Big Band Birdie + Bison? A new tune for Vadala

Birdie's Day is a new work for jazz ensemble, commisisoned by Barry Long and the Bucknell University Jazz Band.  It was written as a solo vehicle for saxophonist Chris Vadala (pictured at left), who will be doing a couple-day residency at Bucknell.  Their evening concert will present, among other things, the premier performance of Birdie's Day.

I've posted the full score and Finale/MIDI realization here for your perusal. 



Performance Info

Friday, April 20, 2012  •  Weis Center (Bucknell campus)  •  7:30 pm


A Little Backstory on Birdie

I wanted to write something that Chris would be able to use again in the future, since he does loads of guest spots every year.  So, I gave him a call to see if there were any holes in his repertoire that he'd like to fill.  (note: Several years back I arranged Nardis as a solo vehicle for Chris.  I believe he uses it's in his rotation of solo vehicles).

Right off the bat he suggested up-tempo, swinging contrafacts on either Autumn Leaves (in G minor) or Bye Bye, Blackbird (in F).  [a contrafact is a piece that uses the chord progression to some other tune. Miles Davis' Donna Lee, for instance, is a contrafact on Indiana.]

I chose Blackbird, and proceeded to deconstruct the form as such, somehow managing to reassemble into open blowing choruses over the familiar changes.  Give it a look / listen...I'd enjoy hearing your response.

p.s. The Bison reference, incidentally, is to the Bucknell University mascot.  Obviously...  =)


Posted on April 6, 2012 and filed under Arranging & Composing, News & Performances.