McLoskey's background is as a guitarist and songwriter for rock bands in the 1980's. As Thomas Hall (2014) says, McLoskey's music is "real music, with rhythm, melody, harmony, and form, which the lister can perceive, but definitely is from the 20th century." McLoskey's "OK-OK" for saxophone quartet is based on Charlie Parker's jazz solo from "Ko-Ko."
The primary melodic theme is deconstructed and slowly reconstruced until the original meoldic solo is presented at the end of the work. This work is primarily based in color, as seen throughout the modern period. In this way, McLoskey fits more with the modern period than postmodern in his ideals. This work is tonally ambiguous and static as opposed to more directional tonal music found in earlier periods. The work does maintain a certain melodic element and form, gives it a little more traditional feel, but obviously within a modern period. He is very specific in his notation, telling the performer exactly what he wants, very common in the modern era.
Comparing Jennifer Higdon's "Blue Cathedral" with McLoskey's "OK-OK," both employ the use of color in harmony and melodic content. Obviously, since McLoskey is only using saxophone in this work, his color is achieved more with tonality and washes of sound rather than instrumentation. Higdon's color comes about in interesting harmonies, using both disonnances and consonances to suit the mood of the piece (Pentecost 2014). She also varies instrumentation to add interesting timbral layers. Higdon's work is intended to be programmatic while "OK-OK" is not.
I find this work by McLoskey very interesting and particularly beautiful. I think his background in rock and guitar make his music interesting. I particularly enjoy listening to his music because of the "washes" of color.
"OK-OK for Sax Quartet by Lansing McLoskey." YouTube video, 9:34. Posted by "COMPFROST," upload September 19, 2011. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ois7sj2pv8Y
Hall, Thomas. (2014). "Reviews". Retrieved from www.lansingmcloskey.com.
McLoskey, L. (2007). "OK-OK". [Musical Score]
Pentecost, Zackary. (2014). "Higdon: Blue Cathedral." [Wiki]