The Morning After


Big Band Jazz

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Written for the University of Northern Iowa Jazz Band One during the spring of 2016, The Morning After relies on the rhythmic precision of director Chris Merz, as well as the unique creative styles of guitarist Elvis Phillips, tenor saxophonist Sean Koga, and trumpeter Ryan Garmoe. These are not the only musical personalities at play: the chart also features group improvisation, a shared solo between the tenor and the bass, and space for the rhythm section to stretch its legs.

At the center of this piece is a seven-on-three polyrhythm whose septuplets become straight eighth notes in the enclosing sections. Those two sections use an octatonic scale for the head and accompaniment. Enclosing the octatonic sections are an intro and outdo made up of ambient effects. Although difficult to execute, the metric shifts between these sections can provide a smooth transition from dreamy ambiguity into clean joyful melody.

Instrumentation: Alto Sax I (doubles on Soprano), Alto Sax II, Tenor Sax II (doubles Bb clarinet), Tenor Sax II, Baritone Sax, Trumpet I (w/ harmon mute, doubles on Flugelhorn), Trumpets II-IV (w/ straight mutes), Trombones I-III (w/ straight mutes), Bass Trombone, Electric Guitar, Vibraphone, Piano (w/ a gate effect), Bass (bow required), and Drums
Duration: about 10 minutes, 30 seconds


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Full Score, Parts