Eastbound is a nine-minute piece for saxophone quartet (2 altos, tenor and bari). It is composed in a three-part structure which reflects the idea of taking flight and then arriving at a very enjoyable destination. The program notes printed below appeared in the program for the piece's 2014 premiere by the Jubilee Saxophone Quartet:
Imagine yourself in a location on the West Coast. It might be Seattle, Portland, or San Francisco. You board an airliner traveling east. It takes off and, though you may be a seasoned traveler, you still marvel a bit at the ability to fly. The wind swirls around as the aircraft climbs, giving its passengers the unique perspective of an aerial view.
We humans can only be visitors here, and you are willing to take in the sights as your origin of travel recedes below and you take to the calm of higher altitudes. This place offers a rare and pleasant relaxation; the weather is clear and you have time to reflect, anticipate plans at your destination, or simply sleep. You can bask in an environment well-suited for meditation.
The aircraft descends. Many interesting places lay east of your origin: New York, DC, even London or Paris. However, you find yourself arriving in another unique location; you land in Chicago. The music takes a turn toward jazz at this point for two reasons: one, Chicago is a great jazz town, and two: the saxophone lends itself so well to this timeless genre of music. Each of the performers takes their turn to have a say about this unique destination where I was raised, from which I took an extended leave as a young man, and to which I've returned. The happy mood that closes out this trip isn't just a random flurry of musical excitement; it's the real joy of coming home. Thank you Jubilee Quartet for taking on this flight of fancy and making it really sing!
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