Violinjazz Recordings, the label of acclaimed Grammy-nominated musician Jeremy Cohen, principal violinist and founder of Classical Crossover specialists Quartet San Francisco, has announced the release of Raymond Scott Reimagined, an unprecedented new collaboration teaming QSF with accomplished Grammy/Emmy Award-winning composer/producer/arranger Gordon Goodwin and revered Grammy-winning a cappella group Take 6.

The thrilling 14-track collection, which includes Goodwin’s fresh arrangements of eight Scott classics, including mainstays “Powerhouse,” “Twilight in Turkey,” “Huckleberry Duck,” “The Quintette Goes to a Dance” and “In an 18th Century Drawing Room,” also introduces an entirely brand new composition, “Cutey and the Dragon,” which was crafted from an unfinished sketch Scott made in 1982 with Goodwin completing the composition in a manner that honours the great composer’s style and verve.

To introduce the project, a two-song single (“Powerhouse” & “Toy Trumpet”) arrived digitally on June 9, with the full album arriving via Violinjazz/The Orchard/Sony on July 21.

The album, available via Violinjazz Recordings, also contains several interstitials of Raymond Scott’s voice, along with spoken word from audio historian Art Shifrin and Grammy-winning composer/conductor John Williams, excerpted from the documentary film, Deconstructing Dad (directed by Raymond’s son, Stan Warnow), has been two years in the making but, in actuality, is a journey of nearly 50 years.

Cohen, the project’s Executive Producer, explains:

“I grew up during an era when a simple turn of the television dial could bring one’s world from Leonard Bernstein to animation and cartoons. Escape, creativity, and whimsy fueled my imagination where animation offered a humorous view of the world. As a kid studying classical violin, I was fascinated by Carl Stalling’s incorporation of iconic classical music into the Warner Brothers cartoon soundtracks.”

While the basis of the album would be an alliance between Quartet San Francisco and Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, Jeremy and Gordon decided to engage a variety of ensembles to partner with the string quartet. These include pairing the string quartet with the big band on “Powerhouse,” “The Quintette Goes to a Dance,” “Twilight in Turkey,” and “Cutey and the Dragon,” incorporating a smaller ensemble of three horns on “Toy Trumpet” and a saxophone quintet on “Yesterday’s Ice Cubes.” Two pianos enhanced “Huckleberry Duck” with the gorgeous vocals of Claude V. McKnight III, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea, and Khristian Dentley (of the group Take 6) joining on “In an 18th Century Drawing Room” and “Serenade.” The results are spellbinding.

Gordon Goodwin, co-producer, composer, arranger, and bandleader of The Big Phat Band, recalls his introduction to the iconic composer and approach to the project:

“I took a deep dive into the music of Raymond Scott when I was working as a composer for Warner Brothers Animation. His music made quite an impact on me, so when Jeremy approached me about collaborating on a project featuring Scott’s music, the answer was an immediate and enthusiastic yes!”

Raymond Scott Reimagined Track Listing:

1. Powerhouse (Quartet San Francisco, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band) [5:21]
2. Raymond Scott on the Creative Process (R. Scott, spoken word) [1:00]
3. Toy Trumpet (Quartet San Francisco, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band) [3:41]
4. In an 18th Century Drawing Room (Quartet San Francisco, Take 6; Gordon Goodwin) [3:36]
5. Raymond Scott on Rehearsing the Quintette (R. Scott, spoken word) [0:36]
6. Cutey and the Dragon (Quartet San Francisco, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band) [5:01]
7. Huckleberry Duck (Quartet San Francisco, Gordon Goodwin) [6:12]
8. “I Remember Nothing of That” (R. Scott and Art Shifrin, spoken word) [0:37]
9. The Quintette Goes to a Dance (QSF, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band) [5:36]
10. Yesterday’s Ice Cubes (QSF, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band) [3:49]
11. Quintessentially American (R. Scott and John Williams, spoken word) [1:10]
12. Twilight in Turkey (QSF, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band) [5:44]
13. “I’m an Experimentalist” (R. Scott, spoken word) [0:36]
14. Serenade (QSF, Take 6) [4:58]

Quartet San Francisco ‘Raymond Scott Reimagined’ album artwork
Quartet San Francisco ‘Raymond Scott Reimagined’ album artwork

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