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Yes, I already asked the director that very question today, thinking along the exact same lines. But I am at least half expecting I won't hear back from him . . . until Monday, if at all. I was supposed to get the sheet music last week, and only got it today. So I am not going to hold my breath on that one, but I do hope he responds by Friday at least.
All I ever got was, "Don't worry. We will get to all of them eventually.'

Not much help with 11 tunes.

I decided to listen to them all, and read thru the music along with the recordings.

Then I tried to notice any funny business, like DCs and repeats, difficult page turns, and difficult runs, and the like.

But usually just got lost anyway at first. Everyone was really nice, and plenty of other old codgers like me were lost at first, too.
 

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Go to this link E Jazz Lines and do a search for the title of the arrangement. If the arrangement has a recording there will be the image of a speaker by the title.

You may also want to look into joining Smart Music. There are numerous jazz songs in all different ability levels that have your part shown on the screen and allow you to play along with a professional recording. They might even have a few of the arrangements you are playing. Whether or not the songs you are playing are included, it is a tremendous resource to work on your sight reading. You just go to a level or two below your ability level and read through charts. It only costs $40 per year---about what most of us spend on a box of reeds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I did hear back from the director, and it seems we're just going to read over and dicuss the music as a group or some such introductory thing.

So no worries on that score. (Not worrying is also probably generally a good thing, just relax and have fun as many have suggested)

As was also suggested, finding youtube recordings of the same arrangements was easy. For two or three I don't have the name of an arranger on the sheet music, but I expect they won't be too hard to find any. I should have realized it was easy to find specific arrangements but still new to this side of things.

Already starting today with Body and Soul. Stan Kenton's recording from his 7.5 on the Richter Scale album. Lovely stuff.

I'll look into Smart Music. Cost for such things is not an issue.

Thanks for all the useful suggestions, reminders, etc. Keep 'em coming if you got 'em.
 

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Well, 4th tenor (nowadays called 2nd tenor) is a "blendy" part usually. There are two pillars of the saxophone section, the lead alto and the baritone. Everyone else, most of the time, fits in with and below those. Always listen to the lead player and phrase as they do. In full band passages, take your phrasing from the lead trumpet, as the lead alto should also be doing. If you are doubling parts, you're going to have to play softly or the inner parts will overpower the lead parts. If you have something like a C* Selmer, you may want to use that.
 

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Well, 4th tenor (nowadays called 2nd tenor) is a "blendy" part usually. There are two pillars of the saxophone section, the lead alto and the baritone. Everyone else, most of the time, fits in with and below those. Always listen to the lead player and phrase as they do. In full band passages, take your phrasing from the lead trumpet, as the lead alto should also be doing. If you are doubling parts, you're going to have to play softly or the inner parts will overpower the lead parts. If you have something like a C* Selmer, you may want to use that.
turf3,
Just wondering why it is or was called 4th tenor and nowadays 2nd tenor. Especially as there are only two tenors; at least in the group I play in. Also I didn't realize that lead alto and baritone were "the two pillars". Thanks for that information. In the one group I play in, 2nd tenor is positioned between lead alto and baritone...In another group that is not the case. Is 2nd tenor commonly placed in this location? (between lead alto and baritone?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Re the term “4th tenor,” I used this in the first post to simply inform that I was the 4th tenor sax player in the band, and said I was sharing 2nd tenor duties with #3.

In the band I have just joined, the 4 altos are in front, and the 4 tenors, and Bari, behind.
 

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turf3,
Just wondering why it is or was called 4th tenor and nowadays 2nd tenor. Especially as there are only two tenors; at least in the group I play in. Also I didn't realize that lead alto and baritone were "the two pillars". Thanks for that information. In the one group I play in, 2nd tenor is positioned between lead alto and baritone...In another group that is not the case. Is 2nd tenor commonly placed in this location? (between lead alto and baritone?)
Of course this doesn't apply to the OP's band which has many saxes playing each part. But, harmonically speaking, the voices typically go, from top to bottom:
- Sax 1 (Alto 1), Sax 2 (Alto 2), Sax 3 (Tenor 1), Sax 4 (Tenor 2), Sax 5 (Bari)

Some older charts actually call the parts Sax 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

As far as seating, each section usually has the lead, or highest pitched part, in the middle, and then spreads out on both sides according to the descending harmony parts. So the sax section is usually arranged:

5 4 1 2 3

So from the perspective if sitting in the section, start with 1 in the middle, go to the right for parts 2 and 3, then from the middle to the left for 4 and 5.

