Acapela / Chamber Jazz - "Down On Frenchman Street"


Creative Vision for the Track:
Depict a stroll down Frenchmen Street in New Orleans listening to the various bands / music coming from the jazz clubs. Different motifs used to travel between clubs while still moving forward. Attempted to capture the flavor of the brass bands and street musicians.

Composition Details (Tempo, Key, Main Chords etc):
Moderate uptempo
No rhythm section
Bari sax carrying the burden of the bass

Main Instruments used:
2 trumpets, 1 trombone, 2 saxes

This piece was written twelve years ago for a former member of my big band who moved from Minneapolis to Phoenix. In Phoenix he started a five horn acapela jazz group and asked me to write some pieces for their first album. He was familiar with The Hornheads here in Minneapolis (Prince’s old horn section) and he wanted that kind of double time groove even without a rhythm section.

“Down On Frenchman Street” (I consciously respelled “Frenchmen” to “Frenchman” to embrace similar jazz quarters outside of New Orleans) was specifically inspired by the parade brass bands. It uses stop time, walking bass, concerted kicks and flowing cascades to add interest and motion.


Down On Frenchman Street