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“Larry McDonough’s long-awaited new recording serves up divergent delights, from a reconstructed holiday chestnut to inside-out renditions of jazz standards, from harmonically and rhythmically altered traditional melodies to a trio of original tunes. With a feathery touch that recalls Bill Evans but with more fingers and a unique approach to time that makes the most worn carol or standard a new adventure, Simple Gifts proves to be anything but “simple”—but, for those fortunate enough to hear this music, it is indeed a gift.”
--Andrea Canter, Jazz Police
Drummer Chaz Draper joined McDonough in Off Beat in 2002, with “A Rose for Two” being their first public duo performance, recorded live at the new Weber Music Hall on the Duluth Campus of the University of Minnesota and broadcast live on KUMD Radio. It includes A Rose for Two in 5/4, based on melodies written by children with disabilities using Fingersteps software developed by drummer Danny Moffatt. McDonough’s daughter Rosie wrote the A section melody, Moffatt’s children Patrick and Jennifer wrote the B section melody, and McDonough layered them over shifting minor harmonies and 5/4 meter.
On this demo, Larry McDonough and his 5 piece group, Off Beat, perform his new arrangements, titled Off Beat: Jazz Classics in New Meters. McDonough has taken jazz classics and put them into different time signatures, changing the rythmn and feel of the tunes. Off Beat's maiden voyage was broadcast live on Cooking at the Dakota on Jazz88, KBEM 88.5 FM Radio on July 30, 2001. Selections include Cantaloupe Island in 7/4 (Hancock), Small Steps (McDonough), Adagio for Strings (Barber), Linus and Lucy (Guaraldi), and Take the 5A Train in 5/4 (Ellington).
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Larry McDonough performing selections from "Small Steps," and McDonough performing some of the "Off Beat" arrangements in a duo with Phil Holm on trumpet on NewsNight Minnesota on Twin Cities Public Television.
"Some very cool music.... Off beat jazz classics,' just 4/4 music isn't good enough for [McDonough].... 5/4 and 7/4 ... have fun with it.... I love this 5/4 [Take the 5A Train'].
McDonough appears on jazz fusion band Bozo Allegro's second CD, "Relentlessly Cheerful."