Reviews

 
James Rae (Composer / musician)   -   "The songs sound great; well played! I particularly like your compositional style as it is immediately accessible and highly effective without being too technically demanding" 
     
J. Wilcock   "I've just got this (Celtic collage - flute & CD) and am now getting my head, heart, (and fingers!) around the first piece. The first section has a beautiful, almost lament like, Gaelic feel to it. You can almost see the mist over a desolate loch or glen and feel a sense of remorse or foreboding looming through a dim Scottish dawn or twilight. Not for long! As the second section wakes you up with a sparkling Celtic reel pirouetting your minds to a celebratory Ceilidh awash with Scotch spirit and dance! Looking forward to the rest of the pieces in this collection".
     
D Bryce    "I'm very impressed with how quickly I received my music after placing my order; no waiting for the postman! It's a lovely piece in its own right and the minus one backing tracks will allow me to experience playing all four parts. Can't wait to try it, thank you". - re Persiflage SATB saxophone quartet.
     
Sarah Garrard (saxophone performer/teacher/repairer)  - "I started learning Ballade yesterday & have fallen in love with my sax again (we lost favour a bit... it happens); absolutely beautiful piece (hubby liked it as well so must be really good!) 'Songs for Claire' is on my Christmas list...."
     
Malcolm Mallia   "Hi Keri, I have just been playing the music from your book 'Takes all sorts!' for Clarinet and piano. I am really enjoying the music. I especially love the Lament. The songs are all very different and fun to play and listen to; thanks a million! I'll certainly be looking out for more music that you compose for the Clarinet".
     
Dawn F (Abrsm forums)   - ".... the music certainly does portray what you intended. It makes beautiful listening too"
     
George (Abrsm forums)   - "I found Claire's story and your music very moving; you are both a gifted composer and performer, the music is beautiful" (re 'Songs for Claire' for saxophone & piano, published by Spartan Press).
     
Joannne M  - " Many thanks for sending the Ballade pdf/mp3 files so quickly! I've listened to you play this a few times now and it's absolutely beautiful - it was recommended by my teacher and I'm just hoping that I can learn to play it well enough to do it justice now!"
     
'More Graded Duets' review  

Review of More Graded Duets (Saxophone edition)

"This is a really good book of duets to play with either a duet partner or a more advanced pupil. There are lots of Challenges, interesting textures (the Desert Scapes duet has some really nice effects), catchy tunes in interesting & varied styles (I like the Bugs on the Bananas one which goes through Calypso, Doloroso, Klezmer, Mozart, and Faure variations!). There is plenty of humour, and I like the little directions from the composer at the top of each duet. One to pack in my bag every week!"

Anita Spence

     
'Jazz Moods' review  

Review of Jazz Moods in the Clarinet & Saxophone Society of Great Britain's Magazine

"I really enjoyed playing through these pieces and even indulged in a bit of 'karaoke' with the excellent CD. This is a lovely collection of pieces which will appeal to all ages of saxophonist. If you or your pupils enjoyed Andy Hampton's Between a Rock and a Hard Place (grade six alto sax) then I think the ballads Tune for Joey and Love is an Enigma will be particularly desirable. The Latin and jazz pieces are also very good. Parade of Dudes has a good piano groove which sets the piece up well. The piano parts are fairly accessible; you won't need to be a concert pianist to be able to play them and if you don't have access to a pianist or a piano there's always the CD. 

There are two piano parts so that the sax part remains universal and the accompanist has the key changes. The differing styles will attract those players who would like to play something more contemporary, packaged in a very smart volume of well-written, sensibly articulated solos".

Viv Halton.

     
40 Graded Duets review     

Review of 40 Graded saxophone Duets (grades 1-5) in the Clarinet & Saxophone Society of Great Britain's magazine

"These 40 duets are progressive and divided into five grades of eight duets each. They have been written with the various learning criteria in mind. The same pieces are used for both clarinet and saxophone but in suitable keys and ranges for each instrument. The saxophone book comes with a separate booklet with part two for tenor saxophone. 

