Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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"Chicago That Toddling Town"
Written By: Fred Fisher
Arranged By: John Edmondson
Instrumentation: Big Band
Grade 3 Bright Swing (Quarter Note) q = 152 $48.00
“Chicago (That Toddling Town)" was written and published by Fred Fisher in 1922. It was a big hit in the “Roaring 20’s,” and over the years has also become a jazz standard. Not only have there been great arrangements on this tune for bands like Count Basie by Chico O’Farrill, but there have been a number of very memorable vocal renditions as well.
On this arrangement by John Edmondson the tempo is a moderate/bright 152 beats per minute. The tempo should not exceed this marking, or it will sound rushed, and at a slower tempo it will sound a bit lethargic. The two measure figure in the brass and rhythm section may need some extra rehearsal time in sectionals to get the notes that are “on” the beat exactly as written. Likewise, the hemiolas at measures 25-26 and again at 29-30 will need extra attention and careful counting. The saxophone solos are written for the entire section, so the director can assign the player or alternate backup players of his/her choice.
There is little in the way of dynamic contrast written into the chart, but the director can add this area as he/she sees fit. The real emphasis should be on rhythmic accuracy and understanding the swing style of jazz music as well as proper articulations.
“Chicago (That Toddling Town)" is a very good arrangement for the young jazz ensemble and with careful direction the band will grow at a faster pace then suggested tempo!
Top note for trumpet is written F in the staff