MSM Jazz Orchestra performs Clare Fischer's "Extensions"

The Manhattan School Of Music Jazz Orchestra, conducted by Justin DiCioccio, will be performing Clare Fischer's masterpiece, Extension, on Friday, February 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the School's Borden Auditorium. This work, composed in 1958 in four months and consisting of eight sections, was recorded in 1963 on the Pacific Jazz album. It was reissued on CD in 2002 as America the Beautiful, and again in 2012 as Extension. Troy Collins reviewed the 2012 reissue for All About Jazz and said, "a majestic culmination of his concepts, drawing upon myriad influences, including rich Ellingtonian voicings, the angular harmonic intervals of bebop, and bold modernist innovations proffered by classical composers such as Béla Bartók, and Dmitri Shostakovich."

Clare Fischer, b. October 22, 1928 – d. January 26, 2012, was a prolific composer working for more than 60 years as an arranger, bandleader and keyboardist active in jazz, R&B (arranger for Chaka Kahn) and pop music (arranger for Prince) as well as with Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson and Celine Dion, and others. He worked with Donald Byrd and Dizzy Gillespie and was a major influence to Herbie Hancock.

Clare Fischer was awarded two posthumous Grammy Awards, the latest this past February. Pensamientos for Solo Alto Saxophone and Chamber Orchestra won this year's Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition. It is featured on the Clare Fischer Orchestra album, "MUSIC FOR STRINGS, PERCUSION AND THE REST, " recorded in the months before his passing in January 2012.

In 2009, Justin DiCioccio and the MSM Concert Jazz Band commemorated two Clare Fischer anniversaries with concerts – his 81st birthday and the 40th anniversary of the release of Thesaurus.

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