Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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By: Gerry Mulligan
Instrumentation: Nonet (nine instruments)
Publisher: Gunmar Music, Inc.
Grade: 5 1/2 Up Tempo Swing = 208
Gerry Mulligan, born in New York City, April 6, 1927, is a versatile baritone saxophonist, arranger, composer and band leader. In the early 1950’s Mulligan formed a tentette, modeled after the Davis Nonet, and in 1952, a pianoless quartet, with trumpeter Chet Baker, featuring highly-integrated contrapuntal playing, achieving great international acclaim. “Rocker” comes to us from this period in his career and is written in its original nine-piece setting for alto sax, baritone sax, trumpet, french horn, trombone, tuba, piano, bass and drums. “Rocker”, also known as “Rock Salt”, was one og Mulligan’s most popular works and was recorded bt the Miles Davis Nonet.
The arrangement is in its original non-transposed form on the score and the band has an awakward page turn for all the parts. It is suggested that the director photocopy, BY PERMISSION, the third and fourth pages of thoes band parts so that the ensemble can go through the entire chart without stopping. With the quarter note traveling at 208 the band will need all the help it can get and a page turn can be a disaster on this challenging arrangement. Also, make sure you have some experienced improvisers who understand altered chords. This one is for groups that have been around for a while and want to explore the history of our music in a challenging arena.
Top note for trumpet is written A above the staff.