Category:   JAZZ CHOIRS
Composer:   Paul Simon
Arranger:   Darmon Meader
Publisher:   Shawnee Press
Edition:   A2095
Voicing:   SATB
Setting:   Accompanied

Reviewer:   

Tina Thielen-Gaffey
University of Minnesota Duluth 2001
R&R Chair Jazz Choirs

Based on a Paul Simon tune, this chart is a challenge and a goal for experienced groups. A good solo voice (or voices) is a must, as the solo is the foundation of the piece. Don’t be deterred if you don’t have a singer who can perform the whole solo, or if your lead singer is not an improviser. The solo and lead can be split up among several performers, male or female. The accompaniment is just drums and bass, but a piano accompaniment is written to offer a more chordal texture. The bass and drum parts are ordered separately. The vocal bass part is a walking bass line, with three part soprano/alto/tenor punctuation written throughout. Once again, I would recommend that you listen to the New York Voices recording (The Songs of Paul Simon) to hear the sonority and style of the piece. Your students will hear harmonies easier and faster, as they are developing their listening skills. There is a scat solo section for that brave improviser, or you can have an instrumentalist blow over the changes. If time is of the essence, then perhaps segue to the next full vocal section, which takes you into the next key. However, the material is repetitive with a few rhythmic changes. A strong vocal jazz chart, I highly recommend this piece as well as any of the other New York Voices charts available for vocal jazz groups.