Sarah Elgeti with Friends surprise gently with “Dawn Comes Quietly”

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Danish saxophonist, flutist, clarinetist and arranger-composer Sarah Elgeti leads her quartet plus a few associates as they bring to life a recording of her original compositions. “Dawn Comes Quietly” is the result of that partnership. Elgeti has been a bandleader since 2007. “Dawn Comes Quietly” is scheduled for release Feb. 21, 2020.

About Sarah Elgeti in brief

Elgeti has been playing music throughout her youth. Originally, she was drawn to guitar and bass. Until one day, when she was 15, Elgeti took up tenor saxophone for her school orchestra and subsequently fell in love.

There seems to be few woodwind instruments that Elgeti does not play. On “Dawn Comes Quietly” her work is measured, thoughtful. The themes of the songs are brought about by the work of the whole, not just via the showcases of the bandleader.

Elgeti is a classically trained performer and that extends to her knowledge of flute and clarinet. She has worked as a professional musician in a variety of settings, including theater and as a studio musician. She has toured throughout Europe, and now her potential audiences have just broadened thanks to the release of “Dawn Comes Quietly.”

The sound of “Dawn Comes Quietly”

Probably one of the most remarkable tunes on the recording is “Gather Courage.” At once there is a softness and a crispness to the playing Elgeti and friends do on this song. The bass seems to have a mind of its own at the beginning, but then the saxophone comes in, playing a thoughtful motif that grounds the piece. The drums shimmer a little and the sound is a great contradiction to the smooth sounds that surround them.

Another song that should not be missed is “A Lot of People- – A Lot of Sad Stories.” The title says a great deal about what mood is being interpreted here. That said, there is effective use of what some might call informally classic, big city horn sound. It sounds like New York jazz of the 1970s. The bubbling melancholy offered up by keyboards and bass helps listeners to hear the theme evoked by the title. The playing is tight and skillful. The big ideas never get lost, however.

“Dawn Comes Quietly” is a thoughtful recording full of surprises that do not overwhelm, and even when the songs are about sad situations, listeners might still smile at the instruments’ take on a measure. These new songs have the makings of classics.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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