Somewhat surprisingly, this is my first ‘Big Band’ composition. I have made big band arrangements of 'Standard’s before, but this is the first conceived from scratch with a Big Band in mind.
And that’s a key point - that initial conception was just the starting point. This likely won’t sound like any Big Band piece you’ve heard before, and it’s not meant to. For a start it’s a slightly ‘bigger band’ than is typical, with the addition of French Horns to the brass section, and Piccolo, Flute & Bass Clarinet sometimes playing at the same time as a full sax section (so not the players swapping between woodwinds, as might be more typical). So I’m not trying to sound like any ‘typical’ pre-existing Big Band music, be that swing, funk, or whatever.
When I sat down at the keyboard to write this I had in mind Jaco Pastorius’ ‘Word Of Mouth’ big band, which I’ve been listening to on and off for something like 40 years. But that was just the initial inspiration. As is the way of these things, once I started playing, the piece took on a life of its own, and I just followed where it took me.
The ‘head’ (the first 2.5 mins of the piece) was ‘through composed’ (improvised) in one pass, in the time it takes to hear it. It just came out, through me, and into my keyboard. Of course the work then to arrange, modulate, orchestrate, perform, sound engineer and mix took a lot, lot longer! What you have here is the result. I’d love to hear and would appreciate any feedback you have, on the composition itself, or on the virtual realisation of the instruments. Thank you.