Jazz Suite

Brass Quintet


Movement I

This is the first movement of a suite of short jazz pieces. I anticipated having a total of three or four, and ultimately ended up with three. The piece starts out in a light-hearted two beat feel and switches into a more standard four-beat feel in the middle. The main theme is shifted by a beat and a half here. In the end, the main theme returns, but in a four-beat feel. This was an interesting experiment in writing thick chords for just a few voices, and figuring out which notes to safely leave out.

Movement II

This second movement was actually the first one I wrote. I wanted to capture the feel of the jazz waltz but with the use of more open intervals. The main melody is based on the melody of Satie's Gymnopedie although I think its blurred enough to be almost unrecognizable. After an introduction, the main melody is played by the horn. This leads to a more "jazzy" section with solo trombone and eventually falls into a quieter section with call-and-response between the sections. The main theme returns one last time and leads to a repeat of the introduction material.

Movement III

The final movement was written over a few days in December based upon already written themes. I wanted it to balance out the first movement in light style and upbeat nature, so as to bookend the more serious and swinging nature of the middle movement.

I wanted to finish the Suite and have it ready for performance. It was originally slated for my Fifty Year Recital with a performance by Quantum Brass. As deadlines got closer and personnel changed, I decided to replace it with Vanishing Point.

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