Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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Arranged: Rich DeRosa
Instrumentation: Big Band
Publisher: Alfred / Belwin Jazz
Grade 4 Funky q = 104 $48.00
This version of the well-known American standard, “Yankee Doodle” is an example of how an arranger can take a piece almost everyone knows and raise it to another level of excellence. Rich DeRosa takes this traditional melody and enhances it by using his vast knowledge of music arranging making it his own unique statement.
An example of why this chart is so good starts almost from the very beginning. After the introduction comes to a close, the feel shifts from a march to a Latin groove! The tempo can range from moderately slow to moderately fast, allowing the director to make the chart fit the band! This new texture has the harmonic flavor of the mambo style.
The improvisation section features solos for flute, alto sax, trumpet and trombone. The chord progression allows the soloist to choose a simple approach to soloing using major pentatonic, major blues and mixolydian scales. Once in the first tonal region (E flat) is established, the music can be transposed for the other two regions (C and D-flat). The written flute solo may also be played an octave lower on a keyboard percussion instrument, if desired.
The transition out of the solo section features the drummer, who trades solo fills with the ensemble. The melody returns using denser sonorities and new harmonies. For one final surprise, another variation occurs! This secondary theme ultimately becomes a rousing shout chorus in the traditional big-band style. As the melody cadences, the closing section begins, and a Latin vamp utilizing the entire ensemble provides a punctuated ending.
This is not your traditional “Yankee Doodle” rendition. It’s the same tune, but it’s enhanced and twisted with turns that will have both the band and audience enjoying themselves as they take this new musical ride.
Top note for trumpet is written G above the staff