What are the features of a good chart? Reference Download: Characteristics of a Good Chart
Great charts are aesthetically pleasing in some way(s) - they offer a balance of accessible (familiar) melodic, harmonic, rhythmic & timbral elements with new or surprise twists that prevent the predictable & mundane. As always, good music should mirror the good life - a balance of routine & spice. This, of course, has to be couched in good logic - melodic & harmonic material must "lay well" (make sense). One of the best examples of this supposition is the writing of Rob McConnell - he arranges great charts on well-worn standards by maintaining interest through new combinations of melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre - all in good taste & within an accessible framework. Of course this leads to the fact that most good charts are done by a few good writers, whose names should be familiar. Bob Greenhaw Director of Jazz Studies (retired) Valdosta State University
Reference Download: Chart Recommendations for School Jazz Ensembles - DZ (Over 575 listings) Swing ~ Latin ~ Latin-Swing Ballads ~ Jazz Waltz Rock/Funk ~ Other
Key to Grade Leveling Grade 1 – very easyMS - Beginner Grade 2 - easyMS – 2 nd & 3 rd yr. players Grade 3 – medium easyAdv MS/Easy HS or 2 nd HS bands Grade 4 - mediumHS with good ranges Grade 5 – medium advAdv HS & University Grade 6 + adv - difficultWell-adv HS, university, professional +/- denotes which end of grade level (3- / less difficult grade 3)
The grade leveling on my chart list is realistic. A publisher grade 2 rank may appear as a 3- on my chart list. A publisher grade 4 rank may appear as a 5 on my chart list. Even with the FBA concert band list, we find publisher rankings being bumped up a notch so that its realistically accurate.
Full score Full recording of chart Notes to the conductor, with rehearsal suggestions Clear information on the style of the chart Written-out rhythm section parts Reasonable ranges for all players Reasonable and repeated jazz figures for the ensemble Complete dynamic and jazz articulation markings throughout Solo sections with simple chord changes that can be opened up for more instruments Consistent notation of chord symbols Emphasis is on educational material, both in theory and practice. (from Jazz Pedagogy / Dunscomb & Hill / 2002 / p.165) Key Elements That Should Be Present on Charts Grades 1 - 3
Because of a higher standard of technique, range proficiency, and overall stronger musicianship in the developmental process, Grade 4 charts provide more meat to sink your teeth into. The result is a more mature sounding musical product all the way around, if the band is truly at this level. (Just like with concert band grade leveling) The challenges promote educational growth. Most of the charts on my list are Grade 4 – common HS situation. Grade 4
Whereas a Grade 2 or 3 / Grade 5 or 6 is more gray to determine, a Grade 4 chart is pretty clear in terms of where it falls. It should still have fully written out rhythm section parts. This fades with Grade 5 and 6. More complex harmonies – affects improv More technical demands in playing lines and keeping up with the time. Ensemble precision is a challenge - comes through rehearsal. Stylistic integrity and uniformity of articulation a must. There is an opportunity to make mature sounding music. Grade 4
(c) 2008 Don Zentz Sampling of HS charts from DZ list There Will Never Be Another You (arr. Tomaro - 4) Samantha (Nestico - 4) A Minor Excursion (Caffey - 4+) Round Midnight (arr. Tomaro - 4) Some Kind of Blue (arr. Tomaro - 4) Darn That Dream (arr. Mantooth - 3+) Willow Gold (Nestico – 3+)
(c) 2008 Don Zentz Sampling of MS charts from DZ list The Q.C. Shuffle (Chris Sharp – 3+) Mister Cool (Mike Steinel – 2) T.M.I. (Ralph Ford – 2+) If I Could Fly (Mike Smukal – 3-)
(c) 2008 Don Zentz Mike Sweeney Peter Blair Carl Strommen Lennie Niehaus Sammy Nestico Ralph Ford Mike Kamuf Erik Morales Paul Cook Mike Dana Doug Beach George Shutack Chris Sharp Greg Yasinitsky Charts by these folks are going to work! For Middle School
Mark Taylor Mike Tomaro Lennie Niehaus Matt Harris Peter Blair Dave Wolpe Doug Beach Sammy Nestico Victor Lopez George Holmes Steve Wright Paul Murtha George Stone For High School Les Hooper Paul Lavender Carl Strommen Paul Jennings Erik Morales Frank Mantooth Dave Barduhn Bob Lowden David Caffey Greg Yasinitsky John Berry Roger Holmes
(c) 2008 Don Zentz The Chart Hunt Bulk is in print for only short period of time Worthy of continued play (and not just the classics) Like we do with out of print symphonic band music, we need to network to locate and borrow jazz charts.
