Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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"No Looking Back"
Written and Arranged By: Lennie Niehaus
Instrumentation: Big Band
Publisher: Kendor Music, Inc.
Grade: 3 Slow Ballad Tempo = 69 $40.00
“No Looking Back” is a Lennis Niehause original ballad that features your lead alto player. It starts with four measures without the rhythm section and at measure 4 there is a decrescendo that precedes the entrance of the solo alto starting in measure five. Here the soloist improvises over soft chords accompanied by the rhythm section leading to the melody at measure nine.
Having the soloist stay close to the melody line is suggested for the first eight bars and then he/she is encouraged to play with more freedom and interpretation in a jazz sense. After the bridge is played and the ensemble starts to give more support to the soloist the alto is joined by the rest of the sax section in a soli double-feel section starting at measure thirty-nine.
As the chart expands in texture the brass enter with punctuations and fills. This section should be played with determination and lots of dynamics. These fills are also written for the drummer so that there is good rhythmic support for this very important section.
At measure fifty-seven there is a key change and a return to the double-time feel encountered earlier in the piece. The piece comes to a climax leaving the alto soloist with an improvised cadenza at measure 69. Holding the last chord on cue from the soloist, your alto player can now finish this wonderful ballad with a final “original” statement.
“No Looking Back” is an excellent vehicle for your aspiring alto soloist. The tempo is not overwhelming even when in a double feel and the changes are very playable. If you have a special alto player in your band that you want to feature, this ballad would be a great choice for your next concert.
Top note for trumpet is written C above the staff.