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“Five from the Folder: Vocal Jazz” by Greg Amerind

FIVE FROM THE FOLDER: VOCAL JAZZ by Greg Amerind
 
1. “Route 66.” Bobby Troup. SATB plus combo, arr. Barduhn. Hal Leonard 08743681
Feels, smells, and sings like pure jazz (and it is!). Lots of alternate phrasing, lush and sometimes surprising harmonies. Opportunities for extended improvisation. Good for intermediate and advanced ensembles.
 
2. “Fool on the Hill.” Lennon/McCartney, arr. Puerling. SSAATTBB. Shawnee A1341
Puerling’s first arrangement for “Singers Unlimited.” Loaded with his signature harmonic thickness and sophistication. Big investment of rehearsal time, but worth the effort. Vocal Jazz was forever changed by this piece of music.
 
3. “Sing, Sing, Sing.” Louis Prima, arr. Meader. SATB, combo/big band. Shawnee 35020337
Oozes swing. Close harmonies, scat solo breaks, interweaving and layering of vocal lines will have your singers and audiences raising the roof. Music of the 1940s really comes alive in this modern rendition. Get the big band chart on this one if you can.
 
4. “Scarborough Fair.” Paul Simon, arr. Marsh. SSATTBB. Self-published
Captures the delicate intricacy and folk flavor of traditional Irish melody. Some harmonies evoke best of Puerling, other sections present a madrigal quality. Pure vocal jazz, with meandering key changes, and alternate jazz chords, inviting singers to take artistic liberty in solo sections.
 
5. “I’m Beginning to See the Light.” Ellington, George, Hodges, and James., arr. Weir SSAATTBB plus combo. Alfred 38154
Weir is among most innovative of contemporary vocal jazz arrangers. ‘Re-imagines” classic Ellington swing chart as playful samba. Very accessible yet rewarding arrangement, fun for all levels. Great way to introduce Latin feel.
 
(“Five from the Folder” provides brief, text-length reviews of vocal works currently in the folders of choral directors throughout the United States.  To share five from your folder, contact Scott Dorsey at dorsey@acda.org)