How to interpret Little Brown Jug

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AndrewMeronek
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How to interpret Little Brown Jug

Post by AndrewMeronek » Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:00 am

Another "how to interpret" thread, this time on the Glenn Miller stock of Little Brown Jug.

For reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOG89TrL4Vk

The actual charts the Miller band play often have slight differences from the publicly available stocks. There are some differences in the chart I have vs. what the Miller band actually plays. For example, the bass line played by the trombones. In the stock, the and-of-4 to and-of-1 in ms. 2-3 are both marked short, but the Miller band plays it short-long. This is one of those cases where if you happen to be familiar enough with the recording to know this, don't try to 'fix' the arrangement without getting agreement from the rest of the section beforehand. A section all playing the same thing will sound more 'right' than a section with disagreement on note lengths. As a general rule, go with what's on the page even if it's wrong until you can make the correction as a section.

Same goes with the scoop at 0:50 - in the recording the scoop is on the downbeat; in the stock the scoop is on beat 3. Match the lead trumpet you have, and unless a correction is penciled in, they should play what's written.

There's a note length issue at 1:03 also: the end of that 1-measure lick is played short in the recording but written long in the stock. Same arguments apply as above.

Speaking of note lengths, the stock is OK but at 1:39 is pretty clear that in the Miller band the trombones and saxes don't agree on note lengths. I don't like that. But, on a band stand it can sometimes be pretty hard to hear just what note lengths saxophones are applying. Technically it should be the responsibility in cases like this of the saxes to match the trombones. Just make sure the trombones are tight.

The glisses starting at 2:19 should *never* start from 1st or 2nd position. Some of them in the various parts are impossible to play (in the stock at least; Miller's band arrangement is better but unavailable to the public) as a 'true' gliss, but starting the gliss, giving it some room, and then jumping a partial sounds much better than trying to jump a partial right away and end withe the gliss. If that makes sense. Astute trombonists who have the time may want to edit the parts to make the written glisses playable, esentially making them fall within intervals closer to 3rds than the 4ths/5ths/6ths in the stock.
“All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.”

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Pre59
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Re: How to interpret Little Brown Jug

Post by Pre59 » Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:06 pm

This is a collection of musicians from the leading bands of the time according to the lower menu in YouTube.

"Members Of The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Members of The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, The Charlie Barnet Orchestra, The Stan Kenton Orchestra"

The phrasing is unlike any GM version that I've heard, being much looser.
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ExZacLee
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Re: How to interpret Little Brown Jug

Post by ExZacLee » Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:51 pm

Some of those stock charts have a fair amount of errors in them - either due to bad editing, bad lifting, or in some cases copying from the original score not taking into account corrections and changes made either in the session or over time on the road. It's an issue not just in stock charts, but fairly present in "official" and "non-official" publications. I do a fair amount of transcriptions for shows and educational stuff, and I'll buy scores of stuff that's published to check my work against. Some stuff you'd expect to be really accurate isn't - missed accidentals, incorrect parts, wrong chord changes, anticipated rhythms written as downbeats, transposition errors... and some of the worst offenders have access to the scores. I mean, I've seen orchestral scores with enough errors to justify asking for the rental deposit back so it's not just big band stuff. Publishers don't always give their editors/engravers a lot of time to do the preparation. I used to play in a big band around here that played a lot of old stock charts but they played them more like the album so there were a lot of changes - you had to know the music to play it. Some stocks seem to have been "simplified" lifts, missing a lot of the proper extensions, chromatic passing tones and alterations present in the original recordings, but just close enough to do the job for a working dance band.

There's also (likely in this case) the fact that the way these charts are played changes over time. From anticipations being added to chord substitutions to entire interludes being added in.

Not a stock chart issue (but could also happen with stocks) with the Gil Evans stuff, there's often significant changes that have occurred between writing the score, the start of the session and even the second session of the day. Gil was notorious for making last minute tweaks to his stuff, so with the newly published stuff it's not unheard of to get a chart that doesn't 100% reflect what's on the album. There are some of the JJ Big Band things I've seen where the score doesn't accurately reflect the recording, and I suspect it's the same thing: changes made on the day of the session that weren't corrected in the score.
AndrewMeronek
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Re: How to interpret Little Brown Jug

Post by AndrewMeronek » Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:08 am

Pre59 wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:06 pm
This is a collection of musicians from the leading bands of the time according to the lower menu in YouTube.

"Members Of The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Members of The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, The Charlie Barnet Orchestra, The Stan Kenton Orchestra"

The phrasing is unlike any GM version that I've heard, being much looser.
Could be. I assumed that the way that section is worded, it means that the various orchestras played on different tunes in the album.
“All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.”

- Thelonious Monk
AndrewMeronek
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Re: How to interpret Little Brown Jug

Post by AndrewMeronek » Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:27 am

Maybe this is a better reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47uGb61LgGY

Even more different from the available stock, arr. Bill Finnegan.
“All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.”

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Mikebmiller
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Re: How to interpret Little Brown Jug

Post by Mikebmiller » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:10 pm

My band opened every concert for what seemed like a year with that tune. I would like to interpret it into the trash. Not that is a bad tune, but too much of anything can drive you nuts.
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