Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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"Ask Me Now"
Written By: Thelonious Monk
Arranged By: Gregory Yasinitsky
Instrumentation: Big Band
Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
Grade: 5 1/2 Swing Ballad Tempo 58 $45.00
" Ask Me Now" may be performed as a feature for either flugelhorn or tenor sax. When using this excellent ballad as a tenor sax feature, the solo part should replace the tenor sax part 1. In many cases directors have extra saxes in their program and if this is the case you can have your soloist stand in front of the band and bring in another tenor player to perform the tenor 1 “part.”
Another nice feature of this excellent arrangement is that there are parts for 10 brass plus soloist. However, this chart may also be performed with 8 players including the soloist. The parts that are optional are: trumpet 2, trumpet 5, and trombone 4.
If you have a great flugelhorn player that you want to feature on that next jazz performance, the solo part can replace trumpet 2 and 5. However if you have the players, all 5-trumpet parts may be used in addition to the soloist. This give the director a bit more freedom for personnel as well as texture in the over all presentation of this wonderful Monk ballad.
Keep in mind that this is “Monk” and just because the tempo is slow does not mean that this is an easy chart. The soloists must have a working knowledge of change playing ( improvisation) and be able to voice lead in a convincing way to make sense of these challenging chord changes.
This is a very well written chart for the ensemble that has a soloist either on tenor sax or flugelhorn who is accomplishing in the art of jazz improvisation. Also the band must have a concept of playing in the ballad style. If this criteria is met and the performers are prepared this will be a dynamic presentation at your next concert.
Top note for trumpet is written D above the staff.