Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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“Breaking News Blues"
Written and Arranged By: Jon Phelps
Instrumentation: Big Band
Publisher: Kendor Music *Developing Group Series
Grade 2 1/2 Swing q = 132 $42.00
Every young band should have a solid blues in their book and “Breaking News Blues” is just that. For optimum results though, observe all articulations and dynamic markings, so as not to compete with the melodic motives supplied by the pen of composer/arranger Jon Phelps. A light, but well-articulated concept will make this chart sound its best.
There is a written, suggested trumpet solo with changes, but this can be shared with other soloists at the directors’ discretion. Improvisers that choose not to play the written solo may experiment with a variety of colors. The use of the mixolydian scale of the relative major, C7 is really F major starting the 5th of F, would be the main choice here with the flat 7th as the “dominant” color. Bebop and the blues scales are other choices for the soloists. The director might go into these possible scale choices for their students before attempting to rehearse this chart so that a number of soloists can be armed with the correct tools for improvising.
“Breaking News Blues” is a solid beginning chart for ensemble playing and solo improvisation with the young band in mind. If you have a program that is just starting or perhaps want to start one on the middle school or high school level this chart is for you.
Top note for trumpet is written A above the staff