Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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Written and Arranged By: Dominic Spera
Instrumentation: Big Band
Publisher: C/L. Barnhouse Company
Grade: 6 Swing Tempo “Very Very Fast” $45.00
" Alternate Route" takes many curves and uses periodic random musical devices to create a very interesting, yet challenging chart. This original by now retired Indiana University professor, Dominic Spera, is a chart only for the more advanced university and professional groups who want to energize there band, as well as the audience.
Drums lay down the first burning eight bars with a swing feel on the ride and it’s no time before the saxes and trumpets are well involved in a very fast tempo (“very, very, fast”.) An interesting dramatic device used by Dominic is the ghosted open G in the staff and later on D, again in the staff, using the 1 and 3 to open, on the G and 1 and 3 to 1 fingering on the D combination all on fast eighth notes. This effect is very exciting at this fast pace and adds a special touch to this original piece.
Solos are written with changes for alto and tenor sax, but keep in mind this is a burner and your soloist must execute with accuracy and technique fitting the tempo. There are well written backgrounds for all horn solos and these are cued at the director’s discretion. Just before the shout chorus the drums are featured in a solo arena. From this point on it’s the ensemble building to a very dramatic conclusion.
“Alternate Route” is an excellent final piece for any concert as long as you have the band to perform it. The tempo and lead trumpet part are demanding, to say the least, and will require a great deal of rehearsal time to make this original chart sizzle. If you have the band and are will to put in the time is chart this for you.
Top note for trumpet is written D above the staff.