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Topic: “Frosty The Snowman” Returns … Finally Completed This Time!! (Jazz)

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    “Frosty The Snowman” Returns … Finally Completed This Time!! (Jazz)

    Hi Friends!

    I originally posted this classic, fun, Christmas tune (written by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins) way back in ’09, albeit with the entire middle-third not yet recorded! I finally had some spare time to complete it this month and wanted to share it with you at this special time of year.

    This completed mix now features a piano solo (GAS), with some sax section spread voicings and cup and harmon muted trumpet section accents on the bridge. The 1st and 3rd choruses are unchanged from the ’09 recording.


    “Frosty The Snowman”

    My arrangement is scored for a “small big band” (George Carlin where are you!), 5 reeds, 5 brass, plus rhythm section. All the reeds and brass are JaBB, with a rhythm section of GigaPiano, Larry Seyer Bass, and various drums and percussion from Giga and Cakewalk TTS. However, the new piano solo is GAS (which I didn’t own in ’09).

    It was created in Sonar 8 and 8.3, with the new material created in Sonar X1c.


    Here’s the band …


    Reed 1 – Soprano Sax

    Reed 2 – Alto Flute, Alto Sax
    Reed 3 – Flute, Tenor Sax
    Reed 4 – Clarinet, Tenor Sax
    Reed 5 – Bass Clarinet, Baritone Sax

    Trumpet 1

    Trumpet 2
    Trumpet 3, Flugelhorn
    ...(all trumpets also use cup and harmon mutes)

    Trombone 1

    Trombone 2 (Bass Trombone)
    ...(both trombones also use cup mutes)

    Piano

    Bass
    Drums/Percussion

    -------------------------

    I haven’t been here in quite a while. What started out as just contributing a couple of MIDI orchestration background tracks for our church’s 80th anniversary dinner-theater musical, evolved into my becoming the Musical Director as well as arranging and orchestrating over an hour’s worth of music!

    It was a lot of work, especially all the rehearsing, but this has been one of the most rewarding years I ever spent in music. The entire score was 100% Garritan and I hope to share some of the material with you in the New Year.

    When I finally came back to the site yesterday, it was so great to see the names of all the familiar fellow musicians still here … I really missed you!

    Please give “Frosty” a listen, and let me know any questions or comments.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy and Healthy … and Musical!! … New Year to all of you!


    Best Regards,


    Frank


    PS: I just found the Christmas 2011 album and can’t wait to hear this year’s offerings!

    EDIT: Adjusted font size!

  2. #2

    Re: “Frosty The Snowman” Returns … Finally Completed This Time!! (Jazz)

    OMG--

    It has
    Been
    Way
    TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    Long
    Frank!

    But I won't chew you out anymore for being gone so long, I just gotta say this FROSTY---ooooh man that's great. Incredible--I turned the sound up so my wife could hear it in the next room, and she put down her Kindle to listen--That's sayin' somethin'--! We both love this to death.

    Way too bad we can't have a tune like this on the Garritan Christmas CD--pesky copyright.

    But if anyone ever needed another good reason to get JABB--here's the demo for them! And it's instant poo-poo to people who say they can't make JABB work--We always patiently reply,--you gotta play them instruments, not just push buttons--but you know how that falls on deaf ears when the owner of the ears is of the more "instant gratification" type.

    Just the greatest. Lifted my spirits--HEY, I think I'm ready for Christmas!

    Randy

  3. #3

    Re: “Frosty The Snowman” Returns … Finally Completed This Time!! (Jazz)

    I know nothing about either jazz arranging or JABB but I just wanted to chip in my $0.02 and say that this is a really delightful arrangement and I had lots of fun listening. I might even put it on my MP3 player and bring it to work for when we get snowed in tomorrow. Just imagine three-year-olds swing dancing to your music and realize you've done something good for the world.
    There is the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Therefore there must be a God. You either get this one or you don't - Kreeft & Tacelli
    The will to achieve is not sufficient. Some things should not be achieved. - Rimsky-Korsakov
    Musicians are just these guys that want to make music. Okay, they want to have a wonderful lifestyle, but the majority just want to make really great music. - Jon Anderson


  4. #4
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: “Frosty The Snowman” Returns … Finally Completed This Time!! (Jazz)

    Randy!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    OMG--

    It has
    Been
    Way
    TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    Long
    Frank!
    Randy
    You are right sir ... WAY too long! When I was knee-deep in creating all the backing tracks for the church musical, I wondered how the 'heck' (does that sound Tom Sawyer-ish enough? ) are you able to crank-out all those many beautiful tracks you do for your shows in such short times.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    But I won't chew you out anymore for being gone so long, I just gotta say this FROSTY---ooooh man that's great. Incredible--I turned the sound up so my wife could hear it in the next room, and she put down her Kindle to listen--That's sayin' somethin'--! We both love this to death.
    Thank you so much! To lure your lady away from her Kindle to give 'Frosty' a listen ... "I am not worthy!"

