News & Views Friday, December 06, 2019

For Middle School Jazz Ensemble Wednesday, March 20, 2019

bakjaz-20027-frecommended by Ben Huntoon, Jazz Specialist

A Mi Papa by Matt Morey, Grade 2
An easy latin groove based on the chord changes for Horace Silver’s classic “Song For My Father.” The rhythm section sets the tone which is joined by the ensemble. This sets up the unison saxophone melody which is punctuated by the brass. Trumpet and Tenor Sax are the featured soloists and written solos are provided along with chord symbols. Plenty of ensemble backgrounds provide security for the soloist. A long ensemble crescendo begins after the soloists and leads to the shout section and finish. Trumpet range is to written G on top of the staff.

kendor-60061-fBlues You Can Use by David Springfield, Grade 2
This medium swing original for developing groups is a riff-based blues in the tradition of the Count Basie and Duke Ellington bands. The solo section is playable by any instrument with solo sheets provided in all keys, along with scales to assist students in improvisation. Featuring Kendor Konvertible scoring for 9-17 players, each set includes a guitar chord chart by Jim Greeson and optional flute, clarinet, horn in f, tuba and vibes parts.

alfred-47028-fBeantown Blues Parade by Rick Hirsch, Grade 1
An upbeat New Orleans second-line groove for your young jazz band. Tempo is around 160 BPM, but it is very accessible. Written melodic solos for trumpet 1 (or section) and trombone 1 (or section) with easy brass ranges. A winner!

Gears by Les Sabina, Grade 2
This chart for developing groups combines old school funk and modal rock, along with a bit of blues-tinged melody. The solo section is written out with solo sheets provided in all keys along with scales to assist students in improvisation.

Sign Me Up by Mike Kamuf, Grade 2
An excellent chart by one of the finest writers of Grade 2 level charts. It’s a funky-rock groove at 132 BPM with written-out solos for trombone and alto. Lead trumpet range to written G on top of the staff. A big shout chorus, a stop-time section, and a brief drum solo, too. This chart has all the ingredients for your band to succeed. Optional parts include flute, clarinet, and vibes.

leon-07013118-fThe Golden Striker by John Lewis/arr. Paul Murtha, Grade 3
Formed in 1952, the Modern Jazz Quartet influenced the landscape of contemporary jazz for over 40 years. With elements of classical music blended with cool jazz and blues, “The Golden Striker” epitomizes their elegant brand of jazz. This hard-swinging chart features the unique counterpoint of the original, along with feature spots for the bass, saxes, and an optional open solo section.

leon-07013096-fNice ‘n’ Easy arr. Mark Taylor, Grade 3
Recorded by Frank Sinatra on his 1960 hit album by the same name, this tune has become a standard recorded by countless jazz artists. Rather than the swing style of the original, Mark Taylor beautifully crafts this version as a medium tempo bossa. Cast primarily as a duet for trumpet and alto sax, there is skilled scoring for the entire ensemble throughout.

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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