Here's my latest. It's a midi mock-up of a piece called "Division Street Shuffle" that I wrote for my daughter's high school jazz band. In observing the band at practice I noticed that a lot of students still struggle with improvisation, so in this piece I've written in solos as cues for the main soloists with instructions to change, add to and/or ignore any or all of it as they grow more comfortable with the piece and with improvisation in general. The secondary players, i.e. 2nd, 3rd trumpets, etc., see these solos as ossias on their scores because I know the band director likes to give everyone a chance to solo over time. Anyway, thanks for checking it out. I hope you like it, and I appreciate any feedback.

Division_Street_Shuffle_1-31-09.mp3

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    • I didn't realize it was so soft. Thanks for pushing up the volume for me.
  • I have yet to explore the realms of Jazz music, but it certainly did sound Jazzy and interesting to me :) I really like the melodies and the overall almost laid back mood of the track (perhaps it is just the passive midi instruments that give that impression...)

    Anyhow, as I listened a second time, especially at the beginning, you could almost hear the music talking, as if the lyrics were already embedded in the instrument's melodies. I know the purpose of this track is for a Jazz Band, but I could easily imagine as a part of a stage performance (even though the broadway mood does die out 2 minutes in and real Jazzy stuff kicks in)

    But again, I am no expert in Jazz, just a casual listener, and those are my inexperienced 2 cents.

    Good job :)
    • Thanks for the kind words, Andrea. Your comments about the music "talking" are interesting, because I think a lot of modern instrumental jazz has moved away from the whole idea of melody somewhat, or at least the primacy of melody, in order to explore new harmonic and rhythmic possibilities. But I was deliberately going after a more retro sound with this piece, hearkening back to the big band era of the 30s and 40s. And to be honest, I love melody. Your comments reassure me that there is still a place for strong melodies in jazz today.
  • I'm not really a great fan of this style of jazz, but I was sitting here checking my email and found myself bobbing my head and tapping my foot. I can imagine a high school band (or even a professional band) playing this.

    After listening to this I just had to go on Video Google and play Cab Calloway's Minnie the Moocher.

    Thanks for sharing.


    Deborah
    • Ahh, Cab Calloway. Love it. Count Basie and Duke Ellington, too. What great music.

      Thanks for writing.

      Glenn
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