Harmonically speaking, yes, the lead alto gets the melody and the highest harmony part, and the bari gets the roots or the bass parts or doubles what the alto is playing in solis, so, that makes them pillars. If you're not talking strictly about harmony but about overall importance to the band, the first tenor is also pretty important as that chair tends to get most of the solos. But when playing as a section, everybody has to play under the lead and blend, all playing the same volume, style and articulation as the lead.

The above is extremely difficult to do with multiple people on the same part. Everybody has to play much softer than they normally would and stay perfectly in tune.

Switching gears, the ghosting advice is spot on for a beginner. There are some fast, tricky parts in the sax soli in Warm Breeze, for example, that you're not going to be able to sight read as a beginner. So don't muck up the rest of the section until you've got it down. Stick with playing the accented and sustained notes that you can hit, and don't get lost. Then woodshed at home until you can play all of it at full speed.
 

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As far as seating, each section usually has the lead, or highest pitched part, in the middle, and then spreads out on both sides according to the descending harmony parts. So the sax section is usually arranged:

5 4 1 2 3
Actually, most bands I've played in, have the sax 2 part on the outside, so

5 4 1 3 2

I am not exactly sure when and by whom this became the standard seating. I have seen photos of bands with baritone near the middle, but I can't remember exactly the layout.

Nine or ten players covering five parts is going to be a real challenge.
 

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- Sax 1 (Alto 1), Sax 2 (Alto 2), Sax 3 (Tenor 1), Sax 4 (Tenor 2), Sax 5 (Bari)

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Ah, now I see the issue, you've got sax 3 and sax 2 interchanged.

Sax 1 = lead alto
sax 2 = jazz tenor
sax 3 = alto "2"
sax 4 = tenor "2"
sax 5 = baritone

Jazz tenor and baritone typically on the outsides, lead in the center, 3rd and 4th sax can be either way but I 've seen the two tenors split up more often than I've seen them next to each other.
 

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Actually, most bands I've played in, have the sax 2 part on the outside, so

5 4 1 3 2

I am not exactly sure when and by whom this became the standard seating. I have seen photos of bands with baritone near the middle, but I can't remember exactly the layout.

Nine or ten players covering five parts is going to be a real challenge.
I think that's the 'normal' and (IMO) best way to do it. But in some these school/community bands you sometimes get things like:

313
2444445
4445
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
What with all these numbers and seating arrangements, I think we now need a poll asking which gives the best sound/tone/vibes:

T formation
I formation
Shotgun
Flying wedge

And let’s not even get started on defensive formations (mostly needed when band director is from Whiplash, etc.)
 

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Ah, now I see the issue, you've got sax 3 and sax 2 interchanged.

Sax 1 = lead alto
sax 2 = jazz tenor
sax 3 = alto "2"
sax 4 = tenor "2"
sax 5 = baritone

Jazz tenor and baritone typically on the outsides, lead in the center, 3rd and 4th sax can be either way but I 've seen the two tenors split up more often than I've seen them next to each other.
That's very strange. I've been in and seen many, many big bands, and read thousands of sax solis and almost never see tenor 1 play a higher part than alto 2. Alto 2 is higher pitched than tenor, so naturally plays the higher part (2nd) in most cases. When I write for sax sections, alto 2 plays a higher part than tenor 1. But yes, except for what you're calling Sax 2 and 3 being reversed (I disagree), this is the seating arrangement, 2 altos in the middle, "jazz" tenor on the end next to the rhythm section, bari on the opposite end, flanked by the other tenor.
 

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That's very strange. I've been in and seen many, many big bands, and read thousands of sax solis and almost never see tenor 1 play a higher part than alto 2. Alto 2 is higher pitched than tenor, so naturally plays the higher part (2nd) in most cases. When I write for sax sections, alto 2 plays a higher part than tenor 1. But yes, except for what you're calling Sax 2 and 3 being reversed (I disagree), this is the seating arrangement, 2 altos in the middle, "jazz" tenor on the end next to the rhythm section, bari on the opposite end, flanked by the other tenor.
I'm not talking about the relative position in the harmonies. For sure the non-lead alto will usually be playing a higher pitched part than the jazz tenor.

All I was commenting on was how the parts are labeled.

