Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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Composed by: Johnny Burke and James Van Heusen
Arranged by: Matt Harris
Publisher: Kendor Music, Inc.
Grade: 3 Bossa Nova = 132
Los Angles based writer/ arranger, Matt Harris brings to us a very well-written Bossa Nova in a small group setting. “Imagination” is scored for a number of different horn combinations which allows the director to have more students participate in the combo setting. For example, horns can be combinations of trumpet and alto, or alto and tenor, or tenor and trombone. Rhythm section parts are scored for piano, guitar, bass, and drums. You may need to request permission from Kendor to xerox extra parts as many of the instrumental parts are printed back top back.
Horn players must constantly be aware of who has the melody at any given time. There are counterpoint parts written throughout the piece and the director should be sure that those compliment and support the melody rather then cover it up.
The pianist is given chord symbols and written rhythms to choose from. There are many half notes in the written part and it is suggested that as soon as possible the pianist, and/ or guitarist, play more in the improvised style of comping using the Latin Bossa Nova as the base. The voicing that are written for the piano, though, are quite good, and should be used many places by the guitarist as well.
“Imagination” becomes a real challenge when the improvising begins. The piece has a very well- written and enjoyable melody, but hold on for some very challenging chord changes. Fully diminished and half diminished chords, loads of altered notes such as #9, +7, as well as frequent suspensions, make this chart a real challenge for soloists. It would be helpful to take some time to explain these challenging changes to your students. Give them a map and some idea as to what can be done over some very tough and winding roads and your ride will be much smoother.
Top note for trumpet is written Eb in the staff.