Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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By: Duke Ellington
Arranged By: Rick Stitzel
Instrumentation: Big Band
Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
Grade 2 1/2 Swing Tempo = 126 $35.00
“C-Jam Blues” is one of the most famous “head” charts ever written. Composed by Duke Ellington and recorded by Duke, Count Basie and countless others, this arrangement gives your students a chance to learn the Basie style of swing playing – one of the most important styles to conceive early on.
At measure 29 is a solo for any of the trumpet players in the section. There is a well-written solo provided, but encourage your students to start improvising their own solos. Improvisation is one of the most basic aspects of jazz playing and pieces of this quality will help the young student gain this much needed concept early on.
At measure 41 any of your sax players can solo as well. Remember while it is important for soloists to be heard, don’t let the intensity die down too much in the rhythm section and background figures.
The ensemble statement at measure 53 provides an opportunity for some real Basie-style dynamics to provide maximum contrast and musical interest. Be sure to play the soft sections with energy and correct articulations. Make sure the band is swinging hard even though the dynamic markings are soft. At measure 65, you can let it all go. This is the place to allow the dynamic energy being held back before to serge forward and make a statement. As always, don’t let your students over-blow; let them play a comfortable forte plus, and swing!
Top note for trumpet D in the staff