Category Archives: My “Tunes”

Amen Choruses (2016) for Violin and Piano

Julie Rosenfeld and John Halle


Julie Rosenfeld (violin); Peter Miyamoto (piano) ALBANY 1717 

amen.choruses.recording - Score

Download the score:

Amen Choruses/piano
Download the violin part:
Amen Choruses/violin


Amen Choruses . . .  starts off as a free-wheeling exploration of a jazz gesture, with the repetitions of fragments at first hinting at that idea of “post-Minimalism.” It is more complex than that, though. A glorious, and fun, stream of consciousness on the “Amen Cadence” is heard at the end of gospel or soul jazz classics of the 1950s; a central darkening, with the violin musing over subterranean piano grumblings, offers contrast. Rosenfeld’s stopping is impeccable, as is, compositionally, the structuring of the piece, which leads us with seeming inevitability up hill and down dale.

Performing Arts Review:

John Halle’s Amen Choruses (2016)is immediately accessible to the listener, a gauzy jazz temperament lending subtle, gospel ambiance to its uplifting mission,

American Record Guide:

John Halle’s Amen Choruses is summertime Americana at its best: sumptuous and laidback, with plenty of blue notes and dapper swagger.


My Tunes: Invisible Hand, New York 1992

Invisible Hand:  Back in around 1992, I was enrolled as a doctoral student at Columbia.  A charmed life, in retrospect.  A supportive and inspiring teacher (Fred Lerdahl), hugely interesting fellow students, a “job” working under the wonderful Brad Garton in the Columbia/Princeton electronic music center, a great apartment cheap in uptown New York City in the waning days of the downtown scene and what now appear, in retrospect, to be the waning days of traditional concert music life before the internet and the “post canonic” aesthetic began to erode its foundations-what more could I ask for.

That said, I never felt fully at home there-or anywhere else in the “classical music” world.  My having spent a more than a decade playing jazz gigs  and having had most of my musical identity defined by evenings in clubs like Boston’s Jazz Workshop, San Francisco’s Keystone Korner, New York’s Bradley’s and Studio Rivbea left a permanent mark.  Invisible Hand  was the first of many attempts at reconciliation though the most direct since it involved getting a band together of the sort which I used to play in then just a few years before.

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