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David Heyes

Tony Osborne: Sir John - His Gig for double bass duet

Tony Osborne: Sir John - His Gig for double bass duet

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About the Composition

Anyone who enjoys the music of Tony Osborne will love this jazz-inspired all- pizzicato piece for the intermediate double bass duo. The outer movements fizz with life and energy, contrasting a more lyrical and reflective middle movement, offering musical and technical challenges in equal measure. Great music from a great composer and suitable for any concert or occasion.

Sir John - His Gig is a tribute to Sir John Dankworth (1927-2010) and was premiered on 28 February 2010 at Clifton College (Bristol) by David Heyes and Ben Groenevelt.

Tony Osborne writes: "Sir John (Johnny) Dankworth was one of the most enduring jazz musicians of the 20th and 21st-centuries, not only in his native Britain, but respected throughout the world. Together with his wife since 1958, the legendary singer Dame Cleo Laine, Johnny made a unique contribution to many areas of music. As well as being a leading clarinetist and saxophonist, he was much in demand as a composer, writing many film and television scores. One of his best-known themes was the first title music for 'Tomorrow's World' on BBC television. He and Cleo founded The Stables Theatre at their home in Wavendon, Buckinghamshire - also home to many music education projects - which celebrated its 40th anniversary just after Johnny passed away.”

Table of Contents

This tribute for double bass duo is in three short movements.

1. On the Road has strong driving rhythms and uses both unison, or octave passages, and solo with walking bass accompaniment.

2. Hey Cleo! is a soulful, flowing ballad in respect of his devoted wife and working partner of 52 years.

3. That's Jazz! is an up-tempo bop that rips away all the blues and celebrates the life of a truly great man of music.

About the Composer

Born in 1947 into a musical family, Tony Osborne studied at the Royal Academy of Music (London) with John Walton (double bass) and Richard Stoker (composition), and divided a busy career between composing, teaching, and performing. A prolific composer and arranger, Tony's original compositions include works in almost every genre, notably Chaconne Syncopations and Wainwright's Ways for brass quintet, Celebration Fanfare for brass ensemble, the musical A Fine Time for Wine, a beautiful and dramatic Requiem, and many works for string orchestra.

Tony’s music for young bassists is very much at the heart of the teaching repertoire, particularly his jazzy and enjoyable bass trios and quartets, and he had the rare ability to create wonderful music which is always player and audience-friendly.

In 2001 Tony Osborne was elected an ARAM (Associate of the Royal Academy of Music) for his pioneering and important work for double bass and was a featured

composer at Bass-Fest for over ten years. He was a very successful BIBF Composer-in-residence in 2002-3, was a judge for the British Composer Awards, and a judge for the BIBF Composition Competition from 1999 until 2015.
Tony Osborne died on 30 March 2019 at the age of 71.

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