The late John Dankworth (1927-2010) made a string of recordings in the 1960s that have since come to be regarded as some of the finest British jazz of their time. Amongst these is his composition 'Off Duty' which was recorded in the 1960s when the influence of pop and rock on jazz was at its height and instruments such as the bass guitar were beginning to be incorporated into jazz's vocabulary. At this time and almost subconsciously, a Dankworth 'pop' style also evolved. This was a balanced marriage between jazz and pop which is here demonstrated in 'Off Duty' thanks to the ingenious and original orchestration by John Dankworth, and the faithful arrangement for Brass Band by one of his fans, Len Jenkins. The title is interesting as John loved to play with words. 'Off Duty' could mean relaxing away from work, but could also carry the implication of something not attracting taxation.... a sort of 'duty-free'. About the same time, the Dave Brubeck Quartet produced the seminal 'Take Five'... so could this be John's take on that title, suggesting a short break? Which meaning fits best for you? The piece would best suit the capabilities of a brass band playing at the standard of Third Section or above.
You have to admit it, but standing there in the cold outside a supermarket at Christmas, playing to raise funds for your band or local charity, you could sometimes do with something to liven things up. Well here's a piece to get feet tapping (but please don't do that when playing on stage - leave that to the audience!). Comprising a medley of well-known and loved carols and festive pieces, the pace will keep you warm and make a welcome break from traditional carol tempos without losing the Christmas spirit. Hic! For practical reasons, XMAZZ! can easily be split into two parts with a mid-point where you can stop (or start) according to choice or demands of the occasion. Graham
"Anyone Who Had A Heart" is a song written by Burt Bacharach (music) and Hal David (lyrics) originally for Dionne Warwick in 1963. However, in the UK, Ireland and New Zealand, the cover version by Cilla Black was, and is still, the best loved. Championed by her friends The Beatles, she began her career as a singer in 1963, and her singles "Anyone Who Had A Heart" and "You're My World" both reached number one in the UK in 1964. From the first line, the song has a certain frisson: "Anyone who ever loved, could look at me, and know that I love you." Sadly, Cilla passed away on 1 August 2015 so this is our tribute to a well-loved lady and singer. Our objective has been to interpret the style of the original performance by Cilla, and whilst the time signatures may not be familiar, experience has shown that these are easier to read and play than the alternative using triplets.