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The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformanceMusic, Concerts and Recordings(Moderator: BGuttman) Looking for high school jazz ensemble tunes featuring a trombone soloist
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Author Topic: Looking for high school jazz ensemble tunes featuring a trombone soloist  (Read 1104 times)
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Triggz
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« on: May 26, 2017, 09:12PM »

Hello! My high school jazz ensemble is looking for pieces to play next school year, and so of course I'm looking for trombone solo features. Not the tunes that have a 12 bar blues for the trombone somewhere in the middle - I'm looking for something that features the trombone for a good portion of the tune. Preferably level 4, but the director is willing to let us play level 3 or 5. On sites without numbered levels, generally something that has "medium" or "medium easy" or "medium advanced" is good. The director doesn't want a ballad, but I can keep in mind for the future. Here is our instrumentation:
2 alto sax
2 tenor sax
1 bari sax
2 or 3 trombones (it's okay of the piece calls for 4 trombones)
4 trumpets
Bass
Guitar
Piano
Drum set
So far I've come up with Charade (Composer: Henry Mancini, Arranger: Mark Taylor, Level: 4) and The Way We Were (Composers: Alan Bergman, Marvin Hamlisch, Marilyn Bergman, Arranger: Mark Taylor, Level: 4), which I've already "submitted" suggestions for. I've also found a song called Buckjump (Arranger: John Watson, Level: Medium) that I may also submit. I've been looking songs where I can listen and/or view the score. Any kind of jazz ensemble tune that features a trombone soloist (and preferably no other soloist), that isn't a ballad, and is a good level for our ensemble, I'm interested in listening to and/or viewing the score. I've listened to many in the past few days and I'm so overwhelmed! Plus, it becomes difficult to find them when you're looking for trombone SOLO features and not trombone SECTION features. Please, if you have any suggestions, let me know and give me a link. Thanks a lot!
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2017, 12:44AM »

How about the Al Grey arrangement of "Things ain't what they used to be"? However, it's a 12 bar blues....
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afugate

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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2017, 04:38AM »

Tall Cotton - Sammy Nestico
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIyP_eMyuYA

http://www.ejazzlines.com/tall-cotton-arranged-by-sammy-nestico

--Andy in OKC
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2017, 05:44AM »

Start your search here.  You can sort by difficulty, view scores, and listen to sound clips.

https://www.jwpepper.com/sheet-music/jazz-charts-trombone-solo.list

More here:

http://www.sierramusicstore.com/Trombones_solo_s/35.htm
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2017, 01:32PM »

When time for a ballad comes round, try Dave Wolpe's arrangement of "Misty".  "Trajectory" by Robert Curnow is my high school did way back, with Urbie Green as guest soloist, but I can't find it in print anywhere. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-6iv_e7DJc.
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« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2017, 02:13PM »

There's a piece we do in my Shriner Big Band called "Jazz Man".  Features trombone.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2017, 03:14PM »

'Frankie and Johnny and a Trombone Guy' arr. by Tom Kubis
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2017, 10:04PM »

Robert Curnow's "Trajectory" or "Trajectory for Trombone" dates from 1971.  Here's Urbie Green's performance:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-6iv_e7DJc

It's been out of print for quite some time, but I can lead you to a copy of the arrangement if you're interested.
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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2017, 07:02AM »


I performed Tall Cotton this year so many times... I absolutely love it. The written grand F was a killer though.
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« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2017, 10:25AM »

When time for a ballad comes round, try Dave Wolpe's arrangement of "Misty".  "Trajectory" by Robert Curnow is my high school did way back, with Urbie Green as guest soloist, but I can't find it in print anywhere. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-6iv_e7DJc.

Don't take our repertoire, Buddy (here speaks a trumpeter)  :D half jokingly, half true (I meant misty)... Of course you can, but there are so much music that is specially designed for tbone where one can show off with what tbone can do best. As for trajectory, that WHSB sound so professional I can barely believe it.

There was a piece very similar to Last Fiesta (Latin feel in 3) but I cannot recall the name - Trombo-something - When I get home I will look it up for you.

Trombo-thing...not, I forgot it was a German thing - Posaunero - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjJ7Zk7-JXU

You don't have to squeak all those notes the soloist does, but if you can...go for it. It says blaskapelle, but to me it sounds more lik a a big band...Nice feature.
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« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2017, 04:10PM »

Some of these suggestions are tuned that I really like and has added to my "jazz ens." playlist. I really wish we could do them, and personally I would have no problem playing them, but they're too hard for many of the players in the jazz ensemble. You're so limited by your peers when you're in high school!

We did a song called "Misty" that featured a trumpet. I don't rememeber how it went, at all, or any of the people that composed and arranged it.

