A Letter from The Editor:
A group of us made it out to see our friend – Saxophonist Randal Fisher – for his debut as a leader at the world-famous WORLD STAGE in Los Angeles’ historic Leimert Park Village.
While I can assure that ALL of us there that night were blown away by Randal, his compositions, his band and their play, [Please be on the lookout for more from Randal and his INCREDIBLE Pianist from that night, Mr. Mahesh Balasooriya – also of Los Angeles… wow.]
Key member of THE NONSEMBLE Family, Dr. Pat Gay, has taken a moment to put her take into words for us to share with you – our extended family of friends and folks, worldwide.
The World Stage – Los Angeles
Randal Fisher – Saxophone and Compositions
Nadav Paled – Guitar
Mahesh Balasooryia – Piano
Michael Alvidrez – Bass
Will Logan – Drums
Randal Fisher is a consistently strong and steady brother I’ve heard play over the years as a sax side man – always with excellent bands.
Learning Randal would be presenting, for the first time, a full evening of his own original compositions and arrangements was exciting because I would have the opportunity to find out what he was about on a deeper level – what’s in his imagination; what he creates when he’s free and the work is his; what he wants us to know about himself, his musical vision and intention; and the risks he’s willing to take as a creative vessel. And The World Stage was, again, taking the lead on bringing us excellence.
As a composer/arranger Randal is deeply thoughtful, methodical, and passionate. Randal brought all of that together into the room and he used his skills to serve up an exquisitely soulful evening. The 1st set was built entirely of his original compositions with a range from soft and thoughtful work that highlighted both his vulnerability and thoughtfulness to work that was completely free and on fire with funk.
The 2nd set, featured a few more Randal Fisher originals and selection of classics – all were exclusively his arrangements. Randall allowed us to hear his vision and voice in relationship to the celebrated work of other composers. He brought his ‘A’ game in the selection of works he presented as well as his compositional chops in creating arrangements that glowed with his very own personality, power and finesse.
The band members Randal had invited along are all strong cats we’ve seen play in various bands and formations in and around LA. The only musician in the band that I hadn’t heard play previously was Mahesh Balasooryia on piano.
When Randal presented his arrangement of a McCoy Tyner piece, Mahesh channeled the piano passion and prowess necessary to pull of that complicated work with flourish and apparent ease. As Randal joined forces with him on that same arrangement, I could hardly contain my excitement, and the audience applause said they felt the same way. There were several times during the night that the music was so sensually and powerfully layered that I wanted to stand and holler.
To a packed house that remained full for both sets, Randal generated energy and enthusiasm with both his emotional and technical range. A standing ovation at the end of an evening at The World Stage is hard earned and rarely seen. This sophisticated and seasoned audience clearly appreciated Randal’s debut as a composer and they joyously returned the love.
I’m excited to hear more of Randal Fisher’s compositions and arrangements in the future and I’m happy that I was in the room for his inaugural event as a composer/arranger.
Patricia Gay www.dream-masks.com
Dr. Pat Gay is both an Artist and a Patron of the arts in and around Los Angeles. Her own work can be found at www.Dream-Masks.com and her sincere smile is available to all in front rows and at galleries all around town. Our Elder and our Sister all at once, we hope to be able to present more of Dr. Gay’s news, views and reviews over the coming moons!