Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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Composed & Arranged By: Toshio Mashoma
Instrumentation: Big Band
Publisher: KJOS Music Company / Signature Series
Grade: 5 Fast Swing = 252 $40.00
Hey, remember the days of Sal Nistico on the Woody Herman band? Wow, the “Herd” was one of the swinginest bands on the planet, and this chart, “Cat Race”, brings you right back to those wonderful days of hard, mainstream swing.
This original composition “Cat Race” is based on a twelve measure blues progression and is very challenging because of the hot tempo of 252. To help the ensemble play this chart as the composer intended try to keep all eighth notes light. The core of this piece is the sax battle, reminiscent of the Sunny Stit and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis sax battles from the old Blue Note dates of the same vintage as the Sal Nistico Woody Herman recordings of the late 60’s. The duo can be played by combinations of either Alto 1 and Alto 2 with tenor 1 resting during the solo section or alto 1 and tenor 1 with alto 2 resting during the solo section. All of these saxes will participate in this piece.
The chart concludes with a one chorus drum solo at measure 117; but the length could be extended to fit the director’s feel for what is needed. The sax solos can also be extended for as many choruses as desired.
“Cat Race” is a challenge at the meter marking of quarter note equals 252 for both the ensemble and soloists, but with a very good high school big band and/or a solid college group this chart will take the audience right to the finish line.
Top note for trumpet is written high C above the staff.