(c) 2008 Don Zentz Where to look Eau Gallie HS – Melbourne Satellite Beach HS Orange Park HS – Jacksonville St. Augustine HS Wolfson HS - Jacksonville Apopka HS - Orlando University HS – Orlando Colonial HS – Orlando West Orange HS – Orlando Gainesville HS
(c) 2008 Don Zentz Where to look Fort Walton Beach HS Pace HS – Pensacola Tarpon Springs HS Boca Ciega HS Mainland HS – Daytona North Ft Myers HS Spruce Creek HS – Pt Orange Florida Community College at Jacksonville Daytona Beach Community College Seminole Community College
(c) 2008 Don Zentz Where to look Lake Sumter Community College Broward Community College Central HS – Macon, GA Walton HS – Marietta, GA Lowndes HS – Valdosta, GA Valdosta State University Miami Senior HS Hialeah Lakes HS Piper HS – Ft. Lauderdale Taravella HS – Ft. Lauderdale
(c) 2008 Don Zentz We all have them. We must assess accurately and honestly. Select music that is suitable for your jazz band. Use Common Sense!!
(c) 2008 Don Zentz Showcase your strengths. It is a time for the authentic assessment of your students mastered skills and musicianship to date. Select material that meets this goal. A good fit is everything!
SELECTING YOUR MPA PROGRAM Suggested order Med Tempo Swing or Latin Jazz Waltz Change of Pace Ballad Slow Latin Slow 3 feel Exciting Energetic Med Tempo Swing Ballad Energetic Latin/Rock Med Tempo Swing BalladFunk/Rock Latin (Bossa) BalladUp-Tempo Swing LatinSlow 3 feelMedium Swing
SELECTING YOUR MPA PROGRAM Most common order Med Tempo Swing Ballad Energetic Latin/Rock Typical Middle School Program 42 nd Street (Arr. Paul Cook) Harlem Nocturne (Arr. Peter Blair) Poco Loco (Carl Strommen) Typical High School Program Day By Day (Arr. Mark Taylor) Sentimental Mood (Arr. Mike Tomaro) Manteca (Arr. Mike Tomaro)
(c) 2008 Don Zentz Some things for fun at Spring Concert only Pop tunes of the day Old Time Rock and Roll Theme from Shaft Evil Ways Brick House Born to be Wild Car Wash I Feel Good If you have to…
(c) 2008 Don Zentz Not at MPA String of Pearls Tuxedo Junction In the Mood This is dance band music of the 1930s. Its important to trace back to the roots of the big band - program on other concerts. Furthermore, these three selections are all blues based. An All Glenn Miller Program
(c) 2008 Don Zentz For Old School, try these: Middle School Jericho – arr. Chris Sharp – 3- High School Tickletoe – Lester Young/arr. Wolpe – 4+
(c) 2008 Don Zentz Authentic Duke Ellington Stylistic integrity is a must with these charts! Great stuff if you have the soloists! Much research required!! Look for the charts published in conjunction with the Essentially Ellington Festival that Wynton Marsalis is affiliated with via the Lincoln Center Orchestra!!!
I would not recommend an all-Ellington program for MPA because you want diversity and contrast in that venue. There are some issues with how things are scored and voiced on the Ellington charts that make it very difficult to satisfy fundamental requirements of the MPA sheet in a superior manner. Balance ~ Blend ~ Pitch As with transcriptions of any sort, there is a strict standard in authentically reproducing the music.
