For the new chart I've added to the catalog today, "Line For Lyons", you may notice a serious upgrade in the quality of the drums...that's due to my friend (and often-times Vertical Voices quartet drummer) Matthew Chalmers having tracked the drums from his home in Canada. Love how this internet thing works.
Anyway, "Line For Lyons" is one of two new charts I've written for the Monterey Jazz Festival Summer Camp this year, and it's part of the Starter Series, which includes such other MJF camp hits as "I'm Hip," and "We've Got a World That Swings". This year's swinger for camp is the Gerry Mulligan tune with an added lyric by Mary Ann Moore, and it's entirely 3-part SAB, making the learning process even easier than when the level 2 charts sometimes split the gals into three. Part Tracks and a pretty grooving Rhythm Track (thanks to Mr. Chalmers) is ready to go.
It was the first song to win a Marsh Madness tournament (congrats again to Sally Greenaway for her winning submission!), and that happened on October 13th of last year. The chart took me a while to write, and then, rather than record it in our home studio, I decided to have the Sac State Jazz Singers learn it as a big feature on their Spring set and then record it, which they have done. I got a mix finished and here it is....
The chart is based on Kurt Elling's version of the standard (arranged by Laurence Hobgood, his pianist and collaborator, as well), with the inserted "Moth" poem by Rabia, an 8th century mystic from Basra, Iraq.
I'm releasing three more charts today: "Don't Stop the Music," "Sent For You Yesterday" and "Your Home." These are the last three that are ready for prime-time from last year's commissions. I've got a couple more that are awaiting some recording fixes on the demos, and they'll come out some time in the next couple weeks. Also, there will be at LEAST three new SAB Starter Series charts coming out within the next month, and following those, this summer, should be a series of SSAA women's group charts. But for now, the 12 charts that I've released gradually this month are good enough for my annual new charts email promotion, which I plan to put out today (minus the video).
I love many of the existing charts on "Eleanor Rigby", and some of them are particularly appropriate for the average jazz choir, based on level of difficulty, in particular. I really dig Paris Rutherford's chart on it for Hal Leonard, and I think that most groups wanting to do this tune would do well to check out his version. For Level 5, DownBeat Award-worthy, super-hip ensembles, I present my own arrangement, which pulls no punches and provides a heck of an opportunity for a group to make some heavy and impressive music. It's singable, don't get me wrong, and it has Part Tracks available, but it's fairly epic, and requires that your part singers are very good at singing independantly on some challenging stuff. Please, to enjoy...today's new chart release, "Eleanor Rigby," from The Beatles:
Adding a new chart today: "A Case of You", by Joni Mitchell, as arranged by Vince Mendoza for the amazing album "Both Sides Now", set for vocal jazz with a big alto vocalist feature. Trivia...there isn't a single accidental in this this chart...it's totally based on one scale, and the effect (again, Mendoza's ideas, not mine) is wonderful.