Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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By: Rick Lawn
Instrumentation: Big Band
Publisher: Kendor Music, Inc.
Grade 3 1/2 Swing Tempo = 180 $52.00
Rick Lawn is a noted composer and arranger with credentials that confirm his rise to excellence. “Public Domain" is just another high mark in Rick’s long list of fine writing, arranging and composing. This chart is exactly what it says it is, “Public Domain.”
As the title of this medium swing chart suggests, it is a series of pieces from many classic charts from the big band tradition. Based on the classic “”rhythm changes” model, the solo section has been simplified so that less experienced improvisers can rise to the challenge.
The chart can be played in a wide range of tempos under the indicated quarter note equals 180, which should be considered the fastest effective tempo. The director may take some liberties with the groove as well since it can be played with either a straight ahead swing or shuffle feel up until the saxophone soli. The bass player can play half notes, implying a 2- beat style in measures 9 –17 and save the 4/4 walking feel for the bridge. This helps to open up the chart and keep it interesting not only for the audience, but the band as well.
The solo section which covers measures 74 – 90 can be repeated for additional solos the director sees fit. Note that the repeat must be played to adhere to the standard AABA form.
Page turns can be a hassle for the piano part so try to situate the two double sheets so that pages 1-2 and pages 3-4 are visible. During the rest at page 4, turn the page so that page 5 is visible. along with pages 1-2. This allows the pianist to go back to the D.S. with no further page turns.
“Public Domain" is a very good chart that will surely please the crowd with bits and pieces of standard music from days gone by. More importantly though, it will introduce a new generation of musicians to this music they might not get a chance to play or discover without a fine chart like “Public Domain."
Top note for trumpet is C above the staff