Search out charts that are in ¾ time. These are often overlooked. They have a time feel all their own and challenge performance skills in different ways because of the beat displacement. They swing hard in a special way, especially when in the modal minor blues format. Buddy Rich taught us this with Bob Florences Willowcrest.
(c) 2008 Don Zentz Blues for McCoy (Jim Cifelli – 3+) Three for Bea (Dean Sorenson – 3+) Footprints (arr. Berry - 3) All Blues (arr. Sweeney – 2+) Here, There, & Everywhere (arr. Taylor - 4) Alice in Wonderland (arr. Holmes – 4) For MPA, I would slot these in the opening position.
If you have incomplete jazz band instrumentation and the ability level of the band is about average, check out what used to be the Kendor Konvertible Series via the current Jazz Gateway and Jazz Journey Series through Kendor. These charts really work and there are many to pick from. It is amazing how full they sound with incomplete instrumentation, playable with 9-17. Some of Kendors best writers contribute to this series, including Matt Harris, Lennie Niehaus, Greg Yasinitsky, Maria Schneider, and Les Sabina. HOW TO DEAL WITH INCOMPLETE INSTRUMENTATION
The Doug Beach counterpart to the old Kendor Konvertibles is indicated...playable by 12-17 pieces. Some of these were collaborations – Doug Beach & George Shutack. The FJH Beginning and Developing Jazz Ensemble Series address groups with incomplete instrumentation. The Hal Leonards Discovery Jazz, Easy Jazz Ensemble, and Essential Elements series can all be played with incomplete instrumentation. The Heritage Jazz Works Series can be played with incomplete instrumentation. This does not include the Heritage charts as part of Matrix Publishing Co. The Standard of Excellence Series published by Kjos accommodates incomplete instrumentation. INCOMPLETE INSTRUMENTATION
Not enough kids to cover parts, or too many kids in some sections What to do…? JAZZ CHART CALLS FOR STANDARD INSTRUMENTATION
In general, drop lower parts (4 th trumpet, 4 th bone, 2 nd tenor) If no bari sax, you may want to drop 3 rd bone if you have only 3 players in the trombone section Depends on scoring. Lots of times, the 3 rd bone or 2 nd tenor will have 7 th of chord voicing above root in the 4 th bone or bari. This presents a problem if you dont have the 7 th present. At other times they may have the 5 th, which is much less critical.
Use baritones or euphoniums in trombone section, especially if 7 trumpets and 2 bones!! Rewrite parts! Take the time to remedy problems. It matters!! Too many brass, double lower parts. Typically weaker players - builds bottom. Do not double lead trumpet. Do split lead. Need one leader at a time.
Do not double 2nd trumpet. Too heavy vs. lead. Top tones heard naturally and strongest players. There is a a delicate balance and blend brilliance that must exist between trumpets 1 & 2 if band is going to have that sound on block tuttis without being too heavy. Do not make this impossible to achieve by doubling either top two trumpet voices. If you are moving solos around, the part that is being left open because of shifted solo moves needs to be covered. Background figures need balance, too!!
FROM SOLO TO SHOUT Cover soloists part until he/she makes way back if you have extra players. If you dont have extra players, have the soloist play his solo from within the section. It matters!!
(c) 2008 Don Zentz Here comes the Saxophone Army! Do not double lead alto In typical situations, the lead alto player is much stronger than the 2 nd alto player. Double 2 nd alto. Do not double 1 st tenor. This huskier sounding instrument is already potentially dominant over the alto sound as the typical 3 rd voice in the stack. And usually the 1 st tenor player is strong, anyway.
(c) 2008 Don Zentz Double the 2 nd tenor. This part then balances better against the big bad bari sound (and can help make up for weaker bottom bone players.) Still another player to deal with? Double the bari, but split them left and right in section so we dont tip.
Best 6 configuration = A1T1A2T2 B T1A2 A1T2TB Not as good as above
Best 7 configuration = A2 T1A2 A1T2 BBT1A2A1T2 B Max preferred YIKES!! 8 is enough!