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Way too bad we can't have a tune like this on the Garritan Christmas CD--pesky copyright.

    Yes, same as that Beatle tune you did last year with the tenor sax lead ... would'a made a great demo tune for these libraries. That's OK, at least this arrangement is available, and, I am already mulling some ideas around for a PD tune for next year's CD ... I still need to listen to this year's offerings first! After contributing a song to the 2010 CD, I really missed not doing one for this year's ... finishing "Frosty" helped fill that void!

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    But if anyone ever needed another good reason to get JABB--here's the demo for them! And it's instant poo-poo to people who say they can't make JABB work--We always patiently reply,--you gotta play them instruments, not just push buttons--but you know how that falls on deaf ears when the owner of the ears is of the more "instant gratification" type.

    Yeah, Randy, you're preaching to the choir! It makes my skin crawl when knocks are made against JaBB. I mean, it can create really realistic charts ... but ya gotta pay da dues! I have to say to any neophytes reading this thread who may be frustrated by what you have to add/tweak to get decent results, I have gotten much faster at inputting all those cc1, pitch wheel, aftertouch, etc. controllers. You just have to roll your sleeves up and keep doing it, right?

    The other major aspect is you still need to know how to arrange and orchestrate! You can learn by formal education or by trial and error, but either way, you still need to know how to voice harmonies, understand jazz rhythms, orchestrate and play lines/instruments idiomatically, etc. I've been reading and experimenting/learning jazz arranging all my life ... and hope to keep doing that for many more years. But trust me: NO sample library can do that for you ... you do have to put a little effort into the process! (LOL).

    I bought JaBB (my 1st Garritan product) soley on hearing Tom Hopkin's MIDI re-creation of Gary Lindsay's swinging 5reed-8brass example from Gary's excellent book, "Jazz Arranging Techniques". Tom posted the MIDI file, the MP3, and the methodology ... I bought JaBB, downloaded Tom's demo materials, read his write-up and analyzed the materials to death, especially the MIDI file ... that's how I learned JaBB and I have never been dissapointed.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Just the greatest. Lifted my spirits--HEY, I think I'm ready for Christmas!

    Randy

    Thanks again Randy for your feedback and kind comments. I wanted this arrangement to be joyous and if it helped you and other's to get in the Christmas mood ... Wonderful!! It put me in it too! Glad to 'be back' and hope to catch-up on your (and other's) music in the New Year.

    Merry Christmas!

    Frank

  5. #5
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: “Frosty The Snowman” Returns … Finally Completed This Time!! (Jazz)

    Hi Suspenlute,

    Thanks for giving my arrangement a listen! No matter if you are into jazz or JaBB, if it delighted you and you had fun listening to it, well, that's all I could ever hope for . And I hope you got the snow and had a bunch of little ones dancing after Frosty! What a wonderful, Christmas-sy vision that is!

    Best regards,

    Frank

  6. #6

    Re: “Frosty The Snowman” Returns … Finally Completed This Time!! (Jazz)

    Hey Frank! I enjoyed your arrangement. I heard some nice voicings in the horns and some good rhythmic contrast in the sections. Sometimes when people do jazz arrangements of traditional songs, it can sound a little forced, but not here.
    It has a pleasant unintentional feel.
    thanks for posting this. Jay

  7. #7

    Re: “Frosty The Snowman” Returns … Finally Completed This Time!! (Jazz)

    Everybody has to hear this - Migosh it's not only a really nice arrangement, but demonstrates stellar JABB work.