Old style labeling on the parts:

Sax 1 = lead alto - generally doubling clarinet, occasionally flute or soprano
Sax 2 = jazz tenor - generally doubling clarinet, maybe flute or soprano
Sax 3 = the other alto - generally doubling clarinet - often this chair is where the tough clarinet parts go.
Sax 4 = the other tenor - may double clarinet
Sax 5 = baritone - doubling bass clarinet or clarinet

New style labeling

Alto 1 = lead alto
Alto 2 = the other alto
tenor 1 = jazz tenor
tenor 2 = the other one
Baritone = self-evident.

How the parts are labeled is not closely related to the way the harmonies are written.

I have seen many charts labeled "1st alto, 2nd tenor, 3rd alto, 4th tenor". I have never seen a chart labeled "1st alto, 2nd alto, 3rd tenor, 4th tenor" although some may exist. For charts written since - I guess - the mid 60s, maybe earlier, they are mostly "1st alto, 2nd alto, 1st tenor, 2nd tenor".
 

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Here's Basie with tenors on the outside, baritone inside and two altos next to each other. I assume the lead alto is the one sitting next to baritone. I can imagine some advantages to this layout. Tate is on the far stage right of the section.


There's a famous picture of the Earl Hines band with Bird on tenor and the same layout.

Here's a picture of the Ellington band with two tenors next to each other: Gonsalves and Hamilton (?) with Hodges, can't see the other two but at least in this seating, the two tenors were next to each other not separated.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/ent...orale-duke-ellington-sacred-concert/93265494/

Here's Ellington, with Carney out on the end, but Ben Webster, jazz tenor, next to Carney, and Bigard who hardly ever soloed on tenor, where most modern bands put the jazz tenor.

https://portageandslain.com/2017/06/22/duke-ellington-in-winnipeg/

Personally I think the time has come for bandleaders to experiment a bit more with the 5 person sax section.
 

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Hey OP, I'm sorry we hijacked your thread. I should probably move all the detailed stuff about sax section layout to its own thread.

Resuming the previously scheduled programming:
 

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Some tips and opinions on section playing in a jazz band (some of it is just +1 of stuff already mentioned):

- Prime directive: Listen (to the lead alto, but also to the hi-hat and the bass player)
- Strive to blend in with the section
- You probably need to play quite a bit softer than you’d think most of the time, to blend, to be stylistically correct, and to have any dynamic range to speak of. Shouty big bands are mostly boring ruckus.
- Be very mindful of the ends of your tones and phrases as well as the starts. Coordinated phrasing is one of the hallmarks of a good section. Running a tight shop needs even more attention if you are performing with an oversized sex section with doubling on many parts.
- Try to be aware of your function in the whole at all times, as a section (tutti, background or foreground theme?) and individually (solo motif that needs to be heard, interesting tone that fills out the chord, can I hear the lead, ...)
- Relax (always, and especially on the fast and difficult stuff) and enjoy!
 

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If you are doubling parts, you're going to have to play softly or the inner parts will overpower the lead parts. If you have something like a C* Selmer, you may want to use that.
While I agree with taking care to "stay behind" the lead at all times, I must respectfully disagree with the mouthpiece recommendation. Use whatever you are comfortable with, but a piece like the C* tends to be a little thin for jazz band playing in my opinion.

Even playing second tenor, try what's available to get the sound you want. Many get good results with a decent Link or Berg, or something more recent like a JodyJazz HR, a Vandoren V16, etc. As long as you're comfortable and in control of your tone, you should not need to use a special "2nd tenor only" piece.
 

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turf3,
In the one group I play in, 2nd tenor is positioned between lead alto and baritone...In another group that is not the case. Is 2nd tenor commonly placed in this location? (between lead alto and baritone?)
As far as placement, the section usually goes (from rhythm section outward) Tenor 1, Alto 2, Alto 1, Tenor 2, Bari
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
While I agree with taking care to "stay behind" the lead at all times, I must respectfully disagree with the mouthpiece recommendation. Use whatever you are comfortable with, but a piece like the C* tends to be a little thin for jazz band playing in my opinion.

Even playing second tenor, try what's available to get the sound you want. Many get good results with a decent Link or Berg, or something more recent like a JodyJazz HR, a Vandoren V16, etc. As long as you're comfortable and in control of your tone, you should not need to use a special "2nd tenor only" piece.
Thanks. I wasn't planning to change mouthpieces. I have Jody Jazz DVNY 7, Barone Jazz 8 and Tenney Jazzmaster 7* and I expect any would be fine.
 
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