BREAKING NEWS! Latest CD Released October 1, 2006

That's A Plenty!

CD Cover: That's A Plenty

The Royal City Saxophone Quartet

That's A Plenty!

It is the pleasure of the RCSQ to share with you the many moods of music, expressed through the medium of Adolphe Sax's invention--the saxophone. Each member of the quartet, for his own unique reasons, was drawn to this versatile wind instrument, and together they've enjoyed performing these often-requested tunes for live audiences everywhere.  This packed programme of ragtime, classics and jazz can surely be called
That's A Plenty!

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Click Here to read Reviews about That's A Plenty!

The Royal City Saxophone Quartet

That's A Plenty!

The CD features the following selections:
(click the song title to hear a sample in MP3 format) 

1. That's A Plenty (2:01)
Bert Williams, 1909, Arranged by Cooper

2. Mississippi Rag (2:41)
W. H. Krell, 1897, Arr: Arthur Frackenpohl

3. Kitten on the Keys (2:44)
Zez Confrey, 1921, Arr: M. Nascimben

4. O Danny Boy (3:31)
Traditional, Arr: Walter Todenhoft

5. Irish Suite (4:11)
Traditional, Arr: Elliot A. Del Borgo

6. 'Round Midnight (3:50)
Thelonius Monk and Cootie Williams, 1962, Arr: Rainer M'ller-Irion

7. Charleston Rag (3:52)
Eubie Blake, 1919, Arr:  M. Nascimben

8. Aria from Suite No. 3 in D Major (3:23)
'Air on the G String'
J. S. Bach, BWV 1068, Arr: Marcel Mule

9. Bach's Fireworks Music (4:25)
Calvin Hampton, c. 1980

10. Over the Rainbow (3:10)
Harold Arlen, 1939, Arr: Don Ashton

11. Brazil (2:34)
Bob Russell and Ary Barraoso, 1957, Arr: Bill Liston

 12. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (3:28)
Jerome Kern, 1933, Arr: Al Cobine

13. Blues Dance (3:26)
Al Cobine, 1981

14. Pick Yourself Up (1:50)
Jerome Kern, 1936, Arr: Al Cobine

15. Harlem Nocturne (2:47)
Earle Hagen 1940, Arr: Bill Liston

16. St. Thomas (3:17)
Sonny Rollins, 1953, Arr: Unknown

17. Dizzy Fingers (2:39)
Zez Confrey, 1923, Arr: Bill Holcombe

Total time: 54:00

In Bach's Fireworks Music (#9), Calvin Hampton composed an original work for saxophone quartet, filled with the complexity and intellectual fervour characteristic of the best of the Baroque style. The well-known Bach Aria (#8) features the lyrical nature of Baroque times, but played by an ensemble unknown to Bach's time -- the modern saxophone quartet.

Al Cobine provides us with an original composition in Blues Dance (#13), and applies his talent as an arranger to Jerome Kern's Pick Yourself Up (#14) and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (#12). For these quintet tracks, Ernie Kalwa adds the 2nd  tenor part, and the RCSQ invited a rhythm section to the studio to create a tribute to the magic and majesty of the Big Band sound.

Two different arrangers, Nascimben and Holcombe, tackle the works of Zez Confrey (#3, #17), and in their clever ways, make pianistic ideas fly over the forty fingers and pads of the saxophone quartet. In Kitten on the Keys, the saxophones have fun shedding new feline attitude into this well-known ragtime hit.

Harlem Nocturne (#15), featuring Larry Moser, is a classic with hundreds of renditions on record, all reflecting on the inward journey of the soloist. A similar mood comes to mind with the Thelonius Monk standard, Round Midnight (#6) featuring Bradley Moggach.  Memories which only the language of music can stir to life are expressed in the twentieth century's most popular song, Over the Rainbow (#10), featuring Robert McWade, and in the traditional O Danny Boy (#4).  In carrying on a Celtic theme, we hear Del Borgo's Irish Suite (#5), which places a reflective Lullaby between the more up-beat Kerry Dance, and the Irish Washerwoman.

Continuing our international tour, we visit a carnival parade introduced by the batucada rhythm of Brazil (#11), and then visit the island of St. Thomas (#16), again sharing the street and stage with a rhythm section.

To balance this dance of life, the saxophone quartet opens the stage in Dixieland style with That's A Plenty (#1) and the Ragtime energy of a young twentieth century is heard in Mississippi Rag (#2) and Eubie Blake's Charleston Rag (#7).

