“Anyone doubtful as to the range of creative possibilities a bassoon-and-saxophone duo might offer should come away from Donut Robot! convinced otherwise. Its virtuosic performances by Fredenburg and Rodriguez show the combination to have as unlimited a potential as a violin-and-piano coupling, the significant difference between them the size of the repertoires associated with the pairings. As this recording shows, Post-Haste Reed Duo is doing its part to make that difference smaller.” - textura, April 2019
Thank you Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review for recommending Donut Robot!
“There are album concepts and cover illustrations that grab my attention and I will admit that the art on Donut Robot! (Aerocade Music 010) by the Post-Haste Reed Duo is a favorite.What's wrong with a bit of outlandish humor? Nothing at all as far as I am concerned. All the better of course if the music turns out to be very much worth our ear-time. That is the case here as limber-timbred saxophonist Sean Fredenburg and bassoon stalwart Javier Rodriguez take us on an imaginative journey through six compositions and compositional suites.”
Read the rest of the review on the Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review site.
Thank you Oregon Arts Watch for reviewing Post-Haste Reed Duo's album!
Brett Campbell writes, "The unlikely combination of bassoon and saxophones (sometimes with electronic enhancement) makes a surprisingly diverse and intriguing combo on this release by the duo of Sean Fredenburg and Javier Rodriguez."
Another well-deserved review for Post-Haste Reed Duo and their composers!
This article originally appeared in Issue 40:2 (Nov/Dec 2016) of Fanfare Magazine.
BENEATH A CANOPY OF ANGELS…A RIVER OF STARS • Post-Haste Reed Duo • AEROCADE AM002 (50:12)
HUTCHINSON BioMechanics. ANDRIESSEN Lacrimosa. WICKMAN Confluences. SAMMONS Some Thoughts About Time. STEINMETZ Songs and Dances
This, the debut album of the Post-Haste Reed Duo, comprises four commissions and one arrangement specifically for this Portland-based ensemble.
The first piece, Simon Hutchinson’s bioMechanics (2011) uses an electronic track generated from sampled and processed recordings of the Post-Haste Reed Duo. Hutchinson states that our modern lives “are often a blur of the biological and the technical”; his piece sets out to investigate the interactions between technology, itself created by organic beings (humans) to serve our needs, and those human elements themselves. The opposite poles of freedom (including improvisation) and discipline are explored in a fascinating manner. The soundscape itself is highly varied, from the beautiful to the highly rhythmic. The slickness of the performers is remarkable, as is the imagination of the composer in what emerges as a tour de force.
Dutch composer Louis Andriessen (born 1939) contributes Lacrimosa (1991), originally scored for two bassoons and heard here in an arrangement for alto saxophone and bassoon by Jeff Chambers. Slow moving, the pace offers ample time to relish the composer’s use of microtones, so deliciously rendered here. Using the first names of the present performers to generate musical material, Ethan Wickman’s Confluences (2014) for alto saxophone and bassoon includes a spatial element of “coming together” on the performance space itself that is unavailable in an audio-only recording, but nevertheless there is plenty of interest from a musical surface that is nicely varied. There also appears to be an element of humor here, in the first movement; certainly the composer’s touch is appealingly light. Cast in three movements (“Rogue,” Receding Orbits” and “Beneath a canopy of angels … a river of stars”), this is an interesting piece; the close recording emphasizes the instruments’ conversations in the central panel; the final movement (from which the disc derives its title), a poetic examination of the night sky, is a gentile, if technically tricky, dialog between the two instruments.
The composer of the next piece, Lanier Sammons, also produced the album. His Some thoughts about time (2012) consists of six short movements in no fixed order for sax, bassoon and (intermittently) electronics. The piece seeks to explore theories of musical time: perhaps the super-extended long note of the opening of the initial “Bound” acts as a launch pad for these ponderings. The rather bouncy third movement, “Strata,” is terrifically involving in its complexity; the otherworldly sound of the final “Patience” seems to sum up the strange fascination of this music.
Finally, Songs and Dances (2013) for soprano saxophone and bassoon by John Steinmetz, an outgrowth of some of the composer’s favored music, encompasses a Bach aria, drum patterns from a West African processional, an American folk song (“Long Time Traveler”) and some pop music. The first movement begins like an exercise on speed (and I don’t mean velocity), but with inserted melodies in octaves that invoke the Stravinsky of the Rite. The song-like “Aria/Procession” that follows is absolute delight, as is the staccato of bassoonist Javier Rodriguez; the third movement “Folk Song” is like an outgrowth of that, just more lachrymose. Both players’ phrasing exudes the utmost tenderness. There is something markedly pastoral about the finale, “Dance Song.”
"...Post-Haste Reed Duo show us an admirable musical poeticism and a supreme command of their instruments for a very lively and absorbing program of where chamber music can be in our times. Highly recommended."
- Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review
Post-Haste Reed Duo's debut album is an honorable mention in the March 2016 edition of textura. The review:
"theirs is no novelty act; the music on the release holds up as an excellent collection of contemporary classical works by Louis Andriessen, Simon Hutchinson, Lanier Sammons, John Steinmetz, and Ethan Wickman, no matter the instrumentation involved."
"...what beneath a canopy of angels...a river of stars demonstrates above else is that whatever reservations one might have harboured regarding the limitations of a saxophone-and-bassoon pairing can be put aside, as Fredenburg and Rodriguez clearly show that music of limitless stylistic range and emotional scope is possible when such instrumentation is involved."