Tag Archives: Big Band

Let It Baum

This is an arrangement I resurrected that I did years ago. I don’t have a recording of it (was supposed to play it at a recent Xmas concert but it got cut).

It’s called Let It Baum because it’s O Tannenbaum and Let It Snow mashed together.


  Let It Baum (1.0 MiB, 66 hits)
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In The Xmas Mood (2013)

A while ago, I did an arrangement of a bunch of Christmas songs around “In The Mood”. I recently revised it (parts/score) and it was performed last night. Here it is. Enjoy.

  In The Xmas Mood 2013 (1.1 MiB, 128 hits)
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  In The Xmas Mood 11/30/2013 (5.8 MiB, 100 hits)
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West Side Story Medley

Here is an arrangement/transcription I did a while back. I won’t take ALL the credit for this, as there is a version floating around the internet that this is based on. But that arrangement had problems, and I fixed it. This is based on the version that is on the “Best Of Buddy Rich” album. Buddy Rich never really played any of his songs the same every time, and some versions of this are faster or have some variations. I like the one on the Best of album the most, so I tried to pretty much fix up the version I found to match that. One of my favorite Buddy Rich big band songs.

  West Side Story Medley (2.0 MiB, 193 hits)
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UPDATEThere was a slight error in the piece. The beginning at A should have been 12 bars and the double bar was in the wrong place. A minor issue, but I deleted the old one and made a new version that should completely match up with the Buddy Rich album version (the only thing that was off was the beginning thing)

UPDATEUgh, so I fixed that, but then the double time moved. The double time has been moved a bar later than it was. Simple fix to a simple problem.


Rush, from Cowboy Bebop. It used to be up….but I dunno what happened. WordPress crapped out on me. Here it is again.

  Rush - Cowboy Bebop - Parts (1.0 MiB, 2,603 hits)
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  Rush - Cowboy Bebop - Score (401.6 KiB, 1,856 hits)
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Seems for some reason, this disappeared from the site. Not sure why. It just isn’t there anymore. Here it is again.

Arrangement of the opening tune to Cowboy Bebop, Tank!, by Yoko Kanno. Sorta based on the tune “The Best Is Yet To Come” I think. Arranged for big band. Enjoy!

  Tank! Parts (1.4 MiB, 6,921 hits)
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  Tank! Score (1.1 MiB, 4,826 hits)
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Just Dance – Lady Gaga (Revised)

Oops. I had an arrangement up, but it seems I didn’t transpose the trumpet parts. My bad. Here is a new revision that also has a Guitar and Vibes part and some other tweaks.

  Just Dance for Jazz Band (1.1 MiB, 367 hits)
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– Original key of E

  Just Dance for Jazz Band in F (1.0 MiB, 152 hits)
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– In the key of F

So You Wanna Record A Big Band — Redux

Back in October 2008 I did a post that estimated the cost of getting all the gear to have a recording rig for your big band. Now, lets take a look at if things have changed.

The original post I went with an Alesis HD24 which was $1600 then. Its the same price now. For preamps, I went with the PreSonus’s DigiMax D8 which were going for $450. Now they go for about $400. We need three of these to give us 24 tracks. For mics, I had two options. Option one was 13 Shure 57s with stands and cables. Then they were $124 each. Now they are $109. Lets keep it simple and stick with that option.

Case for the PreSonus preamps and the Alesis. Its still about the same, $200. And we will keep the same snakes, which are still the same price. We need three of them. $200 each.

Running total now is $5017. Before it was $5412. The only real price difference was the DigiMax D8s and the Shure Mics. We still need to add in drum set mics which haven’t changed in price ($400), and two Rode NT4s, one for the drum overhead and one for acoustic piano. They haven’t changed in price. $530 each. And two SKB mic cases, which haven’t changed in price either. $150 each. And you need a vocalist mic, a Shure 58, which is $99, was $109.

Final total…..$6876. A year and a half ago, it was $7277. The single biggest cost are the microphones. I went the Shure 57 route due to cost and their reliability, but there are alternatives out there that are cheaper. And there are alternatives that are more expensive. If money was NO OPTION, I would probably replace the 13 mics used for the horns with Sennheiser 421s. However, at $299 not including stand and cable, replacing the Shure 57s with these would about $3887 and that is NOT including cables and stands. However, the microphones are really THE thing to spend money on.

