Aim High

Commissioned by Sarkis Halajian and the Cranbrook School in Michigan. The upbeat hip hop groove, buoyant melodic lines, and contemporary harmonies create a celebratory feel. Both the trumpet and guitar improvisations are designed so they can be performed using just one simple pitch collection. 

Blue Opening

Composed by Ike Sturm (NYC bassist and Fred's son), arranged by Fred, and dedicated to Mark Borden of Honeoye Falls-Lima (NY) High School. The contagious funk shuffle groove, bluesy melodic cells, odd-meter (4+3) bridge, contemporary vertical sonorities, and accessible improvising platforms (short blowing spaces for up to a dozen soloists using blues scales) create a hip and challenging chart.

Cabeza de Queso (Cheese Head)

Commissioned by the 2007 Wisconsin State Honors Jazz Ensemble. It opens with a warm wind chorale and locks into a bright samba groove, featuring hip pentatonic linear writing, funky Latin horn band hits, and fresh harmonies. The entire solo section can be traversed with only 3 modes (minor pentatonic, dorian, and lydian-augmented). 


Commissioned by the Deer Valley (AZ) High School Jazz Ensemble and premiered at the 2006 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. The Latin groove propels fresh harmonies and an unforgettable melodic hook. The tenor sax solo employs simple major and lydian modalities, and additional trumpet and guitar solos can be added.

Ring of Fire

Inspired by an ancient Native American social dance that employs a pentatonic scale and a mix of 3/4 and 4/4 meters. Open trumpet (or flugelhorn) improvisation in aeolian mode. Drums and percussion solo exchanges over ensemble clapping patterns.


Commissioned by Professor David Milne at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Combines minimalistic straight-8th grooves with folkish lines, warm chorales, and multiple counterpoint. Solos for alto (optional soprano) sax and piano.

Home Jubilation

Commissioned by Mike Ross and the Appleton (WI) West HS Jazz Ensemble. Conducted rubato intro leads into fast swing groove with all wind players improvising 8th-based rhythms on specified pitches. Catchy tune on modified B flat "I Got Rhythm" changes. Open solo section in phrygian mode expandable to promote free improvisation and interaction.


Dedicated to Green Bay Packer legend Ray Nitschke, the chart uses his jersey number 66 to feature a hip-hop groove in 6 (easy 4+2) and 6-part sonorities. Tenor and trumpet blues-based solos over compelling ostinato vamps. 

Follow the Leader

Fast 24-bar blues in Bb promotes ensemble swing and aural imitation. Soloists improvise 2 bar motives that are mimicked 2 bars later by the brass and sax sections. Open blowing space for all. Shouting contrapuntal ending.

Uppin' Adam

Commissioned by Adam Hardt and the New London HS Jazz Ensemble. Fast samba (MM=220) played in a floating two feel with punchy Latin rhythms and lyrical wind chorales. Guitar solo (optional trombone or baritone sax) uses only two tonal fields.

Celtic Aire

Adaptation of a traditional Irish fling dance or schottische. Introduction showcases any soloist improvising freely over a sustained wind drone (ala bagpipes). Clog-dance cadence can be embellished by drums and percussion. Featured alto and tenor sax solos use a single mixolydian mode or can be enhanced by advance players.


Chronometry is "the measurement of time." Commissioned by the New Trier High School Jazz Ensemble, Jim Warrick, director. The chart employs a brassy fanfare, a funk/samba groove, guitar and drumset solos, and an open free improvisation section for tenor sax and drums.