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JAZZ BAND MUSIC

These compositions and arrangements are written for standard big band instrumentation. Almost all of these charts have printed guide solos, come with alternate parts for flute, french horn, tuba, etc.. The easy and medium easy charts are playable with reduced instrumentation. Click the “launch publisher page” link after a title to visit the publisher’s page to preview each score and to hear the demonstration recording.

NEW FOR 2019

Recorda Me (composed by Joe Henderson) - medium easy - One of the best jazz standards arranged in a Latin groove played at 156 BPM. The melody is handled by tenor, trumpet, and guitar with written solos provided for tenor and trumpet. Lead trumpet range is to written G on top of the staff. Optional parts provided for vibraphone, flute, and clarinet.

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JW Pepper Editor's Choice

Stablemates (composed by Benny Golson) - medium/medium advanced - This wonderful jazz standard swings at 160 BPM with the opening melody line played by alto, tenor, trumpet, and trombone. Sample jazz solos are provided for tenor 1, trumpet 2, drums, and the lead trumpet range is up to written B-flat above the staff. Sax solis, a shout chorus, and superb writing throughout create a top-shelf chart.

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JW Pepper Editor's Choice

 

Step Lightly (composed by Joe Henderson) - medium easy - An outstanding swing chart that is accessible in every way. The melody is stated by alto, tenor, and trumpet; the tempo is 120 BPM; and the lead trumpet range is to written G on top of the staff. This chart includes written-out suggested solos for tenor 1 and trumpet 2, a sweet shout chorus, and all the usual optional parts plus vibes and clarinet.

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OTHER JAZZ PUBLICATIONS

Backlash (composed by Donald Pickett) - medium easy - A superb jazz-rock chart! This chart features superb ensemble sections, a hip interlude that builds into a big shout chorus, written-out solos for trumpet and alto, lead trumpet range is to written G, and an optional vibraphone part. This chart is will definitely make your band shine!

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Bean Is On The Scene - medium easy - This is a trumpet or flugelhorn feature that alternates between a bossa nova groove and a 1/2 time funk feel. Solo section has room for a tenor saxophone too.
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Blue Horizons - Advanced - Commissioned by the Slippery Rock University Jazz Ensemble, this medium up tempo swinger pays homage to saxophonist and composer Bobby Watson. The chart features a memorable melody, solo spots for alto and tenor saxes, a stop-time ensemble section, a powerful shout chorus and room for drums to interact with the ensemble!

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Brother Mister (composed by Christian McBride) - medium - This is a wonderful blues with an even eighth note feel and contemporary harmony. Based on Christian’s recording from “Kind of Brown”, Mike utilizes many motifs from Eric Reed’s piano solo to hold the chart together. The chart features a flexible solo section with room for alto and trumpet solos, a breakdown/development section , a tenor solo, shout and drum solo section.
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JW Pepper Editor’s Choice


Cantaloupe Island (composed by Herbie Hancock) - medium easy - An accessible arrangement of a classic. A small group statement of the melody, flexible solo section,  and interesting ensemble writing are features of this chart. This is one of the biggest sellers in the Belwin Jazz/Alfred jazz catalog.

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JW Pepper Editor’s Choice

JW Pepper Basic Band Library

SmartMusic title

Featured in the text Teaching Music through Performance in Jazz, Vol.2
 

Gibraltar (composed by Freddie Hubbard) - medium - Commissioned by Alex Silverbook and the Sherwood High School Jazz Band (Sandy Spring, MD), this arrangement is set over a samba groove much like Freddie’s version on his recording “Born To Be Blue”. Tenor 1, trumpet 2 and guitar are featured on the melody and tenor 1 and trumpet 2 have printed solo space. A development section features drum soloing over truncated figures from the bridge section of the tune which leads to a energetic shout chorus. Lead trumpet range to written A with an optional C. This chart is a perfect closer for festivals!

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The Goodness Box - medium easy - An original that alternates a bossa with a 2/3 clave and a rock groove. This arrangement is correlated with the Standard of Excellence Advanced Jazz Ensemble Method.
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I'll Take Les - medium - (Composed by John Scofield) - A tribute to the great Les McCann, John Scofield’s tune is a funky number that students of all ages will enjoy playing. Ample solo space is provided for guitar (cross-cued in trumpet) and tenor sax. A call and response development section leads to a KILLER shout chorus that is not too taxing on the brass.
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Just So You Know - easy - This is an original rock tune written in a fast four but played with a 1/2 rock feel. The result is a chart that sounds more difficult that it actually is. The open solo section utilizes the C dorian mode. This arrangement is correlated with the Standard of Excellence Jazz Ensemble Method.
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Little Sunflower (composed by Freddie Hubbard) - medium easy - This is a very playable arrangement of the classic Freddie Hubbard tune. This arrangement alternates a half time funk groove with the original bossa nova/latin groove. Solo space is provided for piano, trumpet and tenor saxophone. The shout chorus features the drums soloing in between ensemble figures before a recap of the melody closes the chart. Perfect for advanced middle school and developing high school ensembles.

