Jazz Combo Charts
Jazz charts for High School, Middle School, or Early College levels
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
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
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
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
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,
plus standard rhythm section of Piano,
Guitar, Bass and Drums.
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
$45.00 (USD) per chart, plus
Please specify Sibelius File or Printed Parts on your order.
If ordering printed parts: Shipping - US Domestic, $5.00.
payments to: email@example.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
rhythm section + 2
horns, up to a standard Big Band.
Coming soon in 2016 - 3 new titles: Nyola, Moving
East, and White Out.
Blowout - Jazz RockFull
A simple call and response rhythmic figure sets up section A,
transitioning to a 3 part harmony melody in the bridge. This
good tune to feature your piano soloist, but it can be opened up for
instrument. A pentatonic soli with added counterpoint brings it back to
at the bridge, and back to the main melody to end.
Easy. Key of Eb
Space - Spy
score PDF A
the bass, piano and
drums sets up the
horns for a high energy long note intro and melody at letter B. Feature
drummer at the key change at letter G for a big, take no prisoners
Medium difficult. (Trumpets to high D.) Key of D minor
Days - ¾
A slow rock ballad with simple piano voicings and an
arppegiated guitar vamp. A flowing melody leads to 3 part counterpoint
bright trumpet melody in Sergeant Pepper style. Long notes complement
melodies leading to a key change finale. No solos.
Medium easy. Key of Bb
Cool for School - Swing
This catchy tunehas
an easy going groove set up by the rhythm section at letter A with the
doubling the LH piano. The melody in the alto and tenor enter at B with
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
sax solos at F over an easy II-V modulating up a step and back. After
a DS to letter D (the bridge), and to the melody once more to the coda
Medium difficult. Key of F
for Eddie - Slow
swing waltzFull 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
his long stints with Coleman Hawkins and Roy Eldridge, Eddie was also
most famous jazz photo ever taken, A Great Day in Harlem, and can been
extensively in the documentary of the same name. Eddie and I taught at
school for over 15 years together, and I wrote this song for him and
students after his passing in 2009.
An easy groove in ¾ time in the rhythm sections sets up the
song for 2 part counterpoint and modulation between major and minor
of dynamics. 2 guitar parts - lead and rhythm. Bass Clarinet can
substitute for Tenor Sax. No solos.
Medium Easy. Key of F
Westside Drive - Latin
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
horns, the melody rolls over the different grooves based on a II V in F
concert, then modulating to Bb/Fin
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
Minor Blues - Minor
An easy minor blues with a primary melody range of only a 5th.
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
the last solo; then letter B and take the coda. Good piece to use your
player, (or doubling sax player on flute), and as a nice optional
the trumpet with unison flute. Bass Clarinet can nicely substitute for
Easy. Key of D minor
Named after the school where I have taught band for 18 years
– The Trevor Day School on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
on a ‘2nd line’ New Orleans street marching band
up the cut-time vamp in the intro, the woodwinds come in with the
augmented with brass hits. Trumpet and trombone take the melody for the
then it’s back to the woodwinds before stop-time tutti hits at letter
Feature your drummer and other soloists over this repeated section,
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
melody and coda.
Medium difficult. Key of C
the Blues - Swing
A simple blues using 3 interlocking riff-based melodic patterns in
2 part harmony. Trombone takes the solo, then horns come in with a
that can be used alone or as a background to the last chorus of the
Patterns can be mixed ad lib for 2 and 3 part counterpoint.
Easy. Key of G
musicians on this project are some of the finest in New
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