Tim Otto

Musician, Composer, Educator


Jazz Combo Charts
Jazz charts for High School, Middle School, or Early College levels bands.
These jazz tunes draw on a wide variety of musical styles including, funk, swing, rock,
2nd line, groove based, post bop and latin, all with flexible instrumentation
that give plenty of options for creativity and improvisation for all players.

After teaching band for 20 plus years at a High School and Middle School on Manhattan's Upper West Side, I’ve learned that there’s a need for good,  playable tunes for easy to intermediate players off all ages. I felt like I couldn't always find charts I wanted my students to play, so I wrote them myself.  Easy enough for quick results but challenging enough to push some limits, and with styles to appeal to current sensibilities,  contemporary but classic, jazz to funk to rock, these pieces span the modern,era and can appeal to students on any instrument. The following pieces have been band class tested in the 6th to 12th grade age group, but could be played by older or younger students too.

Written for a 4 part horn section, plus Rhythm section as follows:
1st part, Trumpet; 2nd part, Alto sax; 3rd part, Tenor Sax; 4th part, Trombone;
plus standard rhythm section  of Piano, Guitar, Bass and Drums. 

I think these days the best way to buy and use these tunes is from a Sibelius file. For smaller schools, it's more flexible at your end so that you have the correct parts on the instruments you need; eg. your trombone player is your stongest musician, so copy the 1st part to bass clef, and shuffle the others.
Either way, your choice. Sib. files, or hard copy score and parts as written.

Pricing: $45.00 (USD) per chart, plus shipping. 
Please specify Sibelius File or Printed Parts on your order.
If ordering printed parts: Shipping - US Domestic, $5.00. International,  $10.00.

Paypal preferred.
 Send payments to: timottomusic@gmail.com - Or Check of Money Order to the address in sidebar or at the bottom of this page. Please make checks payable to Tim Otto.
Sorry no credit cards at this time.

All the recordings on this page are of an eight piece band - 4 horns and 4 rhythm; but the tunes can reduced or expanded  to be playable by as little as a trio rhythm section + 2 horns, up to a standard Big Band.

Coming soon in 2016 - 3 new titles: Nyola, Moving East, and White Out.

The Compositions

1. Brass Blowout - Jazz Rock        Full score PDF
A simple call and response rhythmic figure sets up section A, transitioning to a 3 part harmony melody in the bridge. This is a good tune to feature your piano soloist, but it can be opened up for any instrument. A pentatonic soli with added counterpoint brings it back to the DS at the bridge, and back to the main melody to end.
Easy. Key of Eb

2. Dogs in Space - Spy Rock        Full score PDF
A rock groove in the bass, piano and drums sets up the horns for a high energy long note intro and melody at letter B. Feature your drummer at the key change at letter G for a big, take no prisoners finale.
Medium difficult. (Trumpets to high D.) Key of D minor

3. Lazy Days - Rock Ballad         Full score PDF
A slow rock ballad with simple piano voicings and an arppegiated guitar vamp. A flowing melody leads to 3 part counterpoint and a bright trumpet melody in Sergeant Pepper style. Long notes complement the melodies leading to a key change finale. No solos.
Medium easy. Key of Bb

4. Too Cool for School - Swing rock/Latin            Full score PDF
This catchy tune has an easy going groove set up by the rhythm section at letter A with the bass doubling the LH piano. The melody in the alto and tenor enter at B with varied instrumentation through letter C. At D the groove changes to funky latin – take extra care with the bass part – and builds back to the melody at E. The tenor sax solos at F over an easy II-V modulating up a step and back. After the solo, a DS to letter D (the bridge), and to the melody once more to the coda and fine.
Medium difficult. Key of F

5. Waltz for Eddie - Slow swing waltz        Full score PDF     
This song was written for, and is dedicated to a dear colleague of mine the late, great Eddie Locke. A superb swing drummer known for his long stints with Coleman Hawkins and Roy Eldridge, Eddie was also in the most famous jazz photo ever taken, A Great Day in Harlem, and can been seen extensively in the documentary of the same name. Eddie and I taught at the same school for over 15 years together, and I wrote this song for him and our students after his passing in 2009.
An easy groove in time in the rhythm sections sets up the song for 2 part counterpoint and modulation between major and minor with plenty of dynamics. 2 guitar parts - lead and rhythm. Bass Clarinet can substitute for Tenor Sax. No solos.
Medium Easy. Key of F

6. Westside Drive - Latin Rock        Full score PDF
For this pop groove tune, you have to imagine that you’re cruising on your bike in your favorite park. After a ‘bell tone’ intro with the horns, the melody rolls over the different grooves based on a II V in F concert, then modulating to Bb/F  in the bridge.
Letter G is open for solos by any instrument; easy, quiet backgrounds pad the solo back to a DS al coda.
Medium. Key of F

7. Dee Minor Blues - Minor blues        Full score PDF
An easy minor blues with a primary melody range of only a 5th. Using only one type of chord (minor 7th),  it’s great piece to introduce improvising – great for pentatonic and/or any type of minor scale application. After setting up the vamp, the melody enters in 3 part harmony at letter A; add the counter melody at the 2nd chorus at letter B. Open it up for solos, then use the melody at letter A (D.S) as the background for the last solo; then letter B and take the coda. Good piece to use your flute player, (or doubling sax player on flute), and as a nice optional color, mute the trumpet with unison flute. Bass Clarinet can nicely substitute for the tenor sax.
Easy. Key of D minor

8. Trevorpalooza - Marching Band Funk        Full score PDF
Named after the school where I have taught band for 18 years – The Trevor Day School on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
This tune is based on a ‘2nd line’ New Orleans street marching band feel. After setting up the cut-time vamp in the intro, the woodwinds come in with the melody augmented with brass hits. Trumpet and trombone take the melody for the bridge, then it’s back to the woodwinds before stop-time tutti hits at letter D. Feature your drummer and other soloists over this repeated section, adding instruments either soloing with the drums, or go free-form and build it up with whoever want to solo. Bring it home with a cue to letter E and back to the melody and coda.
Medium difficult. Key of C

9. Rock the Blues - Swing Blues        Full score PDF
A simple blues using 3 interlocking riff-based melodic patterns in basic 2 part harmony. Trombone takes the solo, then horns come in with a simple soli that can be used alone or as a background to the last chorus of the solo(s). Patterns can be mixed ad lib for 2 and 3 part counterpoint.
Easy. Key of G

Other material/compositions available - Free printout/download: Etude for Bass Clarinet

Scale Syllabus, Reference and Exercise Book - for class work, and/or for all solo  instruments.
Sample book in .pdf format

The musicians on this project are some of the finest in New York City. With countless credits between them playing with big names in Rock, Pop, Jazz and everything in between;  to movie and TV sountracks, modern, classic, and the avant garde - I'm so happy to have them on this project - visit their websites for more info about their own extensive musical activities:

Trumpet: Peck Allmond - http://www.peckallmond.com
Alto Sax:  Steve Elson -  http://www.steveelson.com

Trombone: Curtis Hasselbring - http://www.curha.com
Piano: Barney McAll - http://www.barneymcall.com
Guitar: Cameron Greider - http://www.myspace.com/camerongreider
Drums: John Mettam- http://www.johnmettam.com
Bass: Dom Richards

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Tim Otto. 444 Manhattan Avenue. #6G. New York, NY 10026

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Tim Otto:
444 Manhattan Avenue, 6G
New York, NY 10026

Here's a link to the school where I've been teaching since 1993:

The Trevor Day School

Copyright 2016 by Tim Otto. All Rights Reserved.