TONGUE AND GROOVE

for Alto Saxophone and Marimba (Four-Mallet Version)

Written: 2009
Duration: 8'
Instrumentation: alto saxophone and five octave marimba (four-mallet version)
Commissioned by CASE Arts Group, Inc. and a Consortium of Performers
World Premiere: Recital, Jeremy Justeson, alto saxophone, Robert Paterson, marimba Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA, USA
March 15, 2009.
PublisherBill Holab Music

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Program Note

The title, Tongue and Groove, is borrowed from carpentry, and is a method of fitting similar objects together edge to edge. In this piece, it refers to tonguing, a technique used on wind instruments to enunciate different notes, to the groovy feel of the marimba part and to oral sex. It also refers to the rhythmic interaction between the instruments and to how the different lines precisely follow each other.

The marimba part in the original version of this work uses six mallets. In order to allow percussionists who are unfamiliar with six mallet technique to play this piece, I created this four mallet version. The only difference between the two is that I removed a few notes here and there, but the essential feel is the same.

Tongue and Groove is also available in a four mallet version, and both versions were commissioned by CASE Arts Group Inc. and a consortium of performers.

Robert Paterson’s Tongue and Groove pairs off alto sax against Paterson’s own creepy marimba in a ghoulish marionette’s dance that gradually warms...
— New York Music Daily