Album preview: "Attraction: Ted Hogarth Plays Gene Bertoncini"
Ted Hogarth is a professional musician who specializes in saxophone and clarinet. Playing as a sideman is one of his strengths — he’s a welcome presence in Chicago jazz circles and has toured with national shows like Jersey Boys. He’s also helmed big band projects for which he was primary arranger, and teaches privately when his schedule allows.
But when most live music was suspended by the COVID-19 pandemic, Hogarth started a long-distance collaboration with a friend, Glenn Broadhead, who wanted him to record some new pieces he was writing for clarinet quartet. The pieces were based on arrangements and originals by legendary jazz guitarist Gene Bertoncini, a friend of both Broadhead and Hogarth. It became the new album Attraction: Ted Hogarth Plays Gene Bertoncini, on which Hogarth plays every track on B-flat clarinets and bass clarinet, and sometimes E-flat clarinet.
In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Hogarth shares details on how he stayed home, made rough tracks and slowly recorded the parts until they sounded the way he wanted them. He recorded 35 pieces in all. They’re uniquely placed as chamber jazz with the possibility of being fun for and useful to intermediate-to-advanced clarinet ensembles in schools and communities. They listen to “Bertha the Dragoness,” “On a Lamp-Lit Veranda,” “A Genial Stroll,” and “The Joy of Life.”