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your mouth is tabou
To raise funds for Emergency Postcards, we had an option for fans to commission us to arrange a song of their choice. The idea was a success, and we came away with seven new commissions spanning a variety of genres. Interestingly enough, no one has chosen a jazz standard! We’d like to share the outcome of some of these projects once they become complete (and we get a decent recording). This recording was sight-read and recorded within the same hour.
Saxes: Dan Meinhardt, Kelley Dorhauer, Adam Frank (soloist), Shelley Bishop, James Baum
Trombones: Joshua Torrey, Phil Arquette, Xavier Galdon, Steve Duncan (soloist)
Trumpets: Brian Warszona (soloist), Andrew Ecklund, Jen Marshall, Jenni Szczerbinski
Piano: Carl Kennedy | Guitar: Chris Parsons | Bass: Dan Parker | Drums: Joel Baer
Music Arranger & Director: John Dorhauer
This is a really fun arrangement to perform and direct, largely because it’s impossible to play the same way twice. Basically, it’s a “choose your own adventure” chart. Although the groove stays pretty constant throughout, there are a few sections in the arrangement where the horns have a few different options of things they could play. So, for example, the saxes have three different short musical phrases that they can play over the first section (a section similar to the song’s first verse), and so do the trombones and the trumpets. Each section is cued to come in and with a specific part to play, but I make that up on the fly. There’s also a spot toward the end (what would be the third verse) where something similar happens, but instead of all the saxes having three different phrases as a group, all of them have their own unique set of three phrases. I cue individuals to start and stop playing, but they’ll pick which idea they play. So when it sounds like everyone’s playing their own part that has nothing to do with anyone else, that’s because that’s what’s happening. But everything that they’re playing is written down – the only improvised parts in the song are the trumpet/tenor sax/trombone solos that happen during the middle part. When I was listening to live versions of the original song, the biggest thing I took away from them was that this was just a group of friends getting together and jamming over a catchy groove, and I wanted to try to emulate that with the arrangement.
Ta Bouche est Tabou is an original song by Poi Dog Pondering. PDP began in Hawaii in 1986 and eventually relocated to Chicago in 1992. They’ve collaborated with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra & the Chicago Sinfonietta and they were named Best Rock/Pop Act in Chicago Reader’s 2009 poll. Here’s a live recording from the Vic Theatre in Chicago from 1999.
Visit their official website at http://www.poidogpondering.com/
Special thanks to Jay Dorhauer for commissioning this arrangement.