"Excellent young saxophone quartets and clarinet quartets abound in the country now, but there has never before been a permanent quartet which has brought woodwind doubling to such a high standard, especially with the addition of flute and piccolo, as A Good Reed".......SImon Box - Clarinet & Saxophone Magazine (the official journal of the Clarinet & Saxophone Society of Great Britain) 2006
"The four girls in the quartet are all versatile doublers, so much so that most members of the audience could not distinguish which instruments were their principal studies. Needless to say they gave a faultless première performance which delighted the composer who was also hearing it complete for the first time."........Susan Moss - Clarinet & Saxophone Magazine (the official journal of the Clarinet & Saxophone Society of Great Britain) 2006
A Good Reed have performed many prestigious recitals and were featured as part of Paul Harvey's 70th Birthday Concert in 2005. They have performed for the Hamilton Arts Guild in Scotland and most recently for the Cranmore School 'Live' series. Please read the reviews below.
Paul Harvey has written several pieces especially for the group- including children's stories such as 'The 333 Little Pigs & The Big Bad Crocodile' and a piece for 'doubling' quartet entitled 'Permutations'. A huge bulk of their repertoire is also cleverly arranged by John Whelan (listen to Isn't She Lovely on sound clips page). A selection of his arrangements are available to purchase from www.reedimensions.com
We are dedicated to giving exciting and innovative recitals and enjoy entertaining audiences. Please see below for a sample programme for a recital:
Bolero arr. by Nigel Wood - Newsreel by James Rae - Permutations by Paul Harvey - Four Ebony by Jeffrey Wilson - INTERVAL - Mission Impossible arr. by John Wasson - Shetland Sequence trad. arr. by Jan Steele - Sway arr. by John Whelan - Downtown arr. by John Whelan - Isn''t She Lovely arr. by John Whelan - Come Fly With Me arr. by John Whelan - Under the Veil by Nigel Wood
Programme suitable for Festivals/ Music Clubs
Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by Handel, trans. by Jean-Yves Formeau - Rhapsody In Blue by Gershwin, arr by Nigel Wood - Selections from The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky, arr. by Morland - Come Fly With Me by J. Van Heusen, arr. by John Whelan - The Right Time by Karen Street - Memories of Glen Miller arr. by John Whelan - INTERVAL - Italian Medley arr. by James 'Red' McLeod - Four Ebony by Jeffery J. Wilson - A Gershwin Suite arr. by John Whelan - City Scenes by T. Thompson - Robert Burns Suite by Paul Harvey
Review of Cranmore Live Recital - Saturday 4th March 2006 - CASS Magazine
A GOOD REED QUARTET
Anna O'Brien (soprano sax, clarinet, flute, piccolo), Elspeth Cook (alto and soprano sax, clarinet, flute), Natasha Cuevas (tenor sax, Eb/Bb/bass clarinet, flute, piccolo), Andrea Morris (baritone sax, Bb and bass clarinet, flute, piccolo) with guest narrator Paul Harvey
On a bitterly cold evening in March the hottest spot in Surrey was the smart modern concert hall of Cranmore School, near Guildford. Head of Music, Richard Harris introduced the four girls of A Good Reed to a sizeable audience.
The first two items were both in standard saxophone quartet format; Nigel Wood's clever arrangement of Ravel's Bolero makes an excellent starter as it gradually builds up over the baritone's relentless ostinato. Newsreel, a new piece by James Rae, is a brilliant evocation of the halcyon days of the British Movietone News style of composition.
Natasha Cuevas introduced their special guest Paul Harvey, co-founder
and leader of the London Saxophone Quartet (1969-1985) and now a prolific
composer. Paul talked about the nine types of woodwind instruments the
girls were about to play and then introduced Permutations which he composed
especially for them last year. It is a suite of seven movements, the first
six each for a different combination and the longer finale a resume of
all the doubles at which they excel. Excellent young saxophone quartets
Then Paul directed and narrated his latest story for children, The 333 Little Pigs and the Big Bad Crocodile. This is a sequel to the well-known story of The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf, concerning the numerous descendants of the original three protagonists. A group of boys from Cranmore Choir, trained by Ilse Fourie, joined Paul and the quartet as singing piglets, and to help with various porcine grunts and squeals.
second half started with two spectacular arrangements: Lalo Schifrin's
Mission Impossible arranged by John Wasson and Shetland Sequence arranged
by Jan Steele. Dream A Little Dream Of Me was tastefully arranged by Anna
O'Brien, the quartet's soprano player, followed by four excellent
The programme ended with Nigel Wood's composition Under The Veil. This is a really impressive evocation of Middle Eastern ambience in which the girls double various exotic percussion instruments. It would have been a wonderful piece for Katherine Spencer and her troupe of belly-dancers from the Royal Academy of Music to have wiggled their stuff to! Alas, I suppose we will never see their like again! Never mind, A Good Reed is certainly good enough for me!
Review of Paul Harvey's 70th Birthday Concert featured in the Clarinet & Saxophone Magazine June 2005
A capacity audience filled the Barn Church in Kew in early June for a concert to celebrate Paul Harvey’s 70th birthday. Paul heralded the concert in “Hold the Back Page!” in the Spring 2005 issue of Clarinet & Saxophone and the decision to hold the concert in the afternoon paid off as old friends and colleagues travelled from far and wide to listen to Paul’s music being played by his ex-pupils and new friends.
Clarinet & Saxophone Magazine (the official journal of the Clarinet & Saxophone Society of Great Britain)
Jottings (£10) available from Paul Harvey 020 8898 4869