Duets are varying lengths and represent a range of styles. Ensemble skills are also considered with saxophone one and two being equal throughout, sharing the melody and accompanying equally, although saxophone two generally takes the lower line. titles are imaginitive with some suggesting a style (In the presence of the King, Cool cat), while others focus on rhythm (I've got the last word; crotchet, two quavers, crotchet, crotchet). Folk styles come in the form of Chinese whispers and Variations on a Celtic theme and technique comes in Pinky Time, for little fingers. Each duet is well written and has a short blurb with a little background and suggestions of what to listen for and work on. 

Throughout the first 20 duets, Degg adds a pair of eyes (known as 'Eye-n-Stein'!) at places where extra thought may be needed. It could be a less common fingering, or a rest or key change, or a long note where the other part is moving. I had varied success with Eye-n-Stein on pupils as some ignored the symbol and others got distracted by the cute eyes but it provided a talking point.

This is an excellent collection and should have pieces of interest for everyone. Suitable for players from grades one to five and above, and recommended for teachers as a handy resource for sight reading and ensemble work in lessons".

     
Celtic Collage review  

Review in the British Flute Societies Pan magazine

"Keri Degg's Celtic Collage offer something different. Here we have seven original compositions which are both melodically interesting and accessible while not technically too demanding. There is therefore an appeal to a wider cohort of players within the classically trained fraternity. The CD is interesting and illustrates the variety of sentiment inherent in the music. The softer flute tone fits well with the aesthetic sense of the writing. The use of timbral trills and notes fading is a nice addition, enhancing atmosphere and opening the window towards greater possibilities, while pointing up a relative silence. Happily those ornamental devices are not overused as can sometime be the case.

In piece VII, the use of different compound times combined with a seven bar structure keeps the metronome guessing and forms a rhythmic pattern. It is refreshing to see traditional music in a setting free from shawls, thatched cottages, or well known alcoholic beverages"......."a player of around grade 6 level, with a few pointers on extended techniques, will find all of the material throughout the publication very playable.

.......provides an entertaining and useful introduction to the Celtic genre for those with an interest".  Tom Greene.

     
'Sax Sterters' review  

Review by Viv Halton (CASS GB magazine, March 2015 edition)

 "I was really pleased to see a very basic saxophone quartet volume for AAAT combination. There are 10 pieces aimed at adult learners. I'm not sure why the composer has specified adult, as other than the slightly more mature titles, there's nothing here that wouldn't suit a child beginner. Most of the 10 pieces are characterised by having on the beat, straightforward rhythms. The first time there is even the hint of a quaver is in number four, and we don't see a dotted rhythm until number nine.

It's really useful to have a volume of the most basic quartets with which to start a new quartet. Too many of these volumes progress too quickly for new, less able or very young players and I can see this help consolidate the very early techniques needed to play chamber music and, hopefully, encourage confidence. The pieces are in straightforward time signatures and keys. They also have an alternative soprano sax/Clarinet partfor the top part.

The parts are mostly pitched around grade one. However, there are a few top D's and E's around in the later quartets which would take us out of the grade one compass. There are some lower alternatives given which is sensible and less scary for the player! The alternative Clarinet part for the top part would require the player to be able to play over the break, but only at about grade 2 standard. The cover is rather dull and uninspiring which is a shame, as the parts and score are clearly set out, and at £10.99 this book is a very useful find".

     
'Some say So' review  

Review of Some Say So in the Clarinet & Saxophone Society of Great Britain's magazine

"What's going on? I must be going soft. I have liked every single piece I've reviewed this session. Some Say So has an easy groove with a similar feel to Van Morrison's Moon Dance. A modern quartet, it has four independant parts needing confident players on all of them. It was written for the Persiflage Saxophone Quartet which gives a little insight to the essence of the piece. Persiflage means 'light and slightly contemptuous mockery or banter'. Sounds like nothing's changed since Saxtet.

Many of the lines play off each other and the banter is evident in the middle section with quavers bouncing off each other like Man City and Utd fans down t'pub. With several of the parts going up to top F it would take a half decent quartet to do the piece justice. Add to this a classy publication. This is well worth buying".

Gerard McChrystal.

     
Tessa   "Can I just say how helpful your scale cards are?! I'm doing my grade 8 flute this November and it was fantastic to see a full set of cards in seconds, for free! This has saved me so much time in writing my own. Thank you!"