Search Results for: poster
Allen Myers – Poster Presentation “Inspiration in the Development of Form”
Brad Mehldau DMA Program Notes of a piano recital – discussion on his use of consonance and dissonance
George Handy arranger and composer of Boyd Raebrun Orchestra, Dissertation by Benjamin Biermann
Jazz Continuum Collected Writings – Keeping the Peace by Graham Collier
THE BIRTH OF JERU: GERRY MULLIGAN‘S EARLY COMPOSING/ARRANGING CAREER (1945-1953) – Richard Samuel Fine
A Study of BobBrookmeyers’ Compositional Stytle for Large Jazz Ensemble dissertation by Stephen J. Guerra Jr.
The Development of Bob Brookmeyers’ Compositional Style: A Comparative Study of Six Works for Jazz Ensemble dissertation by Ryan Patrick Middagh
The Music of Bob Brookmeyer and his influence Upon Contemporary Composers and Arrangers of Large Ensemble Works dissertation by Kevin Neil Dempsey
Unifying composition and improvisation : applying Bob Brookmeyer’s pitch module concept to composition and improvisation dissertation by Michael Wallace.
Darce James Argue
Darce James Argue’s Blog – Part of the Carnegie Hall Musical Exchange
Duke Elington and Billy Strayhorn Jazz Composers (Smithsonian Albert H. Small Document Gallery)
Arranging Ellington: The Ellington Effect by Darcy James Argue – Article discussing the unusual voice leading in just a few bars of Ellington’s Mood Indigo.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF DUKE ELLINGTON’S COMPOSITIONAL STYLE: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THREE SELECTED WORKS Masters thesis by Eric Strother
John La Barbera
“Lickety Split”: Modern Aspects of Composition and Orchestration in the Large Jazz Ensemble Compositions of Jim McNeely: An Anyalsis of “Extra Credit”, “In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning” and “Absolution”
Jim McNeely Website – Study scores can be purchased in the store section
Maria Schneider Videos includes advice to young composers, composer’s block and more
My Suite on the famous Coleman Hawkins recording Body and Soul is to be premiered at this free concert on April 18th at 7:30 pm in the Liberty Performing Arts Theater in Liberty, MO. It is located at
Click here to read more about the suite.
Featured that evening will be trumpeter Al Pearson. Al has played with the Count Basie Orchestra, and backed up many artists over the years including Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Jackie McLean, Jay McShann, Claude “Fiddler” Williams, Bobby Watson, Lou Rawls, Debbie Reynolds, Crystal Gale, Stevie Wonder, Four Tops, Smokey Robinson, Sammy Davis Jr., Marvin Gaye and the Danville Illinois Symphony. Other guests include vocalist Caitlin Myers and dancers Paco Vitug and Dr. Yvonne Iway Spurlock. Mr. Vitug is a professional dancer, choreographer, and owner of Paco Dance Academy in Mission, Kansas and founder of PADANCO, a professional dance company. He is trained in classical ballet, modern, hip-hop, jazz, contemporary, lyrical and ballroom. His professional credits spans two decades and includes performances throughout the US and in China. Mr. Vitug has choreographed “Flash Back 2000” for The Osmond Brothers, “Magic on Ice”, as well as other shows in Las Vegas and China.
For the 70th anniversary of the Body and Soul recording by Coleman Hawkins, I wrote a three movement suite with the intentions of having it performed by my jazz orchestra. I was asked to perform in the Northwinds Big band concert that happened to coincide with the day of the anniversary. I agreed to play with the understanding that my piece be performed on the concert. This saved me some time organizing a band as the director had musicians and a few rehearsals already scheduled. Unfortunately after three rehearsals in preparation for the concert, 43 degree weather shut down our outdoor concert.
My original intentions were for the suite to be much longer than three movements. I simply ran out of time to extend it several more movements in length. Once I was done, I went on to my next composition and did not look back to extend further. The future may hold a few more movements.
My goal was to pay tribute to the improvisational work of Hawk. The first challenge for me was to study the solo and determine what the building blocks, motives, for composing the suite would be. After this, my main concern was the first movement. Do I start constructing my own themes or do I somehow acknowledge the recording? Chances were quite good that a good portion of our audience would not have even heard the original recording. I decided to write a transcription of the original recording with just a few twists.