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JW Pepper Editor’s Choice 

JW Pepper Basic Band Library     
 

Lush Life (composed by Billy Strayhorn) - medium - One of the finest ballads ever composed by a brilliant composer and gifted arranger. Feauring both ballad and double-time bossa sections, you'll enjoy every measure of this chart. Only written melody solos for alto and trumpet, no improvisation, and all the usual optional parts plus vibes.

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Maybe You Don’t  - advanced - This is an up tempo original based loosely on the chords to “You Don’t Know What Love Is”. This chart was written for the Youngstown State University All Alumni Jazz Ensemble to feature Glenn Wilson and Tim Leahey. The chart features bari sax and trumpet throughout but comes with alternate parts to feature tenor and trumpet as well. Recorded by the YSU All Alumni Jazz Ensemble and the University of Illinois Jazz Ensemble.
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Message From Westlake - medium - An original cool school medium swing tune based on the chords of Bernie’s Tune. The melody is played by a small group of trumpet, tenor, trombone and bari sax while there is solo space for guitar (opt. trumpet) and tenor sax. “Message” was written for the Westlake High School Studio Jazz Ensemble (Westlake Village, CA) for their performance at the 2012 Midwest Clinic.
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JW Pepper Editor’s Choice

Next In Line - easy - This is blues set over a second line swing feel. The solo section is over a Bb7 vamp and can be opened up for anyone. After the solos, a breakdown section spotlighting the groove layers on the horn section before returning to the melody. My middle school students LOVED this chart!
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Featured in the text Teaching Music through Performance in Jazz, Vol.2
 

Now What - medium easy - A medium groove modal swing tune which employes a truncated form of “So What”. Solos are printed for alto and trumpet but this chart can easily be opened up for anyone to solo over the two chords.
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JW Pepper Editor’s Choice

SmartMusic title       
 

One Mint Julep (composed by Rudolph “Rudy” Toombs) - medium easy - Originally a rhythm and blues hit in the 1950’s, this catch tune really gained popularity when Ray Charles recorded Quincy Jones’ arrangement in the early 1960’s. Set over a funky cha-cha, my playable version of this classic tune is now available for young jazz bands. There’s solo space provided for alto 1 and trumpet 2 and drums along with an effective development section and shout chorus. Your students will love this one!

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JW Pepper Editor’s Choice

One Step Ahead - medium - This contemporary rock tune alternates between a 1/2 funk feel and a “Birdland” groove. The harmonic structure of the tune uses suspended harmonies. Solo space is provided for tenor saxophone.
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Ready Freddie - medium easy - A tribute to the late Freddie Hubbard. This is a 16 bar minor blues which makes use the minor pentatonic scale. Solos are printed for alto and trumpet but this chart can easily be opened up for anyone. After the solos, an a cappella horn section soli and a rousing shout chorus cap of this exciting chart.
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JW Pepper Editor’s Choice

SmartMusic title         

Red Clay (composed by Freddie Hubbard) - medium easy - Set in c minor, this tune has been a favorite of jazz musicians since Freddie’s original recording appeared in the 1970’s. Tenor 1 & trumpet 2 are featured on the melody and in the solo section but this chart could easily be opened up for additional soloists. Drums solo over figures in a development section which leads to a strong shout chorus. A VERY effective chart for advanced middle school and developing high school groups.
Watch this title with Alfred’s Score & sound on YouTube
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JW Pepper Editor’s Choice
JW Pepper Basic Band Library,


Sack of Woe (composed by Cannonball Adderly) - medium easy - A solid chart for developing groups, this arrangement is fun to play. This chart consists of the melody, solo section (printed guide solos for alto 1 and trumpet but this section can easily be opened up), a two chorus ensemble build up, a powerful shout and a recap for the melody. I’ve heard from directors that this chart is one of their favorites!
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JW Pepper Editor’s Choice

SmartMusic title

Shuffle Stop - medium easy - A straight ahead blues in Bb. The chart features a horns only chorus, solos for alto and trumpet (can be opened up),  a sax soli and a solid shout chorus.
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JW Pepper Editor’s Choice     
 

Sign Me Up!  - medium easy - Sign Me Up! is an original composition that was commissioned by Dr. Eric Plum and the Greencastle-Antrim Middle School Jazz Band  Greencastle, Pennsylvania. The tune is a funky jazz-rock melody employing a 16 bar form with an occasional tag on the form. Solo space is provided for alto sax, trombone and drums and the chart includes a funky development section and a powerful shot chorus.

