Instrumentation: Jazz Band

MOVE! is a suite of compositions for jazz band composed as my Masters project while at Western Michigan University. This is what I wrote about it at the time:

In composing MOVE! I wanted to combine the rhythmic excitement and improvisational elements of jazz music with the refined developmental techniques found in classical music. One of the difficulties with jazz influenced concert music is that others will attempt to find an appropriate label to identify its genre. “Jazz” and “classical” are both terms that are not quite adequate. Rather than try to justify one or both labels, I prefer to follow Charles Mingus’s example and label it simply “Morneau Music.”

Each of the movements in the suite approach the combination of these ideas differently. Jump is influenced by the Kansas City style riff-based compositions. There are two motives (riffs) that are altered and combined in a classical manner. Jump also includes an improvised solo that requires the player to begin and end with a specific development of the. By contrast, Wail contains no improvised lines. Instead, this movement is developed from longer melodic ideas written to sound improvised. Bounce explores the rhythmic aspects of the jazz style through constantly shifting accents and uneven meters. Moan repeats a single melody three times, each time setting against different harmonies and orchestral textures. Finally, the suite is rounded out by Shout, a fanfare in a jazz style.


1: Shout
2: Wail
3: Bounce
4: Moan
5: Jump
Works Category: Large Ensemble