    --side note--Ever since NS "upgraded" their Forum software earlier this week, I've lost all posting tools like choosing fonts, colors, inserting images etc--I'm limping along typing in codes I know for inserting images and videos, but there's a limit to how much pia formatting one wants to do when replying! I just now tried the Forum on Chrome--same results as in Firefox--no controls. Others say they can see controls when they hover their mouse--not working for me. JUST SAYIN'--because if I had those tools I could write a better response.--End of Forum formatting rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank D View Post
    Randy!!!...When I was knee-deep in creating all the backing tracks for the church musical, I wondered how the 'heck' (does that sound Tom Sawyer-ish enough? ) are you able to crank-out all those many beautiful tracks you do for your shows in such short times.
    Nice, thanks, Frank--BUT how do you know I don't stay up all night for weeks on end to get those tracks recorded? Maybe I'm sitting here chained to the computer, starving myself, working non-stop!- well--none of that is true, But I Do spend a long time on my stuff - not quite as instant as you depict here. 8-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank D View Post

    (JABB) can create really realistic charts ... but ya gotta pay da dues! I have to say to any neophytes reading this thread who may be frustrated by what you have to add/tweak to get decent results, I have gotten much faster at inputting all those cc1, pitch wheel, aftertouch, etc. controllers. You just have to roll your sleeves up and keep doing it, right?

    The other major aspect is you still need to know how to arrange and orchestrate!...
    While "Frosty" is still "top o' the charts" here in The Listening Room, besides just wanting to say Howdy again, I wanted to help draw attention to your comments about using JABB.

    From being online and frequenting both this and the Sonar Forums (and peeking in on others)--I Know for a fact that a lot of people, especially neophytes, have really come to expect totally Instant Gratification when they use music software. If they load a software instrument, push one key, and aren't impressed with how it sounds with absolutely No effort of Playing that instrument - they say "Fail!"--and will often publish those absurd reactions online. As a result, there are more sampled instruments sold now which cater to that Instant Gratification mindset - nice, complex sound with the push of a button. Only problem is, the more astute users of some Libraries like that will come to see how inflexible those kinds of Libraries can be--they sound great "out of the box," but always say the same.

    INSERT PERSONAL TESTIMONIAL: - And that reminds me of Gary's newest Library, Instant Orchestra (now being The Topic in General Discussion here are NS)--- While he was inspired by current tastes to put together a Library that can satisfy that Instant Gratification need - he's done something miraculous with the Library's programming. The permutations of what you can do with those layers of fantastic samples is mind-boggling.

    One of the key ingredients to Instant Orchestra's flexibility is that the Aria Control window has a lot more controls added to it, including an ADSR envelope generator--a first for Garritan Libraries. And the Notes On events can be shifted in time so that you can easily assemble things like a Snare Drum Corp, with the timing instantly sloppied up for you there inside Aria---The list goes on. Now That's one "instant gratification" piece of software which Isn't dumb.

    Meanwhile---Loved hearing "Frosty" again. Superb work, Frank.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!

    Randy

  8. #8
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    Re: “Frosty The Snowman” Returns … Finally Completed This Time!! (Jazz)

    This is a great arrangement. I really enjoyed the listen. I agree that you did do a great job making JABB "sing".
    Trent P. McDonald

  9. #9

    Re: “Frosty The Snowman” Returns … Finally Completed This Time!! (Jazz)

    I love this Frank. What sticks out to me especially is some of the voicings you use. I love those parallel 7ths and 9ths in this style of music.

    Sounds like a very playable arrangement and I do hope you consider trying to get this published. This would be great for a high school jazz band. Outstanding job!

    Thanks for sharing and have a great Christmas.
    Steve Winkler GPO4 JAAB3 Finale 2012 Reaper Windows 7 Pro 64-bit VSL SE+

  10. #10
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: “Frosty The Snowman” Returns … Finally Completed This Time!! (Jazz)

    Hi Jay!

    Quote Originally Posted by jaynkate01 View Post
    Hey Frank! I enjoyed your arrangement. I heard some nice voicings in the horns and some good rhythmic contrast in the sections. Sometimes when people do jazz arrangements of traditional songs, it can sound a little forced, but not here.
    It has a pleasant unintentional feel.
    thanks for posting this. Jay
    Thanks for your kind comments; I appreciate that.

    For this piece, I generally tried to keep the voicings simple and straightforward, especially for the saxes where I wanted to hear their lines. It may be the simpliest of all, but it's hard to beat 'thickened line' (4-part close/doubled lead) in a case like that where you are more concerned with the rhythmic energy and melody of the line, rather than denser harmonies that would fly by way to quick at this tempo.

    I worked hard to keep it loose ... thanks for noticing! I always have an emotion in mind when I do a piece and for this one, it was pure, unadulterated fun and joy I wanted to shine through ... hey, Frosty was quite the dude and made the most of his short time around! Hope I captured that musically.

    Best regards,

    Frank






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