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JW Pepper Editor's Choice

Sticks - (Composed by Cannonball Adderly) - Originally recorded on Mercy, Mercy, this infectious 14 bar blues is a lot of fun to play. The chart includes solo space for alto sax and trumpet, a one chorus trumpet section soli that utilizes Nat Addrely’s first solo chorus from the original recording and a Ray Charles-like shout chorus!
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JW Pepper Editor’s Choice

St. James Infirmary (composed by Joe Primrose) - medium easy - This traditional jazz classic is set over a 1/2 shuffle groove and employes quite a bit of quartal harmony. Solos are provided for trumpet and tenor saxophone. A hip ensemble breakdown and shout chorus conclude this chart.
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JW Pepper Editor’s Choice 

Featured in the text Teaching Music through Performance in Jazz, Vol.2          
 

Stu’s Blues - Advanced - This is a SCREAMING blues in Ab and was written for the Woody Herman Band. Solo space is provided for bari sax and for a trombone battle. The score is written for the Herman Band instrumentation but comes with the extra parts for a standard big band.
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Such Sweet Thunder (composed by Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn - medium - Such Sweet Thunder was co-written by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn and is one of twelve pieces Ellington recorded in a suite of music inspired by the writings of William Shakespeare. This arrangement was commissioned by the Nu Chapter of Phi Beta Mu. Alternating between a half time shuffle and straight ahead swing, this chart has it all - room for soloists to stretch, a swinging saxophone section soli, playable shout chorus and drums soloing over ensemble figures. There are several Ellington quotes, too! This chart is sure to be a favorite of students and audiences alike!

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JW Pepper Editor's Choice

Sweet Georgia Bright (composed by Charles Lloyd) - medium easy - This is an accessible chart on an often neglected jazz classic. There are written solos for alto and trumpet but this chart can easily be opened up to feature other players. After the solo section the chart builds with an a cappella horn soli and a powerful shout chorus before recapping the melody.
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JW Pepper Editor’s Choice              

Tengo Tango (composed by Cannonball & Nat Adderly) - medium easy - Originally recorded on “Nippon Soul”, this is a blues in F with the head set to a tango! There is plenty of solo space for alto and tenor sax but this can easily be opened up to feature additional soloists. During the solos and shout chorus, the tango feel turns into a funky James Brown groove. My own middle schoolers LOVED played this chart!
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JW Pepper Editor’s Choice

Too Soon To Go – Medium – Commissioned by the Richard Montgomery High School Jazz Band in memory of JJ Charya. This piece begins with a short chorale before moving into a contemporary bossa. Alto 1 is featured throughout the chart (sub part for soprano sax included). A solo section can be opened up for additional soloists besides Alto 1. A development section begins with a piano ostinato and gradually layers on more textures. A short sax soli and recap of the main melody leads to a restatement of the opening chorale to bring the piece to a reflective ending.
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Upper Manhattan Medical Group (composed by Billy Strayhorn) - Advanced - This classic Strayhorn tune gets a new setting employing varying colors from the ensemble. A solo section provides space for trumpet 2 and trombone 1 and this section could be opened up for additional soloists. After a chorus of bop figures, the tenor 1 is featured soloing over a vamp figure which builds up to a powerful shout chorus. My first chart in the Belwin Premier Series!
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Watermelon Man (composed by Herbie Hancock) - medium easy. A solid chart for middle school and developing high school groups. Solos are provided for alto and tenor saxes. After the solos, an exciting ensemble section, powerful shout chorus and solo drum fills conclude this chart.       
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JW Pepper Editor’s Choice,

JW Pepper Basic Band Library,

SmartMusic title  

 

Well You Needn’t (composed by Thelonious Monk) - medium - Written for Todd Stefan and the North Alleghany High School Jazz Band (Wexford, PA), this chart alternates a half-time shuffle feel and a straight ahead swing feel. Both tenor saxophonists are featured in solo spots ands trading. There is also a sax section soli, a powerful shout, a drum solo and an exciting tag with plenty of Monk and John Coltrane quotes!
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JW Pepper Editor’s Choice
JW Pepper Basic Band Library,


Jazz Improvisation/Play-Alongs
I penned the guide solos and sample rhythm sections parts for these Alfred Jazz Play-Along books and recordings:

Volume 2 - Easy Standards 
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Volume 3 - Easy Latin Standards
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