Archives: September 2015

  • Back again with new composers & music

    It's been a little while since our last newsletter, and we've been busy getting ready for a fall that's full of music. This week, we're excited to introduce three new composers to our website, all of whom had lasting influence on jazz but whose names you might not know: Gary McFarland, Claude Sifferlen and Mario Bauzá. Gary McFarland, a vibraphonist, composer, and arranger, was a leading force in orchestral jazz and bossa nova in the 1960s and 1970s. His composition Balanco No Samba, a happy-go-lucky bossa nova, comes from his successful album with Stan Getz, "Big Band Bossa Nova." Claude Sifferlen was a mainstay on the Indianapolis jazz scene who influenced many there. His inventive composition Zebra #1 explores his profound harmonic language. To really get inside the piece, we're offering multiple interpretations of this composition: one by Steve Allee, one of our composers and Claude's former student; one by Glenn Zaleski, our piano editor; and a full transcription for solo piano. Multi-instrumentalist composer and arranger Mario Bauzá fathered Afro-Cuban jazz in the 1940s and founded Machito and His Afro Cubans. We're adding his composition Lona, written for Chick Webb's orchestra. It is now the oldest song in our catalog, but we think it's timeless!

    Our New Arrivals this week celebrate anniversaries from some classic composers as well. Freddie Redd's A Night At Nalen is a burning fast workout, as a trio or quintet -- recorded exclusively for Check out the Minus You audio and see if you can keep up! Whole Tone Stomp, by Fritz Pauer, is a funky Latin piece with a melody based around -- you guessed it -- the whole tone scale. And if you can't get enough Fritz Pauer, try Con-Fab, an angular, jagged blues. Jerry Dodgion's The Moana Surf is as laid-back as a day at the beach and features a mostly pentatonic melody. The original recording is not available for download, but check out our exclusive video with the composer himself on alto sax. New in our Piano/Bass duo series is Midnight Creeper by Norman Simmons, a riff blues that sits right in the pocket. Try the solo piano arrangement by Norman himself, demonstrated by pianist Kenny Drew, Jr. Another Piano/Bass Duo feature is Cecilia Coleman's Two Sides Of A Penny, an intricate medium-tempo composition with piano-bass duo score available. We've put it up in honor of Cecilia's birthday -- happy birthday Cecilia!

    FEATURE OF THE WEEK: Minus You Audio
    With school back in session, many students and teachers alike are trying to find the perfect practice tool. Our exclusive Minus You feature allows anyone to practice with a professional combo, no matter their instrument. Melody instruments, voice, piano, bass, and drums can all benefit from the Minus You series. All of these custom-made tracks are recorded with top musicians, some at Rudy Van Gelder's studio, then mastered with the specific instrument in mind. Check out the Minus You audio for instrumentalists: Rhythm section Minus You tracks challenge the practicer to comp and solo while melody Minus You tracks give different combinations of accompaniment to the soloist to give them a workout, too. Vocalists have their own series, too! This exclusive series is available on select compositions and we're adding more each week. Try out A Night At Nalen this week!

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