Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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"Toss And Turn"
Written and Arranged By: Lennie Niehaus
Instrumentation: Combo / Small Group
Publisher: Kendor Music, Inc.
Grade: 2 1/2 Swing Tempo = 132 $40.00
“Toss and Turn” starts with a written piano introduction for eight bars which sets up the groove for this moderate original swing tune. The melody, starting at measure nine, is played by the lead alto and the trumpet section. This is for only a short time, though, as by measure sixteen the bones and all trumpets are added, providing matted chords that are stacked as triads. This leaves these matted chords as true backgrounds and pushes the melody forward.
In the style of Thelonius Monk, the bridge contains some interesting seventh chords while, at the same time, the melody uses seconds! This is very colorful and sets up measure forty-one where the entire ensemble gets back to much of the same material played at the beginning of the chart.
There is a written-out solo for trumpet at measure fifty-six which also features chord changes in case the soloist wants to ”improvise” his/her solo. It is very playable, but a bit short in length. There is an excellent sax soli starting at measure sixty-six that leads this excellent chart into the final shout chorus. Make sure the band follows all the dynamic markings as it will create a very dramatic and exciting performance.
To end this original piece by Niehaus there is a short two-bar drum solo/fill taking the band back to the shout chorus one more time. At this point we are at the coda and this brings us to a rousing final chord finish.
“Toss and Turn” has all the ingredients for a medium tempo swing tune with solos, soli section and a well-written shout chorus. Just add the right mix of players and you’ll “cook-up” a very good performance!
Top note for trumpet is written A above the staff (last note only).