As we said, we would begin releasing big band demos at the time of product release. Well, it is now shipping so here’s the first demo. This example is taken from a book by Gary Lindsay called “Jazz Arranging Techniques - from Quartet to Big Band.” Gary is Director of Studio Jazz Writing at the University of Miami and can be reached at www.lindsayjazz.com I chose this example because it illustrates many different combinations of instruments in a brief amount of time. The instrumentation for this piece is: 2 alto saxes, 2 tenor saxes, 1 bari sax, 4 trumpets, 3 tenor trombones, 1 bass trombone, upright bass, and drums.
I did the sequencing in the new Sonar5 and used 4 instances of JABB, one for each section – saxes, trumpets, trombones, and rhythm. Gary Lindsay’s book includes a CD of the examples in the book played by a real big band. I used the recording of this piece as a reference while I sequenced. I played each of the parts in separately and then edited from there. I took the mockup to the point where I felt the musical intent of the piece was clearly communicated – the kind of information a composer could use to make a judgment about a chart before giving it to real players. Further editing could certainly be done for greater mockup detail if desired. The demo uses just a small amount of medium sized room reverb with a fairly short decay in keeping with the standard practice of mixing big band recordings relatively dry. We will probably post other approaches to this particular mix using convolution and positioning later, to show the same piece in somewhat different settings.
There will be more big band demos coming. We will try to provide examples of a variety of different types of writing. Stay tuned.