Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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"The Right Track"
By: Jeff Jarvis
Instrumentation: Big Band / Chop Monster Series
Publisher: Kendor Music, Inc.
Grade 3 Swing Tempo = 138 $40.00
This chart is written to coincide with Shelton Berg’s “Chop-Monster Jazz Language Tutor.” “The Right Track" is an effective blues original scored at a medium easy level. Whether your group has some experience or is in the development stages, it’s suitable for all performance situations, particularly festivals. The tuneful melody is supported by dense ensemble writing. An effective unison soli is written and drums are also included. Everyone has an interesting part; optional parts are provided for flute, horn, tuba and vibraphone. Parts are well articulated, ranges and rhythms are reasonable, and rhythm parts are notated with chord symbols provided. Solo space is provided for all instruments since “Chop-Monster” books encourage everyone to step into the spotlight.
For optimum results, observe all articulations and dynamics so as to support, but not compete with melodic motives. A well-articulated concept will make the unison soli sound it’s best. The solos and out-chorus call for a more spirited feel. During the solo section, encourage less experienced soloists, especially the non-traditional jazz instruments, to try their hand at improvisation. Improvisers may negotiate the dominant chords using dominant or mexolydian scales (five of the relative major or a perfect fifth down for key center). The bebop scales works nice here as well. Try to avoid the blues scales, as students tend to dwell on the more dissonant 3rd, 4th and flatted 5th scale steps.
“The Right track” is an excellent tool for locking in the base for our music; the swing feel. Try this chart and you and your band are destined for a smooth ride.
Top note for trumpet is G# above the staff