Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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"Step Up Blues"
Composed & Arranged By: Dave Eshelman
Instrumentation: Big Band
Publisher: KJOS Music Company / Signature Series
Grade: 51/2 Medium Swing = 144 $40.00
This medium tempo swing chart by composer/arranger Dave Eshelman called “Step Up Blues” features extensive section and ensemble shout writing, as well as solos for both alto sax and trumpet. Ascending dominant chords back the melodic sections, while the solo sections are based upon expanded forms of the traditional blues progression.
As with any big band make sure that members of each section match their lead players articulation and overall interpretation of each figure.
The chart will require plenty of rehearsal time especially from measures 73 to 104. Practice this section slowly at first, and gradually increase the tempo as players become more comfortable with their individual parts. Strive for a balanced dialogue between the brass and the saxes, matching dynamic levels and stylistic approaches between the sections and the chart will be well received.
Dave Eshelman has penned a very hard-swinging blues with plenty of solo space and great section writing; so what else would you want? Get it, rehearse it, play it!
Top note for trumpet is written high D above high C (only on the last chord). Highest other note is written high C above the staff.