(c) 2008 Don Zentz No more players allowed in section! Our sax section sound is already dangerously heavy and thick. If theres an up-tempo, we are dead! Rotate players in and out. 10 saxes and 2 trombones! Put two tenors or tenor/bari in bone section! And have them sit in the 2 nd line trombone section.
(c) 2008 Don Zentz Saxophone MOUTHPIECES Dons mouthpiece chart
(c) 2008 Don Zentz Standard of Excellence Jazz Ensemble Method by Bruce Pearson & Dean Sorenson Designed to help both you and your jazz ensemble students explore the world of jazz through easy-to-use Rhythm Studies, Improvisation Studies, Instrument Specific Exercises, and full ensemble jazz charts. The approach is non- theoretical and aurally-based. Each part book comes with an accompaniment CD, so students learn to play jazz by listening!
(c) 2008 Don Zentz Building upon the rhythm-centered pedagogy introduced in the first book, the ADVANCED method focuses on improvisation. Concepts introduced and reinforced are applied in charts designed to be played by the full jazz ensemble. The Director's Score is an invaluable resource of jazz pedagogy. Parts available for flute, clarinet, French horn, and tuba ensure that the study of improvisation is also accessible to students of non-traditional jazz instruments. Standard of Excellence ADVANCED Jazz Ensemble Method by Bruce Pearson and Dean Sorenson
(c) 2008 Don Zentz Jazz Basics by Peter Blair The fundamentals of improvisation for young musicians (grades 6-9). Designed for use with jazz ensemble. Covers rhythm section skills, voicings, bass lines, drum styles and set ups. Laid out very logically. Heritage JazzWorks
(c) 2008 Don Zentz Students can work out on logical scale material and patterning that is the basic DNA of all jazz improvisation. Available from Z&Z Publications Digital Dexterity
(c) 2008 Don Zentz By Dan HaerleBy Frank Mantooth
(c) 2008 Don Zentz By Dave Black & Steve HoughtonBy Peter Erskine
(c) 2008 Don Zentz By Charlton Johnson By Jack Grassel
(c) 2008 Don Zentz You will find realistic and practical solutions to challenges such as the jazz concept, understanding the rhythm section, jazz improvisation and jazz styles including a great section on Latin jazz. Uniquely innovative, this one-of-a-kind handbook incorporates the web as an ongoing resource tool that provides the ultimate in reference information. The included DVD presents audio/video demonstrations of rehearsal techniques, how to really teach jazz improvisation and how to understand and improve the rhythm section. An essential addition to your library and/or jazz pedagogy class. Jazz Pedagogy By Richard Dunscumb & Willie Hill
(c) 2008 Don Zentz This book is the ideal tool for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the preeminent music for jazz ensembles by seminal jazz composers. In addition, leading jazz educators and musicians contribute chapters on topics such as: Why Teach Jazz? by Wynton Marsalis; A Multi-Cultural Approach to Jazz Education by Ronald Carter; Rehearsal Techniques: A Holistic Approach Integrating Composition, Improvisation, Theory, and Cultural Considerations in the Rehearsal by Ron McCurdy; The Rhythm Section: The Band within the Band by Reginald Thomas; and Promoting a High School Jazz Band by Ron Modell. This book includes Teacher Resource Guides to more than 65 of the top jazz charts, broken down into developing, intermediate, and advanced categories. These include vital information on the composer, the composition, historical background, technical requirements, stylistic considerations, musical elements, form and structure, listening suggestions, and additional references. Teaching Music through Performance in Jazz Wynton Marsalis, Ronald Carter, Ron McCurdy, Reginald Thomas, and Ron Modell Compiled and edited by Richard Miles and Ronald Carter
(c) 2008 Don Zentz YA GOTTA TRY… LISTENING Hearing the music is worth a million words when trying to define what you want in rehearsal – like style! (even better – DVDs) Recommended Big Band Listening List - DZ
(c) 2008 Don Zentz Live performances ~~~~~~~~~~~ Guest Artists ~~~~~~~~~~~ There is Nothing like experiencing the music LIVE! Extremely inspirational to young people…
(c) 2008 Don Zentz www.zentz.org ALL OF TODAYS INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE AT