I’ll be playing with a reunited Babik (my old Gypsy Jazz group from NY) for one show with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra on September 24th, 2015.
This will be our third time with the symphony there. I’m looking forward to seeing my old cohorts …and having a 100 piece back-up band too! Standing in front of the orchestra and listening to arranger Brent Haven’s lush Debussy-esque intro to Django’s Nuage will be worth the trip alone!
The challenge for a Gypsy Jazz band to play with a large ensemble like this is not the playing, or nerves for standing in front of such high caliber players, but that the arrangements have to be precise, or the orchestra would be lost! For those of you who have heard this music before, you are probably well aware that we largely make it up as we go.
The Babik boys had many meetings in the early stages of development for these arrangements just to map out how long each of our solos would be in each song, and what we wanted to the orchestra to do, before sending out our sketches to the arranger (Brent Havens FYI is well known for doing those orchestra shows of rock music like Jimi Hendrix, Eagles, Led Zepplin, the Doors, Pink Floyd and Queen). So the worry for us is that we just might get too excited and improvise too long! This may involve a few cheat sheets on the floor ;~) Wish me luck!
I include a page of the chart for Django’s odd-sounding “Rhythm Futur” for your edu-tainment here. This song was the “B side” of the original vinyl single for “Nuage” I believe. We will be performing both songs in this program as a historical contrast, With Nuage representing peace, and Rhythm Futur representing the horrors of war. Though Babik’s arrangement has the Allies come to the rescue with quotes of Smoke on the Water, American Woman, Ozzy Osborne, and other such fun too.
Here’s a look. I’ll prepare a fuller lesson on this arrangement too. Click here to go to the full Rhtym Futur lesson.