Dizzy Fingers (#17) concludes the performance, and is often featured as an encore in live concerts by the RCSQ.

The Royal City Saxophone Quartet

Bradley Moggach, Soprano, Alto, and Piano
Larry Moser, Alto
Robert McWade, Tenor
Ernie Kalwa, Baritone and Tenor (tracks 12, 13+solo, 14)

'with special guest artists'

Jack McFadden, String Bass
Michael Wood, Drums and Percussion

Executive Producer: Ernie Kalwa
Liner Notes: Bradley Moggach
Recording and Mixing Engineer: Brian Hewson
Mastering Engineer: Andrew St. George of Le Mix
Mixing Consultant: Peter Randell
Recorded March 19, 25, 26, and June 19, 2006
at Escarpment Sound Studio, Acton, Ontario, Canada.

Photos: Janette Gajic of Grandview Photography (
and The Woolwich Observer (

The RCSQ plays and endorses L'g're Reeds (

The RCSQ plays and endorses Rovner Ligatures (

Copyright ' 2006 The Royal City Saxophone Quartet
Printed in Canada

Reviews about That's A Plenty!

"A must have CD!... a rollicking good time... This Royal City Saxophone Quartet CD is a superlative recording, easily demonstrating their versatility, as well as virtuosity as a quartet. To perform so well in such a variety of musical styles is tribute to their considerable talents. In addition, they bring all the excitement and enthusiasm that they have for their niche ragtime theme tunes, into the other music styles on this CD. This is definitely a must have CD."

Click here to read Paul Wagner's entire review as it appeared in Saxophone Journal (Sept/Oct 2007)

Published in SeptOct 2007 Saxophone Journal ' 2007, Dorn Publications Used by permission

FOUR STARS (out of Five)!!! - CBC's Sound Advice with Rick Phillips. Click here to see the program log. Rick opened his show on May 12 2007 with our Bach's Fireworks Music! From the transcript of Rick's review:

"This quartet always produces recordings with a lot of fun and enjoyment. The jazz numbers tend to be the best, but they offer a broad range of material here in several styles... the performance and recording quality are consistently professional. It's the range of music, the fun and enjoyment that'll win you over. Four stars."

NOTE: Jurgen Gothe of CBC's DiscDrive included the RCSQ on his 20th Anniversary "Best of DiscDrive" box set.

Paul Brodie, O.C., Canada's Ambassador of the Saxophone has declared That's A Plenty!
is "beautifully performed and recorded music. The variety is excellent and very musically performed."

That's A Plenty! - The Royal City Saxophone Quartet


5/5 stars

The Royal City SQ Extends Their Range

I've been thrilled with previous releases by this Canadian saxophone quartet and have reviewed them ecstatically at But when I got this new self-released CD by the group recently I noticed immediately that the group has extended their range. Not only are there the expected ragtime and old-timey sax numbers (Kitten on the Keys, Dizzy Fingers, That's a Plenty), they venture into, till now, fairly foreign territory. We get some Celtic favorites (e.g. 'Danny Boy', Del Borgo's Irish Suite that includes 'Kerry Dance' and 'Irish Washerwoman') and, believe it or not, some neat arrangements of favorites by Bach (e.g. 'Air on the G String', the late Calvin Hampton's 'Fireworks Music' an original work inspired by various Bach contrapuntal works ), all done with the RCSQ's usual flair. We also get some jazz standards, like Thelonious Monk's classic 'Round Midnight' and 'Harlem Nocturne' by Earle Hagen (probably best known for composing the theme song to the 'Andy Griffith Show'), and pop standards like Jerome Kern's 'Smoke Gets in Your Eyes' and Harold Arlen's 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow.' And then there is Ary Barroso's 'Brazil' complete with jungle drums and birdsong. A rhythm section is added for several numbers, most notably Al Cobine's 'Blues Dance.'  Tasty. 

I found myself listening again and again to this winner and marveling at how the mix of styles and genres works. I loved the solo licks taken by each of the RCSQ's members -- 
Bradley Moggach (soprano, alto, and piano), Larry Moser (alto), Robert McWade (tenor), and Ernie Kalwa (baritone, tenor). 

Huzzah! Let's have more!

