The Chelmsford Community Band and Jazz Ensemble will give their annual Winter Concert this Sunday, March 4, 3:00 PM Chelmsford High School Performing Arts Center, 120-200 Richardson Road, N. Chelmsford, MA.
The Jazz Ensemble will present a set of Classics and Hidden Gems. Here are the program notes:
“Cool” by Leonard Bernstein and Steven Sondheim, comes from their masterpiece West Side Story which was a popular source for many jazz musicians in the 50s and 60s The melody is reflective of the jazz dance style of choreographer Jerome Robbins. It is arranged here by Mark Taylor, one of the finest arrangers working today. After getting his start as an arranger for the esteemed band leader Stan Kenton,Taylor was a staff arranger for the United States Army Band for 24 years, before establishing himself as one of the most popular arrangers writing for jazz ensemble.
“Moo-See-Ka” was written by the great composer and arranger Tadd Dameron. Dameron, sometimes referred to as the “architect of bop,” played an important role in the development of modern jazz in the 40s and 50s.This piece was written in 1942, early in Dameron’s career when he was a staff arranger for swing pioneer Jimmie Lunceford. It was recovered in from archives at the Smithsonian Institution by Paul Combs during the research for his biography of Dameron.
“Summer Serenade” is one of many well-loved melodies by the very great Benny Carter, saxophonist, clarinetist, trumpeter, composer, arranger, bandleader, and social pioneer. There is not room here to sing the praises of the “King” adequately, but he is part of that rarefied fellowship that includes Duke Ellington, Earl Hines, and Louis Armstrong, whose careers spanned so much of jazz history. His career began in the 1920’s and continued without pause until his death in 2003 at the age of 95. This arrangement was written for U.S. Army Blues, Jazz Ensemble by the outstanding bassist, composer, arranger, and Carter protege John Clayton. His very contemporary treatment evokes the buzzing and chirping of bugs, birds and frogs on a summer day.
The Swedish folk song “Dear Old Stockholm” was recorded by Miles Davis and Stan Getz, and became popular with many other jazz musicians, as well; definitely one of the “classics” of 1950s jazz. Either Getz or Davis added the modal interlude that arranger Jim Martin built this arrangement around.
“And We Listened,” by Marissa Dodge and Bob Freedman, was arranged by Freedman for one of Maynard Ferguson’s finest bands. The extraordinary trumpeter Ferguson came to prominence in the band of Stan Kenton and went on to have a long and successful career as a popular band leader. Freeman, too, has had a long a successful career as an arranger in jazz, popular music, and Broadway theater. Most recently he wrote the arrangements for the Ron Carter’s Grammy nominated big band CD.
John Coltrane is one of the most influential musicians in the history of jazz. He is one of those rare figures, like Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, or Charlie Parker who influences everyone who comes after him. “Naima,” love song to his first wife, was first recorded on his ground-breaking “Giant Steps” album. It has been a favorite of jazz musicians ever since, including trumpeter and educator Craig Skeffington, who has established himself as a very popular arranger in recent years.
This arrangement of “I Remember You,” by Johnny Mercer and Victor Shertzinger, was written for the Stan Kenton band by veteran arranger Lennie Niehaus. Within the jazz community he is known for his many arrangements, as well as his educational publications. Outside of jazz he is know for his scores for Hollywood movies.
Neal Hefti came to prominence writing for Woody herman in the 1940s. He went on to write memorable scores for Count Basie, as well as for the movies and TV. This arrangement of George and Ira Gershwin’s “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” was written for the album “Sinatra And The Swingin’ Brass” in 1963.
“Recorda Me” (the proper Spanish is recordame) is one of the most performed tunes by the great saxophonist and composer Joe Henderson. Henderson actually wrote a first draft of it in high school. He recorded it later on his debut recording “Page One,” one of the most memorable jazz recordings of the early 1960s.