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Music Releases (more headlines) 02-16-2011

'The Wizard Of Oz' Lives Again In New CD From Saxophonist Peter MacDonough

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Website: http://petermacdonough.com
(Sydney, Australia) – “The Wizard of Oz” lives again. No, Dorothy Gale won’t be running around in her ruby slippers anytime soon, but saxophonist Peter MacDonough breathes life into L. Frank Baum’s creations through his own kind of wizardry, that of music.

On MacDonough’s latest album, “The Woo: A Latin Jazz Suite for Soprano Saxophone,” music from the 1939 classic film adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz” is colorfully reimagined. By adding Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian textures, MacDonough takes songs that while timeless are still products of a distant era and awakens them to the 21st century.

“The Wizard of Oz” isn’t in Kansas anymore. Instead, just as the title of MacDonough’s CD suggests, he is somewhere tropical. “Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are (Part II),” for example, is invigorated by jumpy percussion that reflects the spicy, sun-soaked good vibrations of Latin music. “We’re Off to See the Wizard” is injected with an electrifying charge as rambunctious piano and MacDonough’s sassy saxophone lead the march. Through it all MacDonough’s saxophone playing is the thread that ties the tunes together. His sax conveys numerous moods, from the quiet reflection of “Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are (Part I)” to the infectious giddiness of “Optimistic Voices.” No moment is wasted, and each track is masterfully crafted.

MacDonough has been recording albums since 1991, when he released his debut, “Café Bozart,” dedicated to one of his major influences, Spyro Gyra saxophonist Jay Beckenstein. Throughout the ‘90s MacDonough recorded and performed throughout the U.S., Australia, and Italy and released a number of albums with his band Dorian Blue.

After studying Latin jazz and doing session work in San Francisco starting in the late ‘90s, MacDonough returned to Sydney, Australia in 2007. “The Woo: A Latin Jazz Suite for Soprano Saxophone” has been receiving regular airplay on radio stations throughout America. - Robert Sutton

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