NCBF New Big Band Repertoire List Additions 2020/21 (Part 5)

YouTube clips feature ‘Score and Sound’ or live performances worth listening to.

Here I look at pieces at Grade 5 - 6

Happy listening!
Barrie Johnson

Eric Richards

A top composer/arranger who continuously produces imaginative charts.

Grade 5 The Windmills Of Your Mind (Jazz Waltz) 5.36

This memorable Michel Legrand tune, featured in the film ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’, is treated as a loose-swinging jazz waltz at around 155 bpm. The initial melody is stated by tenor and trumpet, then add a hot sax section soli, and written or ad lib solos for tenor and trumpet. A very clever chart.

In Case You Missed Them

Here are a few of Eric’s charts from the Repertoire List that I regularly used with bands to great effect.

Grade 5 Southeast Sixstep (Straight 8’s/Swing) 7.30

This chart is a creative, challenging and effective original in 6/4 time, with a straight eighth groove that moves into a swing feel, but still in 6. You’ll discover that this chart feels great in 6 with features such as a sax soli, solo space for tenor sax and trumpet 2, lots of ensemble shout chorus, and lead trumpet range to written C, above the staff. An excellent chart with a hint of Metheny.

Grade 4.5 The Intrepid Fox (Straight 8’s/Swing) 4.30+

Pure energy from top to bottom, Eric’s arrangement of this Freddie Hubbard number features solo space for alto 1, tenor 1, trumpet 2, guitar, and drum, all optional as needed. An interlude with lower dynamic levels provides a momentary breather from this energetic piece. A fantastic chart to work with to develop any band. Use it to start or end your programme.


Grade 4 The Jitterbug Waltz (Jazz Waltzg) 7.30

Eric has taken Fats Waller's wonderful classic and brought new life to this hip tune. Solos (written for piano, tenor and trumpet), powerful ensemble and solis, a stop-time chorus, a brief drum solo, and lead trumpet range that is up to written high D. Ideal for festivals and concerts as an opener or to provide a change of pace.


Patrick Williams

An Oscar-nominated composer, arranger and conductor who worked in many genres of music, including writing many scores for film and television, including such series as Columbo. Look at his Wikipedia entry for more details:

Grade 6 One More Dream (Alto Sax Ballad) 5.34

A wonderful alto sax ballad feature played at 68 BPM. The woodwinds have various doubles for alto flute and clarinet but are optional, plus there are optional horn in F parts. There’s a gorgeous melody with space to solo. A class chart!


Grade 6 There You Go Again (Swing) 5:30

At 120BPM, this swing chart is a first-class chart that will please any experienced band. It features full instrumentation plus optional horn in F parts. Solo space is provided, and a great sax section soli and roaring shout chorus are included as well. All great!

In Case You Missed It

Grade 6 Aurora (Shuffle) 6:50

A superior chart in every way! Patrick Williams' "Aurora" is a samba at 120 BPM that features optional horns in F, and full instrumentation with two auxiliary percussion parts. There is plenty of solo space for a variety of instruments and a huge shout chorus.

Gordon Goodwin

If you haven’t heard of him, where have you been!

I have been very fortunate to have had Gordon work with my bands on a couple of occasions- and what an experience! On both occasions, once in LA and the other in Northampton, he brought along Eric Marienthal (Alto Sax) and Wayne Bergeron (Trumpet) to help, plus Andy Martin (Trombone) in LA. Talk about added value!

Grade 6 Things To Come (Fast Swing) 7.11

As recorded by Arturo Sandoval and his Big Band (listen to the recording above). This is a swing chart that is very fast around 202--232 BPM and challenging. Solo space is provided for all 5 saxes, trombones 1 and 2 and trumpet 4. Lead trumpet range is to written to high F-sharp with optional A-flats. There are nice sax solis and a trumpet section soli (or solo) that will be a challenge. If you want a challenge, play it!

Grade 6 T.O.P. Adjacent (Funk) 7:00

From The Big Phat Band’s latest album, The Gordian Knot, if you want funky, this is it! In a nutshell, this is Tower of Power meets Gordon Goodwin, simple as that. Solo space provided for alto, tenor, baritone, trumpet, trombone, and various rhythm players.

Just check out any of Gordon’s charts on our Repertoire List for quality and challenge. Players and audiences love working on and listening to his music. I have used many of his charts to push on my own groups.

His easier charts at Grade 3 & 3.5, such as:

Grade 3 Crunchy Frog 6:20

Grade 3 Hit The Bricks 4:50

Grade 3.5 Running With Scissors 4:45

have proved equally as popular, as have the simplified arrangements such as:

Grade 2 The Jazz Police 4:36

...and when this one is released, it will go straight onto the List!

 ENJOY... a fantastic studio performance from Gordon Goodwin and The Big Phat Band!

Grade 6 The Incredibles (Theme Tune) 8:06