Connecticut Avenue SUVs (5-Horn Jazz Ensemble)

Roger M. Aldridge

About this work:

Shifting time funk! The title expresses my distain for contending with monster SUVs when driving on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, DC. Note: the recording is a tune demo, not a full-length performance. Recorded by Jason Shapiro, soprano saxophone; E. Shawn Qaissaunee, guitar; Brian Howell, bass; and Skip Rohrich, drums.    

As I envision this music, it is funky and adventurous. The piece is a minimalist composition -- the melody is only 16 bars. However, it has expanded improvisation concepts for the soloist and the ensemble. The ensemble's collective improvisation is to sound like music coming out of car windows in traffic. The sounds change quickly. Different kinds of music come, go, and overlap. Radios (or electronics) may be used for additional layers of sound.

The soloists use four chord progression patterns. Each soloist determines which patterns to play and their sequence. The patterns can be played in any order. Ideally, the patterns are determined within a performance instead of before. The soloist communicates the patterns, and when to shift to a new pattern, to the ensemble by hand signals. The ensemble (including horn players) can improvise backgrounds and interactions with the soloist. Music styles can also shift within a solo. Performers can take the music in any creative direction they want to go with it. 

The mid-size ensemble score is for 5 horns and rhythm section. The score uses flexible instrumentation. This enables the music to be played by many combinations of instruments. My article on mid-size ensemble
 describes the concepts I used in this piece. 

This piece can be purchased at Sellfy.

Year composed: 2011
Duration: 00:00:00
Ensemble type: Chamber or Jazz Ensemble, Without Voice
Instrumentation: 1 Flute, 1 Alto Flute, 1 Oboe, 1 English Horn, 1 Clarinet, 1 Alto Clarinet, 1 Bass Clarinet, 1 Bassoon, 1 Soprano Saxophone, 1 Alto Saxophone, 1 Tenor Saxophone, 1 Baritone Saxophone, 1 Horn in F, 1 Trumpet, 1 Trombone, 1 Bass Trombone, 1 Tuba, 1 Drum Set, 1 Piano, 1 Double bass, 1 Electric Guitar

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