Rich Pulin will have another one-hour interview with me on his Pulin 4 Jazz internet radio show from Las Vegas. It will be streamed live on Thursday, February 23, at 3:30 (Eastern time).
The theme for this show is "Everyone's Welcome". Several years ago a high school clarinetist posted a message on one of the clarinet forums about how he wanted to play in his school's jazz band but the director told him no -- mainly because the arrangements played by the band did not use a clarinet in the instrumentation. That story bothered me for several reasons. I have a different attitude about music. For me, any instrument is welcome in performing my music. In addition, I have a series of pieces that enable jazz and non-jazz musicians to join forces. A selection of this music will be featured on the February show. Please tune in and join us.
Here is a link to the Pulin 4 Jazz site:
An easy way to contribute financial support to new recordings being made of my originals is if you have a video project purchase a license through Zudo Music and use my music in your video.
Zudo video license rates:
Web Video (Youtube, Vimeo, etc.) $59
Wedding Video $79
Home/Personal Video $39
The Music Licensing page on my website has a link to my artist page at Zudo Music. There, listen to my recordings in the Zudo catalog and find one that is a match for your project.
The following video demonstrates how easy it is to purchase a music license, and download the recording, through the Zudo website or app. There is a sliding scale of rates for a wide range of visual media projects.
Seven of my recordings were used by WAMU 88.5 FM (NPR station in Washington, DC) for Capital Soundtrack. This project enables original music submitted by musicians in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area to be selected and featured with the station's programming. It is a way for WAMU to support our local artists.
This new video, filmed by Robert Peak, features Jennifer Carpenter-Peak dancing to one of my bossa novas. It can be seen at the Videos page on my website.
All of my recorded music since 2010 is available for listening on my website. Everyone coming to my site is invited to return as often as you like to listen to particular pieces you enjoy and to explore more of the music.
There is no charge to listen to the recordings. However, if you feel a connection with this music, and would like to help support my work, please become a friend of my music. There are a number of easy ways to give your support -- both free support and financial support.
See Friends Of My Music for details.
I signed an exclusive agreement for music licensing today with Directional Music, an innovative production music company in New York City. The exclusive agreement will give DM a greater amount of leverage to find placements for my music with larger film & TV companies. I am excited about this new direction for my work.
See the Music Licensing page for details.
There is a common understanding that each saxophone, trumpet, and trombone player in a big band has an individual part. However, that is a misconception with regard to harmony.
Traditional big band arrangements -- with 5 saxophones, 4 trumpets, and 4 trombones (13 horns) -- typically use 4 or 5-part harmony. This means 2 or 3 horns could play the same note, with unison or octave doubling, in a given harmonization.
As an example of harmonic doubling, following is a traditional way to harmonize a melody in top-down, close-position writing for 5 saxophones: The 1st alto plays a melody note and the three chord tones below the melody are played by the 2nd alto, 1st tenor, and 2nd tenor; then, the baritone doubles the 1st alto an octave lower. While there are 5 saxophones, the chord voicing is actually 4-part harmony.
Close-position 4-part harmony is also commonly used for the trumpets and trombones when they play together as a brass section. The 4 trumpet parts are normally written first and the 4 trombones double the trumpets an octave lower.
Open or spread voicings can go beyond the 4-part harmony used in close-position writing. In spread vocings, the trombones and/or lower saxophones often play basic chord tones (such as 1-7-3) and the trumpets and/or higher saxophones play chord tones and tensions. Using tensions (natural or altered 9, 11, 13) makes it possible to have 5-part, 6-part, or 7-part harmony. This gives a greater amount of richness to an ensemble sound than with 4-part harmony. However, unison or octave doubling still occurs when even 7-part harmony is used in concerted saxophone & brass passages.
Given the extent of harmonic doubling in big band music, I have an idea to offer to big bands: Try playing my mid-size ensemble scores with doubled players on a part. As I envision it, this will give a fresh sound to a big band.
Of prime importance is having lines with individual tone colors instead of harmonized saxophone, trumpet, and trombone sections. To do this, an expanded palette of tone color is created by having the brass as individual colors in different mutes/open with a mix of saxophones and woodwind doubles. If they are available, including instruments such as soprano sax, flugelhorn, bass clarinet, and tuba is a good way to add more color. With this palette of color choices, each wind instrument is taken out of its customary role in a section and combined with another instrument(s) to produce a distinctive sound for a given line in the score. Creative combinations of instruments are encouraged.
As a way to begin, I recommend my piece Fanfare for big bands to try. It is reasonably easy to play and its page on my website has a suggested assignment of parts.
Bands are encouraged to explore, and experiment with, my music and ideas. The Mid-Size Ensemble page has more about my approach to a jazz ensemble along with a sample of recordings.