I found another song, How High the Moon (Morgan Lewis, arr. Dave Wolpe) using a search for "medium" level jazz pieces featuring a trombone solo(s) on JW Pepper (thanks for the link). I think I'll suggest that too. Still looking for more though. I have until noon EST on Wednesday. Anybody have anything that they know is not leveled as "advanced" or "difficult?" Maybe an arrangement of something that makes it easier for a high school jazz ensemble? Thanks!
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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2017, 05:01PM »

How High the Moon is actually a section feature.  It has ad lib solos of 1 chorus for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd (actually the 3rd trombone solo is a little less than a chorus).  There are nicely written out solos so you don't need to improvise if you don't want to.  Our 3rd player can't quite do it, so I play his solo on bass trombone (restructured to be a bass trombone solo).  Actually, I've had to play the 3rd trombone solo in TWO big bands.
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« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2017, 11:15PM »

I'm on first part. Our second is working on their tone quality, but can play written and improv. Our third will not be much contribution IF the directer even accepts them in due to their "what's improv" and "what's a chord" stupidity, but at least they have the enthusiasm to play more than required. That would be the problem right there. I wish I had discovered that song and we could've played it for this school year. This year there are 4 of us, 2 including me (that are playing next school year) who can play improv solos and written solos. Personally, I like improv. But anyways, knowing the piece yourself Bruce, do you think that me and the second player could use the third's part to "fill in that gap" within our own parts? It's pretty dumb that we won't have a bass trombonist next school year, but I've never liked that person so at least I get THAT freedom lol. We'll just have to work around it for a year or two or three.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2017, 08:49AM by Triggz » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2017, 11:37PM »

The 3rd Trombone solo starts on bar 5 of the melody.  Either of you could take a chorus but remember that you aren't starting at the beginning of the tune (so it's only 12 bars instead of 16).

I'm sorry you don't like bass trombones.  The 4th voice fills the section parts nicely in that tune.
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« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2017, 04:39AM »

I found another song, How High the Moon (Morgan Lewis, arr. Dave Wolpe) using a search for "medium" level jazz pieces featuring a trombone solo(s) on JW Pepper (thanks for the link). I think I'll suggest that too. Still looking for more though. I have until noon EST on Wednesday. Anybody have anything that they know is not leveled as "advanced" or "difficult?" Maybe an arrangement of something that makes it easier for a high school jazz ensemble? Thanks!

How High the Moon is actually a section feature.  It has ad lib solos of 1 chorus for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd (actually the 3rd trombone solo is a little less than a chorus).  There are nicely written out solos so you don't need to improvise if you don't want to.  Our 3rd player can't quite do it, so I play his solo on bass trombone (restructured to be a bass trombone solo).  Actually, I've had to play the 3rd trombone solo in TWO big bands.

This is a good feature tune.  Well written.  Definitely playable by a high school band, but your bone section needs to be able to "sell" the tune to the audience.

--Andy in OKC
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« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2017, 08:57AM »

I'm sorry you don't like bass trombones.  The 4th voice fills the section parts nicely in that tune.

No, that's not what I meant at all! I said "them" so it was keeping the player's gender anonymous. I meant that I dislike the specific person. Last school year he took private lessons from my private teacher, and I know my teacher is on here, and I don't want my teacher seeing my opinion on that classmate. The player I dislike can't even get my name right... four simple letters. They used to be so cocky when I was down at their playing level. And about 10 other things that make you dislike somebody.
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« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2017, 09:13AM »

For a nice ballad look at Allan Horney's arrangement of "Angel Eyes". 
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« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2017, 09:23AM »

For a nice ballad look at Allan Horney's arrangement of "Angel Eyes". 

Haha, just played that tune this school year! The arrangement featured tenor sax. It is a great ballad! At competitions they kept complaining about intonation because, although it was better than the "average" public school's jazz ensemble, it was still out of tune. Director  wouldn't do Angel Eyes or Misty again because we've done them so recently. Maybe when I'm a senior though.
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« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2017, 09:46AM »

Oh, we can sell it ;-) or at least I hope we can. If it's nicely playable as a high school group then it'll be fine! Last year we had a bit of a problem at first with A Warm Breeze by Sammy Nestico, but we were able to clean it up (luckily for me, because the 2nd trombone solo was mine, which I did all improv). In How High the Moon, would we be better off leaving our most of the 3rd part of we only have 2 trombones? If it's only getting 12 bars instead of 16 because it starts on the 5th, then does that make it not as important? I don't know because I don't have the score and have never played it of heard it live before. In your opinion, what would be best? If nothing is ideal I can half off a year and then request the piece in two school years.
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« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2017, 09:55AM »

The third solo has to be played or there's going to be a BIG hole in the performance.  If you have the typical 1st Tenor who can't be prevented from taking a lick, you could give it to him/her.  Transpose the chords into Bb and let fly.
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