charlie Parker, Baudelaire and Lawrence Olivier. Like Whitman, he was always lyric and grandiose. He reminded me of Charlie Parker as he created new stories out of thousands of unique patterns with spontaneous flights of fancy and one-time-only improvisations drawn from the moment. He seemed to relive Baudelaire's spirit as a mad, burning passionate poet, always romantic and worldly, in spite of the overwhelming setbacks that would have destroyed almost anyone else. Like Olivier, he could create and become any number of unforgettable human beings and make you remember them forever. Lord Buckley was much more than his defined role as a comedian and entertainer. He was a visionary and a true American original who influenced a whole generation. All who heard him recognized him as an underground genius of spontaneous American poetry and humor. He captured the great joy and the great melancholy of the 1940's and 1950's. The alto saxophone is an instrument that bridges the classical American tradition created by Johnny Hodges and Charlie Parker, whose amazing creativity, like Lord Buckley's, had no precedent. I felt a concerto for alto saxophone and orchestra would be a way of expressing homage to the era I grew up in. I will always be grateful to Ken Radnofsky, Bruce Hangen and the Portland Symphony for making it possible to write this piece and have it performed The piece celebrated the birth of my second daughter, Adira Amram.

--David Amram, January 20, 1981