News & Views Friday, February 28, 2020

Pop Tunes for Jazz Ensemble Wednesday, February 27, 2019

leon-07013088-frecommended by Ben Huntoon, Jazz Specialist

Dance to the Music arr. Paul Murtha, Grade 2
This infectious pop and funk hit from 1968 was originally recorded by Sly and the Family Stone. Paul Murtha’s version for young players features a fun groove and active parts for all sections. The solo section can be opened up, or sample solos are provided for alto sax, trumpet, and trombone. An entertaining blast from the past.

Despacito arr. Paul Murtha, Grade 3
Setting records for most views on YouTube and topping the pop charts in several countries, “Despacito” was recorded by Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi with rapper Daddy Yankee (and later remixed with Justin Bieber). With its infectious Latin pop style and catchy melody, here is a great sounding and effective version for jazz ensemble.

leon-527211Everybody Needs Somebody to Love arr. John Berry, Grade 1.5
This rockin’ tune from the ’60s boasts notable recordings by Wilson Pickett, the Rolling Stones, and most famously the Blues Brothers. This easy chart is skillfully scored for all sections, and requires no solos.

Feel It Still arr. John Berry, Grade 2
Recorded by Portugal. The Man., this pop hit contains an energetic drive and appealing retro style. In this easy arrangement, the melody is passed from section to section and there are no solos required.

Havana arr. Terry White, Grade 2
This breakout hit recorded by Camila Cabello helped bring Latin music to the pop charts. This arrangement for young players is easy to learn and includes sample written solos for alto sax, tenor sax, trumpet, and trombone.

leon-527187Knock On Wood arr. Paul Murtha, Grade 3
Although originally recorded by Eddie Floyd in 1966, this familiar hit has remained popular thanks to covers by artists such as Otis Redding, David Bowie, and Eric Clapton. This dynamic version for young players is based on the swing-shuffle hit recorded by Amii Stewart in 1979.

Living for the City arr. Rick Stitzel, Grade 1.5
Stevie Wonder’s sultry medium rock tune first appeared on his landmark 1973 album “Innervisions.” Rick’s authentic-sounding version for young players includes all the signature riffs, easy meter changes, and solo spots for alto or tenor sax.

About the Author:
Ben Huntoon is the Jazz Education Consultant at Stanton’s Sheet Music. He received bachelors and masters degrees in music from Capital University and The Ohio State University respectively. As a professional trumpeter, Ben is accomplished in a wide variety of genres and has performed throughout the Midwest on many stages over the past 30 years. He also teaches trumpet, coaches brass ensembles and has served on the jazz faculty at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio.

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