Jazz Band (6:18) - June - August 1996
Ah, the culmination of my High School music career. This minor blues piece was my most involved project and took me well over my normal two-three weeks of composing per song. I started by trying to write a shuffle chart that just wasn't going anywhere. So I let my thoughts drift and soon came up with the melody for this piece. From there, I just tried to put together everything I've learned into a cohesive unit. I spent most of my time working on the various counterpoint sections throughout the song.
Solo space is given for trumpet and trombone. I recorded myself soloing on trumpet and then transcribed it as best as I could into the keyboard.
This was also my first attempt at using sections of the band in real ensembles (like the sax line before the trombone solo). After the two solos, I let the piece find its own way. It goes pretty far out on the limb before returning safely to the main theme. The final chord is something I've always wanted to use, but never had the proper context for, until now.
If you're unfamiliar with jazz and want a jump-start in learning chords and cliches, I highly recommend my approach. Throughout high school, I ordered demo tapes and scores from Kendor Jazz and other educational music companies. The tapes coupled with complete (but minature) scores was very useful in learning progressions and standard writing styles.