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Topic: I Only Want To Say

  1. #1

    I Only Want To Say

    This is a piece that I arranged many years ago at Northwestern University as a jazz arranging class project. It was performed for a grade (got the "A" ).

    Later John Paynter (director of bands) suggested I re-score it for concert band and Jazz soloists. I did re-score it and after graduating grad school had my high school band in Glen Ellyn, IL perform it twice in the spring of 1974 while on tour. It was played once more with my high school band in Ohio in the 1980's. It has not been performed since and I just came across the hand written score this winter. I felt the need to put it into Finale for safe keeping (as the original is quickly browning and turning brittle).

    Obviously, with GPO and JaBB at my disposal, I couldn't resist orchestrating it with those tools. The piece is the "Garden of Gethsemane" scene from "Jesus Christ: Superstar". It includes the time from Thursday in the garden on through to Sunday. This should be the perfect week for the community to hear this. Please enjoy this part of Jesus Christ: Superstar that is not often heard. It is for 3 jazz soloists and concert band.

    I Only Want To Say

    Rolifer suggested that I put a link here as well for the live performance of this piece which took place in 1974. It was done by a high school band that I taught in Illinois.

    So, here is the original live performance of

    "I Only Want To Say"
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    South of the Ohio River

    Re: I Only Want To Say

    Nicely done, Rich. Excellent tune which has somehow fallen out of the mainstream of music to hear during Holy Week. Thanks for reminding us. I was especially impressed with your writing for the sax soloist.
    Dayton, Kentucky
    Personally, I'm waiting for caller IQ.

  3. #3

    Re: I Only Want To Say

    Hi Rich:
    I imagine that your students had great fun with this arrangement, and it was well recieved by their audience. Sorry, but, a lot of the pitch bends didn't work for me and sounded unnatural. Interesting render and well thought out arrangment. Thanks for posting.
    Best wishes,

  4. #4

    Re: I Only Want To Say

    I have seen Jesus Christ Superstar proformed a few times, always with canned crappy music. This would have fit so much better.

    That sax sounds great!!! I would love to hear any of the live performances, as I am sure others would, if you have any.

    Great job


  5. #5

    Re: I Only Want To Say


    Thanks for the comments. I can't take all the credit for the sax solo or the trumpet and trombone solos. The ideas were pulled from Band in a Box soloist tracks and then organized and manipulated into the solos you hear in the piece. I use BiaB to give me some ideas than I write those out in finale and manipulate it to suit me. I am glad you liked the sax one. There was a lot of time an effort put into each solo.

    Thank you!


    Thanks for the comments John. I was going for some wailing and moaning feeling, especially in the trombone solo. The only instruments with any pitch bend were the 3 soloists. Oh, and of course the falls by the entire band preceding each soloist. That is unnatural sounding and I could not find a way to get the decresc. to make it sound more realistic. The others were pretty much as I remember from the original performance of the piece 24 years ago. But then memory could fail me! Back then we used a thing called an "echo-plex" to add to soloists performances. It was a wind players response to the guitar players fuzz boxes and distortion controls. You would play and push a button on a floor pad to record and play back as a tape looped throught the system. Quite an unnatural effect but interesting. Does anyone remember those?

    Again, your comments are always welcome and thans for listening.


    Thanks Ron. As I said earlier I worked hard on each soloist part to give them some kind of character. If you notice there are 3 solos (3 denials) and the 3rd (the trombone) gets wild and very glissy at the end before the aleatoric passage.

    I'm surprised no-one has commented on the choral part yet. The High School choir had fun with that!

    As you have requested and John has sort of eluded to. Here is the original performance (world premiere? ) back in 1974 when it was recorded to tape and then pressed into a record as a gift to the high school band students from the band boosters.

    Original Performance of "I Only Want to Say"

    (if you would like to compare it to the GPO & JaBB version)
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong


  6. #6

    Re: I Only Want To Say


    I had to come back and see if you took my advice. Cool!!!

    I think it would help if you put the live version in the first thread as well for those who don't read them all.

    These guys are good!!!

    I am sure this made you very proud as well.

    You never seem to get into my dissonance, yet you got some major stuff going on in the choral section.

    Very impressive!!


  7. #7

    Re: I Only Want To Say

    Thanks for the come back Ron! I really appreciate the applause! And as you requested, I put the live performance link in with the Garritan Library version in my first post! So now any one that wants to compare and contrast can do so.
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong


  8. #8

    Re: I Only Want To Say

    Hi Rich,

    Nice arrangement! I thought you did a great job incorporating the soloists as "main characters".

    One thing you might try for fall-offs: after much trial and failure, I've discovered that cascading, slightly overlapping 32nd notes (or 16ths, depending on tempo) with decreasing velocity and volume values works pretty well. It's time consuming but worth it.

    In the overall scheme of this arrangement, that's not much of an issue. This was well-done, well thought out, and I enjoyed all of it. Thanks for posting this!


    P.S. You're smart for getting this into Finale before your browning, brittle paper disntegrates. Fortunately, most of my old scores are on stone tablets and cave walls.

  9. #9

    Re: I Only Want To Say

    Great work! To my shame I have to admit I dont know the original so I can't compare but this sound great. the only suggestion I can make is that the solo parts might be a bit more dynamic but for the rest great work!

  10. #10

    Re: I Only Want To Say

    Definitely one of the best arrangements I've heard from you,
    Rich; very well done! (Many, many, many moons ago, I was
    in a college production of JC... haven't heard some of this
    since.) Well rendered, and some really superb licks in this...
    well implemented, subtle, real energy in them, but still well
    contained within the material. That wild vocal section out
    in the 5:00's also really got my attention. I do so love a good
    gamble... lol.

    Listened to the live version, too: Really fine job they did!

    My best,


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