Stage Band (3:25) - December 1995
After several unsuccessful tries at jazz-writing, I almost gave up. The pieces I wrote were never tight-sounding, because I had no idea what I was doing. So I tried writing in a style with simpler chords and a more rhythmic feel: FUNK! This took several people by surprise after having turned out six classical compositions. But it was very fun to write. I used Vibraphone instead of Guitar because the TC Williams Stage Band (my model) had no guitarist.
In this piece, I tried for catchy and complex rhythms. All solos were written out. The saxophone chorus eventually took on lyrics, created by Kwan Burke of VCU. Basically, it was:"Neckbone (dah dah) Neck-bone (dahhh) Neckbone (dah dah dah), I got your
And so on and so forth. In educated terms, "Neckbone" is northern Virginian high-school slang for making people look at something that isn't really there, and then slapping them on the neck.
After the sax chorus, the trumpet and sax have a duet line which leads to a trumpet solo, an alto sax solo, a trombone soli, a saxophone soli, and finally the chorus. When I finished writing this, it seemed rather square. So I added the swung sixteenth notes which helps to keep the rhythms moving forwards. This piece was played at several functions by the TC Williams Stage Band.