So, it is slightly cheaper to get the gear. This is for all new stuff too. If you are internet savvy, you could probably score most all of the gear off Ebay or Craigslist or you could get the scratch and dent deals or open boxed ones. This could lower the costs by hundreds of dollars.

Mixing a Big Band CD – Part 1

Back in August of 2007 and January of 2008, a Big Band that I play in recorded two live performances for a “Demo CD”. Well, in the 2 some years since we made the two recordings, the project has become a full-blown album that is currently playing on Jazz Radio stations and available on the iTunes store. This is the multipart story of how I mixed 8 of the 17 songs on the CD.

The original idea was that we wanted more gigs, and that a lot of people wanted to hear the band before booking it, so we needed a “Demo CD”. At the time we had live recordings that I was making using my Rode NT 4, but a lot of them suffered from crowd noise, wind noise, etc. We wanted something a little bit better. So, we hired someone to do a live recording of the band. Each person individually mic’d, etc, etc. The first concert was in August of 2007, part of a Jazz thing the area puts on (though I don’t think they did it this year…..darn economy). It was held at the Blackhawk Auto Museum.

If you have been to the museum, or look at the pictures…..it is a recording person’s nightmare. Marble floors, surfaces where things bounce off of (cars, pillars, people), plus crowd noise. The crowd was there for a night of socializing and stuff, and as the evening went on, the noise became louder and louder (more on that in later). Anyhow, we had the concert, I made a live recording using my gear, and listened to it. Lots of noise, people talking, eating, dropping glasses, etc. Lots of reverb from the room (more like a Batcave to me).

The mix engineer pretty much decided that the session wasn’t going to yield a lot of material. I think he looked at 3 tracks or so. The project pretty much sat in limbo until the next concert where the scene was totally different. An actual performing arts center. A quiet audience. Acoustic grand piano (the Blackhawk gig the piano player used a keyboard). Different lead alto. Different microphones. Pretty much totally the opposite of the first recording session.

In the interval between the two concerts, I won a contest. Yeah. It DOES happen to people. So, suddenly I had stuff that was like…..pro level. Stuff I didn’t now how to use (I was a Digital Performer person since…..forever). And in January of 2008, my trusty old PowerMac Quicksilver 2002 (or my hackintosh, since I upgraded it to dual processor, etc etc) died and I replaced it with a 2008 MacPro Dual Quad-Core. The stars were aligning. In I believe March of 2008 I got to go to a mixing session. I had mentioned to the engineer that I had recently come into a ProTools setup (M-Powered), and if I could maybe get the tracks to the first concert to mess around with to get my feet wet in ProTools and whatnot. He agreed, and during that session in March, I brought a portable drive with me, and he loaded up a blank session (with like 3 edits he did) that was the Blackhawk concert. Something like 18 tracks totaling over 20 gigs of data……

Part two (what I got…..what a mess!) Coming soon.

Gordon Goodwin Holiday Concert

Yamaha has two videos up of the Gordon Goodwin Phat band playing a holiday concert.

It is also in iTunes under Podcasts->Yamaha Wind Instrument Podcasts (there are lots of other good videos in there too)

Note: the two solo mics sucked. WTF. The rest of the mics were good, but shure 58s? Really? Should have stuck with sennheisers or something.

Save The Last Dance For Me

This is a transcription/arrangement I did for a Big Band I play with. The original Michael Buble arrangement this is based off of has guitar and a string section. This arrangement has no guitar and the string parts are in various instrument sections. If you enjoy this and want to see more arrangements up here, please consider making a donation (look down on the left).

Big Band and Vocals…..Score, 5 saxes, 4 Trombones, 4 Trumpets, Piano, Bass and Drums. I’ll have an audio clip of us playing it at some point. Enjoy!

  Save The Last Dance For Me (1.4 MiB, 441 hits)
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So You Wanna Record A Big Band…..

So, I’ve been working on this CD for a big band I play in. I have no idea how much it cost to get the person to record it, multitrack, and a couple of sessions. I’m thinking at least $6,000….if not more. So, say you have ProTools (or something similar) that can handle 30 tracks of audio. How much would it cost to get the equipment to do it yourself…..let’s figure it out……
Continue reading So You Wanna Record A Big Band…..