Puttin' it Together (1974) for 2 saxophones, 2 doublebasses, and trapset (tenor/soprano sax doubling) was written with the explicit desire to force conservatory trained classical saxophonists to have to grapple with a notated medium calculated to transform their sound to resemble free jazz improvisation. While the pitch organization of this composition is tightly controlled the rhythms and sometimes freer percussion writing for the trapset create an elasticity that becomes open for interpretation. The two doublebasses, like the two saxophonists, are always in counterpoint with each other as well as the rest of the ensemble and should be amplified although preferably performed on acoustic upright basses.
Greg Gapplegate writes: " The realm of avant jazz-new music intersections comes forward on Steven Block's "Putting it Together." The all-Cuban chamber combo distinguishes itself wonderfully well. It reminds us that there is a vibrant music scene in Cuba today, with more depth than we might have anticipated. Kudos to Abiel Guerra on drums, Prieto on alto sax, Carlos Guerra on tenor and soprano sax, plus Lopez and Benitez on double basses, Mesa conducting."
Listen to a portion of the opening of Puttin' it Together below:
The opening pages of the score can be viewed below: