Chesapeake began with Sampson’s desire to write for the members of the American Brass Quintet as individuals and to create a recording that would stand on its own as a full recital. As a composer, this meant that the series of works had to have a flow of distinctiveness yet be connected by an innate style and thus the music is conceived as one extended composition.
This extended composition starts with Breakaway for two trumpets and electronics, which due to its instrumentation is naturally distinctive. It also introduces techniques that Sampson uses in all of the pieces: rhythmic drive, lyricism and dramatic textures. In the second work, Powell Trio for trombone, marimba and piano, rather than the traditional piano accompaniment, Sampson chose to add a marimba which allowed him to play with the colors and techniques of both instruments freeing the piano from its usual supportive role.
Three Sides for trumpet, vibraphone and piano continues the idea of adding another percussive keyboard. Sampson felt this time that the vibraphone rather than the marimba better matched the timbre of the trumpet and allowed me to use the wonderfully evocative sound of bowing the bars in the second movement.
Just Keep Moving uses both the horn and bass trombone along with the marimba and piano to create the most complicated and varied textures up to this point.
The recording concludes with the entire American Brass Quintet performing Chesapeake, a four movement excursion depicting three sailing trips that Sampson and friends took from Annapolis to St. Michaels, Maryland.
TRACK LISTING: 1. Breakaway for two trumpets and electronics; 2. Powell Trio for trombone, marimba and piano; 3. Three Sides for trumpet/flugelhorn, vibraphone and piano; 4. Just Keep Moving for horn, bass trombone, marimba and piano; 5. Chesapeake for brass quintet