Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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“Goodbye My Heart"
Written and Arranged By: Mike Smukal
Instrumentation: Big Band
Publisher: Alfred / Belwin Jazz *Young Jazz Ensemble Series
Grade 2 1/2 Ballad q = 76 $44.00
“Goodbye My Heart" is a ballad written with the young jazz ensemble in mind. What better way to start training beginning jazz bands then with a relaxed ballad? This lovely melody is written as an alto sax feature and should be played with a legato approach throughout the arrangement. As a general rule, when the notes in each phrase go higher the soloist should shape the line by increasing the dynamic level. As the phrase descends, the soloist should decrease in volume and the band should follow suite.
Be careful to keep the ensemble playing in a legato feel as well, except for the staccato accents early in the chart. Right from the beginning each entrance should be clearly heard and balanced as it builds to the written crescendo. Also, early in this original ballad, there is a three quarter note motive which is passed between tenors and trumpets and should gradually get louder always building the line evenly.
Take note that the chord in measure 22 is dissonant and should have special attention given to it for good balance tuning the chord from the bottom up. The half steps between the 2nd alto and the 1st tenor sax, as well as the 3rd and 4th trumpets, should be played with equal volume for balance. The composer suggests, “ It might be helpful to ask the students to play the dissonance until they get use to it.” This is a good time to introduce the concepts of consonance vs. dissonance along with tension/release and chord resolution. Keep in mind that vibrato is fine for the soloists, but make sure that the ensemble, at least on all unison parts, use no vibrato. Even harmonized parts should for the most part not use any vibrato at all.
The introduction and closing statements as played by your guitarist or pianist must be performed smoothly and with lyrical approach allowing them to perform this statement correctly. Remind your drummer though that the kit needs to be played with an understatement attitude in mind as well. Following these suggestions should allow you to introduce the style of ballad playing to your young band with good results on a quality beginning arrangement.
Top note for trumpet is high G above the staff