Steppin' Up To The Blues

Introduces the Bb blues to beginners. Sequenced to add each pitch of the 6-note blues scale per 12-bar chorus. Each rhythm section part starts in simplest form, gradually expanding per chorus. The sequenced materials presented in the opening choruses supply all of the foundations for the improvisational section which opens up for any and all soloists. Ideal resource guide for inexperienced directors. 

Another Step Toward The Blues

Introduces the F blues to beginners and serves as the companion piece to Steppin' Up To The Blues. The first chorus uses 3 notes of the F blues scale and each successive chorus gradually adds one more note to the scale. The rhythm parts begin as simply as possible, and each chorus adds one new component to each part. Everything learned in the composed sections can then be used in the improvisational section, which is open for every member of the band. A superb pedagogical resource guide for inexperienced directors. 

Zach Attack

Composed for Chris Zacher and the East Northport (Long Island) Middle School Jazz Band. Strong 8th note pop/rock groove. Moderate ranges, simple lines and rhythms, and accessible rhythm parts. Improvisations explore the natural minor scale.

Perfect Pitch

Focuses on band intonation with sustained ensemble tuning notes (Bb and F for brass, A for saxes, and open strings for rhythm) as compositional pedal points. Open improvisation section uses just two simple pentatonic scales. 

Brush Strokes

Drumset feature composed for former Count Basie Orchestra drummer Rich Thompson. The chart uses the rhythmic motives and brush fills reminiscent of Neal Hefti's Cute in the simpler context of a C minor blues. Brass showcased in cup mute colors. Open minor blues improvisation sections for all with suggested easy 4-5 note pitch sets. 

Largo Compañero

Commissioned by the LaCrosse WI Longfellow Middle School, Chip Schreader, director. Inspired by the rhythmic grooves of Steely Dan's Cousin Dupree and My Old School. Open solo section with changes for all uses just two dorian modes.

Blues In The Mirror

A young band's introduction to the blues in F, the chart explores musical mirroring with simple pentatonic scales. Brass and sax background riffs explore simple guide tone embellishments to further explore blues harmony. Open blues solos with changes for all. 

Nzembo Na Mvula Zamba

Adapted from a traditional chant of the Bambuti Pygmies, the original inhabitants of the Ituri Rainforest of Zaire. African flavor can be enhanced with suggested mallet and percussion parts. Like the original melody, the open improvisation section employs simple pentatonic scales for soloists. 

Que Pasa, Kielbasa?

Funky rhythms, a strong melody, and moderate chord ranges ensure that this blues chart is accessible to every beginning jazz ensemble. Flexibly orchestrated so that it can be played with as few as 9 players, everyone in the ensemble has an opportunity to improvise in the open solo section. 

Rock Island Line

A traditional American blues song about the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad, often called the "Rock Island Line," which ran through the Midwest from the 1850s for more than a century. The great blues singer Leadbelly first recorded it in 1937. In this contemporary setting for beginning jazz bands, the steady pulse and even lines are spiced with occasional stop time figures, and the improvisation section is open to all soloists.

Jump Down, Turn Around

This traditional American work song is given a driving gospel rock treatment. Ideally constructed for young jazz bands, the chart features moderate ranges, notated rhythm section parts, open solo sections, and the unique use of foot stomping and hand clapping to encourage solid rhythmic playing.