Pure Imagination for Saxophone Quartet

I just finished another saxophone quartet arrangement for the Lenoir Saxophone Ensemble, one of a series of charts I’ve been writing for them.  This particular one is on a tune by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, written for the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  Here’s a MIDI realization of my arrangement.

[audio:http://www.wilktone.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Pure-Imagination.mp3|titles=Pure Imagination]

For all these sax quartet arrangements I’ve tried to explore something a little different to give each one something unique to set it off from the rest (beyond just a different tune).  In this chart I experimented with changing meters around and an unusual metric modulation between the different feels.  It starts off with a rubato introduction based on the bridge and then a faster swing feeling.  The metric modulation between the faster passages (usually in 5/4) and the slower (4/4) passages is 3:2.  The quarter notes of the faster 5/4 is equal to the quarter note triples of the slower 4/4 measures.  It reads a little trickier than it sounds, I think.  At times I even explicitly incorporate the quarter note triplet to become the quarter note as the tempo changes in order to make the transitions a little more obvious.

If you aren’t familiar with this tune already, here it is from the movie.  My treatment of this tune is quite a bit different.

Lyle Sanford

Very nice work! So many jazz and big band pieces seem too fast for me to really hear what’s happening. This one moves at just the right pace for me to hear (and feel) the changes, and the pauses really let it breathe. Ever since “Take Five” came out I’ve wondered why more people don’t explore more complex meters in ways non-specialists can appreciate. The harmonies are great as well, rich and interesting without being edgy/dissonant.


Thanks! I can’t take responsibility for the harmonies, I left them as the original tune for the most part (just a few passing chords, mostly diatonic). I figured with the meter and tempo changes it didn’t need to be reharmonized too.


Hi, Din.

I’m shopping around for a publisher who might be interested in the arrangements I wrote for the album this ended up on. If and when that happens and these charts are available for purchase I’ll post an announcement here.



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