News & Views Thursday, June 20, 2019

Level Up Your Jazz Ensemble Friday, April 26, 2019

alfred-38717-frecommended by Ben Huntoon, Jazz Specialist

Sepia Panorama by Duke Ellington/arr. David Berger, Grade 5
A creative Ellington kaleidoscope, this medium difficulty tune is a great juxtaposition of smooth and choppy, loud and soft, and short and long.

Things to Come by Dizzy Gillespie/arr. Gil Fuller, Grade 5.5
Take a fast and wild ride with this Bebop tour de force that moves at breakneck speed and lies deep in the heart of jazz.

Moanin’ by Charles Mingus/arr. Sy Johnson, Grade 5
This up-tempo swinger has become the signature tune for the Mingus Big Band. It opens with a free-wheeling baritone sax solo and features raucous ensemble passages and group improvisations. You won’t find this chart on any easy-listening radio stations!

kendor-2460-fThe Queen Bee by Sammy Nestico, Grade 3.5
As recorded by Count Basie & His Orchestra for their “Basie Straight Ahead” album of 1968, this classic blues features a moderate tempo, piano and tenor solos, solid sax and brass solis, and a series of ensemble shouts punctuated by dramatically quieter passages to create the kind of intensity that keeps listeners riveted until the closing chord ends. Rhythm section parts are partially notated with chords cued, and the first brass soli calls for bucket mutes.

April In Paris arr. Jeff Hest, Grade 6
Exactly how Count Basie and his orchestra played it. Every detail of this jazz standard has been transcribed and reconstructed by Jeff Hest. What better way to learn about Basie style than to play the real music? An educational vehicle that is long over due.

Goodbye Pork Pie Hat by Charles Mingus/arr. Sy Johnson, Grade 5
This is probably Charles Mingus’ best-known composition. Sy Johnson’s updated chart is the authentic version as performed by the Mingus Big Band on the CD “Blues and Politics.”

kendor-64006-fBig Dipper by Thad Jones, Grade 6
This new advanced level edition is taken directly from the original ink parts that were on the stands at the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra (now the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra) debut performance in February 1966 and continues to be played by the group Monday nights at the Village Vanguard in New York City. Originally commissioned by Count Basie for an entire album of Thad Jones’ music, however Basie never made the record, instead suggesting that Thad start his own band. This extended 16-bar blues still maintain that swinging Basie mindset in a straight-ahead blues style. Its basic foundations are a relaxed but powerful rhythm section with a driving ride cymbal beat and crisp hi-hat, underpinning saxes and brass that are tight, and always on the back of the beat.

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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