The orchestration was based on my tenet. The group consists of an alto, tenor, and Bari sax, two trumpets, two trombones and rhythm section. Both the alto and bari double as well on flute and bass clarinet for extended colors for the ensemble. With the tenor center stage, I was left with six horns and rhythm section for building the suite. My choice of a tenet is based on an early instrumentation of the band Either Orchestra.
In analysis of the recording I discovered what appeared to be multiple levels to Hawk’s lines as if to imply his own counter lines or playing a duet with himself. I decided to score horns coming in and out on the solo outlining the different levels. This means that the horns must move in and out of phrases along with the tenor soloist. Many players thinking as one with Hawk’s sense of phrasing. This would be a challenge for the band and hopefully at the same time open up an appreciation to his masterful solo. How do I write the parts? Do I simply put in rests between the phrases or do I write out the entire solo with cues? I chose the later and in addition to shrinking the note size for the cues, I enlarged the size of the main notes for each horn player. In addition to the shadowing of Hawk’s solo I included the original background accompanied horn figures and then altered them rhythmically to complement the rhythms of his improvisation.
Sometime in the early 90’s a Picaso exhibit was held at the Cleveland art Museum and featured a performance by jazz tenor saxophonist David Murray who was commissioned to write “The Picaso Suite” based on the first unaccompanied tenor saxophone solo which was also recorded by Coleman Hawkins. Since the event was sold out, I was able to listen to the concert broadcast live on WCPN Cleveland Public Radio. During intermission of the concert, but before the performance of the suite, the radio station played the original “Picasso” recording. This opened up the idea of allowing my soloist the opportunity to pay homage to Hawk’s “Picaso” in a similar manner. Between the movements the soloist sews the seams of my suite with their own take on Hawk’s improvisation.
The second movement entitled “Looking Forwards and Backwards” transfers the listener from the 1939 recording to something quite unexpected. The movement starts off with a straight eighth syncopated bass pedal point and leads into a modal composition with interpretation of motives extracted from Hawk’s solo.
The third movment, “Hawk’s Blues” continues to explore motives in a straight ahead swinging minor blues.
The transformative nature of the suites last two movements allow each to stand very much on their own. Often the third movement is performed by itself.
The world premier of this work took place on April 18th 2013 at the Liberty Performing Arts Theater in Liberty Missouri.
The title “Id” is borrowed from Freud’s Personality theory. It is a name for the instinctual part of behavior. Instinct describes the quick process of composing this piece for big band. It was written while attending Indiana University and is dedicated to Domonic Spera. Mr. Spera’s big band gave the premier and a second performance at the Indiana Music Educators Convention in 1991. A year later I found Mr. Spera had incorporated the piece for discussion and listening as a part of his advanced jazz composition class. I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. The dissonance of the main theme draws on the influence of Debussy’s use of exact parallel voicings as well as Duke Ellington’s cross section voicings. With each voice played by a different instrument among the different sections of the band, the dissonance of the minor second and the major seventh between voices I feel is further enhanced. I was looking for a striking sound to this angular theme.
Id Score page 3 The composition attempted to bring free and organized sections together for a raucous high energy groove. It is an up tempo 3/4 piece with rock and free jazz elements. Solo sections vary from a completely free section for the sax soloist, to ostinato figures with cross rhythms amongst the different sections of the band as background figures for the trumpet and trombone solos. The rhythmic figures were influenced by a study in African Rhythms back in the 80’s with the Ohio Chamber Orchestra and Cleveland Ballet tympanist George Kitely at Baldwin Wallace University (formerly known as Baldwin-Wallce College). Id page 10 Bob Brookmeyer gave some worthy advice upon hearing the piece years later while I was attending University of Missouri at Kansas City Conservatory. His advice was to never let the success of your piece be entirely dependent on the soloists. My recording had some wonderful soloing by some exceptionally talented young musicians but that did not stop him from offering his wisdom. His other piece of advice was drawn from his early years studying music history at the UMKC Conservatory. He recommended that I study the long expansive melodic lines of Gregorian chant. He also believed that a solo section should not occur until it is the only thing that can happen. Upon hearing “Shockwaves” for jazz octet, a work of mine from the mid 90’s, he felt I had reached a better balance than I had in “Id”. You can read about the form of Shockwaves in the Inspiration for Development and Form poster presented at the International Jazz Composers’ Symposium.