Big Band Original Compositions

The instrumentation format tells the number of: [saxophones/reeds]-[trumpets]-[trombones]-[rhythm section instruments]

Bang Spot – Somewhat difficult – $50

Bang Spot is a tenor saxophone feature of an exciting up-tempo blues. I modelled this chart after stylistic elements of the Jimmy Lunceford Orchestra. Minus the instrument throwing, of course. This should be playable by any college-level big band.

Instrumentation: 5-4-4-4 or 5-3-3-4

The Grinning King – Very difficult – $50

I wrote this for Jim Finlayson, who has unfortunately since passed away, as a trombone solo feature. It is a driving swing shuffle, and will mostly read through fairly easily; but it has a couple of technical passages that bump the difficulty up to ‘very.’ The trombone soloist will be playing for a fairly long time, and the climax occurs during a shout capped by a screaming trumpet, Maynard-style.

Instrumentation: 5-4-4-4

Small Smile – Very difficult – $50

I originally composed this to be a part of my Master’s Final Recital back when I was in graduate school, and have since altered it a bit. It is an advanced trombone and soprano saxophone feature, with extended duets between the two soloists and a large solo section. Like many of my arrangements, this is taxing for the brass, especially the lead trumpet. This piece has two F horn parts as well as the typical big band setup.

Instrumentation: 5-4-4-4 plus 2 F horns

Whisper Dance – Very easy – $50

Whisper Dance is a melodically catchy bossa nova arranged to be playable by a typical high-school big band. The instrument ranges are very moderate, and comping figures in the rhythm section are spelled out for students who do not know how to construct their own comping figures, including tablature in the guitar part. There is a typical stop-time percussion solo, followed by an instrumental solo section, and for ease of introduction into that aspect of playing, it is a modal vamp. Unlike many other pieces for this ability level, I included interesting harmonic color in the melody which should make this more rewarding for the students to play through, especially students on the inner parts which will have the interesting ‘color’ notes. The students at the 2012 Great Basin Jazz Camp performed this piece here.

Instrumentation: 5-4-4-4

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