Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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“Livin’ Larger Than Life"
Written and Arranged: Alan Baylock
Instrumentation: Big Band
Publisher: Alfred / Belwin Jazz
Grade 4 Afro Cuban q = 120 $55.00
“Livin’ Larger Than Life” was commissioned By Chris Allen and the Walt Whitman High School Jazz Ensemble in Bethesda, Maryland. The inspiration for the piece was in memory of a young lady whose life was tragically cut short. Kristen Osborne was known as a wonderful young woman who was loved by all who knew her. She was admired, multi-talented percussionist, and a very energetic person who through her commitment to excellence inspired others with her positive spirit, her love for music, and life.
As the piece begins it features a solo bass line joined by the rest of the rhythm section on an upbeat Afro-Cuban groove. The composer states, “One of Kristen’s Favorites to play.” Also featured are alto sax and trumpet in this very exciting melody soaring with counter lines and chordal pads allowing the full texture of this piece to open up.
Remind your ensemble to play the melody lines as smooth as possible. There is a stop section to this grove when not expected for a great effect and the groove returns again unexpectedly. This will be a crowd-pleasing effect if performed correctly through careful rehearsal and attention to time. The band should peak right to the edge of the alto improvisation leaving the groundwork for a cooking solo section. Be careful that the well-written backgrounds don’t overwhelm the soloist. They are energy packed, but remind the band that they are backgrounds!
Towards the final section of this piece try to have the band slowly diminish, and rest quietly on the final note. The composer writes, “ I’m honored to have known Kristin and to have been asked to write this piece. Kristen’s incredible spirit lives on in all those who knew her. She was, and continues to be, Larger Than life. “
Top note for trumpet is written E above high