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Arranging Creatively – Intermediate Tricks and Tips (Part 1)

If you’ve read the last two installments of this column about arranging approaches you might have a few questions about how to actually featureimage: 

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Advanced Arranging: Arranging Re-Interpretively (Building a New Blueprint)

Now that we’ve talked about ways to interpret an arrangement while staying true to the basic blueprint of the song, let’s look at what happens when you throw said blueprint out the window. featureimage: 

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Arranging Creatively – The Basics (arranging emotionally)

We’ve talked a bit about creativity coming from outside sources, but how about things your group can do on its own to be creative? featureimage: 

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CD Review: Vote For Pedro's "Cocktail Napkin"

{mosimage}In reading reviews over the past few years, a comment I’ve seen a lot has been that “groups generally can't sing everything.” The idea here is that tackling too many styles at once can overwhelm a group and result in a mediocre sound. If you happen to be in a group that has received this comment at some point in your career, I strongly urge you to pick up a copy of Vote For Pedro’s EP debut “Cocktail Napkin” to find out how to do it right.   This CD has 5 tracks, and each one is vastly different, but they all come together to create a really impressive final product. The key ingredients here are a tight, jazzy, contemporary approach with a quirky sense of humor thrown in for good measure. The result is a great CD that showcases a confident group with a defined sound that’s fun to listen to.

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CD Review: SLAMMIN ALL-BODY BAND

{mosimage}Wow. Fasten your seatbelts boys and girls because San Francisco-based SLAMMIN (an “all-body band”) is about to take you for a ride with their unique blend of rhythm dance, beatbox, and tight, often improvised harmonies. Imagine “Stomp” meets the House Jacks, add a healthy dose of jazz and a sprinkle of world music for flavor, let simmer, and you’ve got the unique and impressive sound that SLAMMIN offers here on their debut self-titled CD. Analogies aside, there’s really a lot to love on this disc. All of the singers are absolutely phenomenal and turn in powerful solos that leave little to be desired.  Blend and intonation are also by and large superb, quite a feat considering the majority of the recording is not only live but improvised as well. Seriously – improvised. I couldn’t believe it. These musicians are truly talented.