Tail Spins was commissioned in 2001 by the Flute, Violin, Viola trio, Les Amis Musicalles, who were colleagues of mine in the Pacific Symphony. To make it more interesting I wrote for the trio but added a tuba. It was later arranged for String Quartet and finally for Saxophone Quartet. That version was premiered in January 2016 by the Los Angeles based Encore Saxophone Quartet led by my dear friend Doug Masek.
It is a one movement work in several sections, starting with a flippant theme that recurs throughout, followed by a rolling waltz section and finally by a rather fast "funky" groove that technically challenges all of the musicians-as the title Tail Spins suggests. The title comes from my other passion-flying. Like much of my music this piece blends commercial styles with classical technique-music that is played so well by my Los Angeles recording musician friends.
- Jim Self
Solo parts included: Violin I, Violin II, Viola, Cello.