Dr. J. Scott Morrison

That's A Plenty! - The Royal City Saxophone Quartet - December 30, 2006

The RCSQ's latest CD, "That's A Plenty," showcases a wide variety of musical material, from Bach to William Krell's "Mississippi Rag," all impeccably played. The quartet's performance features tightly knit ensemble playing, flawless intonation, imaginative arrangements, and a lovely overall sound. Although the ensemble's baroque and ragtime selections are extremely well suited to the various voices of the saxophone, my favorite pieces are the jazzier ones, such as "Blues Dance, "Harlem Nocturne," and especially "Pick Yourself Up." I think that in jazz the saxophone found its true calling and that jazz matured only when the saxophone became its quintessential instrument. A match made in heaven. To hear the RCSQ's versions of this kind of music is a great and special pleasure, one to savor along with the numerous other pleasures of this fine disc.

Dr. Bruce Vermazen
Author: That Moaning Saxophone
Professor Emeritus
UC Berkeley - Department of Philosophy

That's A Plenty! - The Royal City Saxophone Quartet

Since receiving the new release of the Royal City Saxophone Quartet a few days ago, I have already listened to it three times for the pleasure of it, and expect that I will again many more times over the years.  The six performers, saxophonists Bradley Moggach, Larry Moser, Robert McWade and Ernie Kalwa, Jack McFadden on string bass, and percussionist Michael Wood are old friends, masters of their instruments, and wonderful musicians ' all of which comes through in their performance on this new disc.

The quality of a saxophone quartet is like the taste and smell of rich dark chocolate: intense, sweet, perhaps erotic, and certainly addictive.  Does this explain why the sound of a quartet of saxophones has become so popular in recent years?  Whatever the reason, the pleasures of such a grouping are plainly to be heard on That's A Plenty.  Almost every track is a much-hummed standard, and even those that are not sound as though they have always been around.  The whole disc, which moves from Dixie to rag to baroque to modern, is all delivered with a gentle blues touch which is appropriate for a group that specializes in Ragtime.  The tracks closer to the end of the CD add a welcome note of variety through the use of the string bass, percussion, and piano ' here played by Bradley Moggach.  This is a great addition to the growing discography of performances by musicians based in the K-W region.  I recommend it highly. 

Michael Purves-Smith
Artistic Director
Wellington Winds
Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

That's A Plenty! - The Royal City Saxophone Quartet

If someone were not familiar with the sounds and capabilities of a modern saxophone quartet, this CD would be an excellent starter to explore the many voices of such an ensemble. From Dixieland to Irish folk melodies, and from Bach to Thelonious Monk, this covers a broad spectrum of melodies and performance styles. The title track, That's A Plenty, starts things off with a rousing rendition of this Dixieland classic. Driven along by the solid, clean no nonsense bass line of leader Ernie Kalwa, we are treated to two more numbers in a similar vein before being introduced to a wide range of more soothing melodies. These range from Danny Boy, and other traditional Irish fare, through Over the Rainbow on to Bach's Air on the G String. In the more modern jazz idiom there is Thelonious Monk's Round Midnight and the well known Harlem Nocturne. In this latter number, and a couple of others, the addition of a string bass and percussion provides the extra drive required by these selections. One standout is the clever Bach's Fireworks Music (sic), composed in 1980 by Calvin Hampton. This jazzy number has much of the exuberant motion that characterizes the Brandenburg Concerti, but performed on instruments not yet invented in Bach's day. Had Bach been living today, one could certainly imagine him writing something like this. All in all this CD deserves a spot in the collection of anyone with eclectic tastes.

Reviewed by: Jack MacQuarrie (WholeNote Magazine)

Review reprinted with permission of the author from:

Wow. The range of styles on this one is huge!

The Bach is done as well as the San Francisco SQ does its baroque.  The ragtime, no surprise, is excellent.  Danny Boy has a fantastic full sound, and the Irish Suite is just plain fun. The big band/jazz/blues numbers are smooth and well done. The rhythm section is a nice add.

Congrats to all!

Terence Martin
Connecticut, USA

The Royal City Saxophone Quartet is the best I have ever run into!

Their newest "That's A Plenty" has just blown me away!  Such a combination of different styles and the talent and quality of this CD should make Canada proud.

While I like their other three CD's and love listening to them, I can't stop listening to the new one!  It doesn't get boring.  I hear new little nuances every time I listen.  
It has to be the sequence of the songs.

While my word about this CD probably holds no weight, it would be a shame if it wasn't nominated for the Juno Award.

Multiple Cheers!

Earl Phares, USN (RET)
Ontario, California, USA

CD Cover: That's A Plenty

The Royal City Saxophone Quartet

That's A Plenty!

Order It Now for only US$19.99
by Secure Payment on


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