Big Alice

Composer: Pullen, Don Arranger: Johnson, Howard
Instrumentation: Solo and Tuba Ensemble Instruments: Bass, Drum Set, Piano, Tuba
Genre: Jazz

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PZA90154
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Tuba solo, 5 Tubas, Piano, Bass and Drum Set

Big Alice goes from the Bo Diddly rhythm figure and gets more raucous as the piece goes on.”

  • Howard Johnson

When Howard heard Don Pullen’s chart, he immediately wanted to arrange the piece for Gravity to play. During a rehearsal when he brought the arrangement to the band, he called Don Pullen and the ensemble played the arrangement on Pullen’s telephone answering machine. When Don Pullen heard the musical message, he immediately called Howard and exclaimed that “he loved it!”

Howard Johnson’s jazz tuba ensemble is envisioned as a tuba choir- with tubas in F, E flat, CC, and BB flat- that encourages tuba players to learn to play in the upper register. His charts were originally written for his tuba jazz ensemble, Gravity, formed in 1968 with Howard Johnson as solo lead tuba. The charts can in fact be performed with euphoniums; but he formed his group, made his arrangements and developed this specific instrumentation 50 years ago as a statement about tubas and prefers to hear his arrangements played in this configuration, encouraging tuba players to develop the range required. His most important advice is that whatever instrumentation is used, make it fun and find the best jazz rhythm section!

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Big Alice
Big Alice

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