by Daniel Hathaway
Today’s genre-bending musicians have nothing on Raymond Scott (born Henry Warnow in 1908), possibly one of the most eclectic musicians ever to have come out of Juilliard. Before suffering a debilitating stroke in 1987 — he died in 1994 — Scott had transformed swing music with the intricate, improvisation-suppressing compositions he crafted for his six-man band, called the Raymond Scott Quintette because it sounded “crisper,” made breakthrough experiments with electronic music, and somewhat inadvertently contributed to the soundtracks of Warner Bros. cartoons, through which you may have heard Scott’s music without knowing it.
Cleveland’s classy and enterprising new music ensemble, No Exit, led by Timothy Beyer and comprised of violinist Cara Tweed, violist James Rhodes, flutist Sean Gabriel, percussionist Luke Rinderknecht, cellist Nicholas Diodore, pianists Nicholas Underhill and James Praznik and assistant artistic director and composer Eric M.C. Gonzalez, invited guest performers Russ Gershon, saxophones and flute, percussionists Dinesh Joseph and trumpeter Scott McKee to celebrate Scott’s legacy in three concerts last weekend in Cleveland and Buffalo. I caught the third show on Monday evening in Drinko Recital Hall at Cleveland State University. [Read more…]