Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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By: Lennie Niehaus
Instrumentation: Big Band
Publisher: Kendor Music, Inc.
Grade 3 Swing Tempo = 160 $42.00
Even though the tempo of “Pat’s Retort" is = 160, this chart could be played much faster for added excitement. Bands capable of playing this Lennie Niehaus original at this faster tempo are encouraged to do so by the composer. The chart is written in ABA song form with the first eight bars repeated in 4/4. The bridge, the B section, is written in 3/4 time, and the final A section returns to 4/4. The quarter note remains consistent in the 4/4 and 3/4 time meters.
Following the 8-bar introduction, the tune begins in measure 9, played by unison saxes with chordal trombone background added on the repeat for texture and padding. The bridge begins in measure 19. Here the melody is played by unison trumpets with a different unison line played by the trombones. This bridge goes through various key changes before returning to the original key of Eb major which adds harmonic interest to the arrangement.
A legato interlude at measure 43 leads into the trumpet (or alto sax) solo in measure 248, which can be improvised or played as written. Similarly, the sax soli at measure 76 in 3/4 time leads into another 4/4 section featuring an “as written” or ad lib, improvised, piano solo.
The entire band should blow out in the shout chorus at measure 91, following all markings very carefully. The chart finishes with a D.S. back to the first bridge in 3/4, and a coda which reviews much of the material heard earlier.
“Pat’s Retort” is a very solid chart that will give your high school band a challenge, but, if played well also teach them a new style and give a great sense of accomplishment.
Top note for trumpet is C above the staff