Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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Written By: Bobby Timmons
Arranged By: Michael Sweeney
Instrumentation: Big Band
Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
Grade 2 1/2 Swing Tempo = 126 $35.00
For those of us who just love the great standards off the “Blue Note” label in the 60’s and 70’s “Moanin’” is no stranger. While writing this review I can hear Art kicking the band, as only
Blakey, could on this timeless classic tune.
Michael Sweeney takes this Bobby Timmons original and brings it to the big band format suitable for most high school big bands, as well as college level ensembles. To insure a stylistically correct performance make sure your students understand the concept of a “swing 8th note” in the period that this wonderful piece was written. A legato style of tonguing (“du”) on most notes is the norm. Eighth notes in this style should be smooth and connect, and not choppy sounding.
The section at measure 27 may be played using a trumpet solo or a soli the first time, then a trombone solo or a soli the 2nd time. For any adventurous improvisers use the blues scale or use the “unison pattern #8” marked on the score for the entire solo section. Make sure the rhythm section and saxophones play softly enough not to cover up the soloist or section being featured.
At measure 36, the saxes should play out strongly during their soli feature. For the “shout chorus” at measure 57, be sure to observe the dynamic markings for full execution of this section.
Throughout this arrangement, the left hand in the piano part duplicates the bass part and should be played lightly or not at all if a bass player is present.
Moanin’ is simply a jazz classic, and with all of the above mentioned suggestions it will also become one of your band’s favorite charts to perform.
Top note for trumpet is written D in the staff