Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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"Food for Thought"
By: Lennie Niehaus
Instrumentation: Big Band
Publisher: Kendor Music, Inc.
Grade: 3 1/2 Moderate Swing = 168
Lennie Niehaus has written for Stan Kenton, and recorded with jazz greats Mel Lewis, Shelly Mann, as well as composed music for Clint Eastwood’s movies, Pale Rider, Unforgiven and Bird, to name a few. Lennie is just one of those special writers who continues to compose wonderful music for all of us to enjoy. “Food For Thought” is another marvelous addition to his legacy of outstanding work in the area of composing and arranging for big band.
The chart begins with a drum solo which leads into the head, played by two altos and trumpet. All accents should be exaggerated by the melody instruments and the accented markings should be very precise. All accents are carefully marked and should be followed exactly as written to have this piece reach it’s full potential.
There are solos for tenor sax and trumpet which can be opened up. The backgrounds are on cue and should happen on the second time through the solo form. These backgrounds use clusters which are achieved by using the higher partials of the indicated chords.
This concept brings a fresh new texture to the piece and allows for many new improvisatory ideas to come into play. The cluster concept occurs again towards the end of the piece with a final drum solo taking us to the end of the arrangement. Lennie Niehaus leaves you with plenty of “Food For Thought” and will teach us all to listen a little better after the band performs this fine chart.
Top note for trumpet is written E above high C.