It is relatively short at around 45 minutes duration, but has several gems including Russoniello’s arrangement for saxophone and string quartet of Elena Kats-Chernin’s original piano piece, Russian Rag. Nearly all the music on the album was arranged, commissioned or composed by Russoniello himself.
It opens with an attractive set of four of the twenty Children’s Songs Suite composed by the American jazz and fusion pianist and composer, Chick Corea.
The two pieces composed by Russoniello for solo saxophone, The New South (alto sax) and Dawn Searching (soprano sax), show both his virtuosity and imagination. The New South is soulful and meditative while Dawn Searching is particularly evocative with what sounds like bird calls appropriate to the morning atmosphere.
The other work in the album composed by Kats-Chernin, Butterflying. Originally for violin and piano, it was re-arranged by Russoniello for saxophone and string quartet.
The title track Between Worlds was written by his friend and composer, Jeremy Rose. It consists of three movements, fast-slow-fast, and highlights the interesting but unusual combination of saxophone and string quartet.
The other solo work on the album was composed by Australian saxophonist, Barry Cockcroft. Entitled Rock Me!, it certainly portrays a range of different sound effects possible on the saxophone with some sounds very didgeridoo-like!
Between Worlds is an innovative debut album from a very promising young saxophonist, Nick Russoniello. He combines well with the Acacia Quartet to produce an album with an eclectic mix of different musical styles and a combination of both original and arranged pieces.