Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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By: Ken Harris
Instrumentation: Big Band
Publisher: C. L. Barnhouse
Grade: 2 1/2 Swing = 138
There are simply not enough charts produced for the young band in mind that really swing. Ken Harris has a winner that takes a (upper) middle school big band through swing figures that are well-thought-out and soundly produced. This type of chart will leave a lasting and positive effect on the young artist for future growth.
From the first measure the saxes are playing swing figures that really have motion and this is a direct result of Ken Harris’ careful reasoning about teaching the feel of swing. At measure seventeen the entire band is in tutti swing and some very excellent swing writing for this level is experienced up to the solo section at measure 33. The solos have both the chord symbols written as well as a suggested solo for any instrument in the band. The chart concludes with an ensemble shout chorus to a full and glorious major chord ending.
For the director who wants his/her band to “hear” the chart first, Barnhouse offers cassettes of its charts for schools at $5.00 each just for this purpose. It is very refreshing to see writing of this quality being produced for our middle school ensembles and it is highly recommended that any director who wants the concept of straight ahead swing taught to their students check out “Done Deal” by Ken Harris.
Top trumpet note is written F in the staff.