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Topic: "Frosty The Snow Man" - Jazz Big-band Arrangement with JABB

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    "Frosty The Snow Man" - Jazz Big-band Arrangement with JABB

    Hi Friends!

    Here’s my jazz arrangement of the 1950 Christmas pop tune composed by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins.

    Click the title for a link to the download page …

    FROSTY THE SNOW MAN

    I do hope you find it infectious and that it puts a nice smile on your face … it was a lot of fun working on it! Of all the Christmas pop songs, this one doesn’t seem to show up on CD’s as frequently as others (The Beach Boys did a great Four Freshmen-ish rendition on their 60’s Christmas album). It’s a cute tune nonetheless!

    I would like to dedicate this recording to Gary and Marianne and to all of YOU amazing musicians on this forum … I have loved listening to all your wonderful and varied music this year and look forward to many more years of it … this is a tremendous community! I've learned so much from you.

    I wanted to record something up-beat, positive, and pleasant to get me in the holiday spirit, so I started this the week before Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, I ran out of time before I could finish the piano solo w/ band backgrounds that will eventually comprise the middle third of the arrangement .

    I did pretty much complete the 1st and last thirds of it, so rather than wait until NEXT Christmas, I’m posting this abridged mix tonight. I cut out most of the left-hand piano comping that will be my roadmap for developing the middle section between the long fall-off and the beginning of the shout chorus … you’ll hear a little crossfade between these sections.

    The band is that great jazz oxymoron … a small big-band (LOL). The instrumentation is similar to Gerry Mulligan’s classic 1960 Concert jazz Band. The reeds, trumpets, and trombones are 100% JABB. The piano and bass are Giga (Gigapiano II, Larry Seyer Bass), and the drums are Cakewalk’s TTS. It was recorded using Sonar 8.3.1

    Here’s the instrumentation …

    Reed 1 – Bb soprano sax;
    Reed 2 – Alto flute, Eb alto sax;
    Reed 3 – Flute, Bb tenor sax;
    Reed 4 – Bb clarinet, Bb tenor sax;
    Reed 5 – Bb bass clarinet, Eb baritone sax.

    Trumpet 1
    Trumpet 2
    Trumpet 3, flugelhorn.

    Trombone 1
    Trombone 2 (bass)

    Piano, bass, drums

    The chart starts out sort of Mancini-ish, but during the 1st bridge, the reed players put down their flutes and clarinets and pick up their saxes, and the horn players take out their mutes for some serious blowing!

    Enjoy! … and MERRYCHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS, and a HAPPY and HEALTHY NEW YEAR to all!!

    Regards,

    Frank

    (and as far as the missing middle section goes, like Frosty said: "... I'll be back a-gain some-day" )

  2. #2
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
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    Re: "Frosty The Snow Man" - Jazz Big-band Arrangement with JABB

    Hello and Merry Christmas Frank!!
    This is a superb arrangement and you certainly know how to handle the "Big" Jazz Band! Lots of great touches and nuance - just a wonderful and memorable rendition of this classic tune. My Dad loved Big Band music and felt it was vastly superior to the "Pop" music of my day; I was well into middle age before I realized he was probably right!!!

    Nice work Frank - thanks for sharing!

    Best regards,
    sd cisco

  3. #3

    Re: "Frosty The Snow Man" - Jazz Big-band Arrangement with JABB

    Fantastic. A very nice and high-spirited arrangement, and nicely executed too. Best wishes!
    Theo

  4. #4

    Re: "Frosty The Snow Man" - Jazz Big-band Arrangement with JABB

    Love it Frank. Great job.
    Producer ~ Sound Engineer ~ Musician

    http://www.myspace.com/451525581

  5. #5
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: "Frosty The Snow Man" - Jazz Big-band Arrangement with JABB

    Hey guys!

    I'm finally catching up listening to music on the site again ... had a nice time yesterday and today doing so. Now for your comments ...

    Regards to all,

    Frank

    Quote Originally Posted by sd cisco View Post
    Hello and Merry Christmas Frank!!
    This is a superb arrangement and you certainly know how to handle the "Big" Jazz Band! Lots of great touches and nuance - just a wonderful and memorable rendition of this classic tune. My Dad loved Big Band music and felt it was vastly superior to the "Pop" music of my day; I was well into middle age before I realized he was probably right!!!

    Nice work Frank - thanks for sharing!

    Best regards,
    sd cisco
    Hey SD ... thanks for the comments and all your kind words; I truly appreciate it! I'm really glad you liked it.

    I wanted to see how it would go doing a big band arrangement with just JABB. It does take quite a while to do all the CC's, wheel, aftertouch, etc, but the results I think are pretty decent considering the price of JABB. I'm sure if I did just this day in and out, like anything else, you would get faster at it! When I finish the piece, I'll have to go back over the whole thing and tweak it some more, then attempt a better mix.

    As far as your dad's comment, I wish every listener could/would make an effort to hear a large jazz ensemble LIVE ... what an impact it makes compared to listening on a radio or CD. The power and dynamic range is so amazing.

    And Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you too, SD!

    ----------

    Hi Theo ... thanks for the listen and kind words ... Happy New Year!

    ----------

    Hi Aram ... thanks for listening and I'm glad you liked it. You know I'll be calling you for mixing tips when I finally get the beast finished (hopefully before next Christmas! ) Happy New Year to you Aram!

  6. #6

    Re: "Frosty The Snow Man" - Jazz Big-band Arrangement with JABB

    GREAT STUFF...thanks a lot

  7. #7

    Smile Re: "Frosty The Snow Man" - Jazz Big-band Arrangement with JABB

    why is this SONG looping AROUND and AROUND AGAIN...becos its so damed catchy and swingy.............

  8. #8

    Re: "Frosty The Snow Man" - Jazz Big-band Arrangement with JABB

    Frank, this is just plain classic -- superb arrangement
    of it.

    What I look for: clarity of line, no wasted notes (economy),
    strong dialogue, trueness to idiom... and you scored full
    nines on it...

    Great job!

    Best,



    David
    -----
    David Sosnowski
    www.DavidSosnowski.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: "Frosty The Snow Man" - Jazz Big-band Arrangement with JABB

    Hey VOXOSOXO,

    Thanks for the vote of confidence! I'm glad you enjoyed it and I'm glad you found the arrangement catchy and swingy ... my goal!

    Happy New Year!

    Regards,

    Frank

  10. #10
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: "Frosty The Snow Man" - Jazz Big-band Arrangement with JABB

    Hi David,

    Thank you so much for the listen and your kind and generous words. It's very meaningful and encouraging to me that you enjoyed the chart!

    I actually did try and satisfy the criteria you mentioned; thanks for noticing that. Although it's real easy to get lost in the great harmonic vocabulary available to the jazz writer, I'm trying to think in a more linear fashion, or at least always be conscious of line.

    I hope you'll listen to it again next Christmas after I've finished the middle section and optimized the mix!

    Happy New Year ... and let the music flow!

    Regards,

    Frank

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