Mr. Whalen, also known as “Mr. Band,” was an Instrumental Jazz teacher more than twenty years at Yorktown Central School District. One of the traits Mr. Whalen was known for was his good sense of humor, especially good jokes and groaners. Jeffrey loved to keep everyone smiling!
Although he used a variety of established music, Mr. Whalen frequently made arrangements to target the level of the musicians for whom he was writing. Over the years, he wrote original music and countless arrangements for elementary band to high school jazz band to professional musicians. Mr. Whalen recently started to share some of his songs for beginner players with an online music catalog. He used the pseudo name, Mr. Band! In the future, hopefully more of his many original pieces will be added.
Your beginning band students will have a ball playing this fun, bluesy concert selection by Mr. Band. “Smooth Move” has a strong background ostinato and a jazzy melody that is accessible even to first year band students. You will find yourself humming this song all concert season!
This tune has always been a favorite of my first year band students. With this song, you won’t have to ask them to practice. It’s got a catchy easy-to-learn melody, a nice drum solo and just enough challenge to keep everyone working. Here are some things to look for: single paradiddles in the snare drum part, slurred vs. tongued phrases in the melody, chromatics at the bridge, and the change in dynamics at the end. I hope you and your students enjoy this one as much as my students have!
This simple yet majestic beginning band arrangement is perfect for every concert, assembly, flag raising, or graduation ceremony taking place at your school. Your kids will love it, and your audience will too. Its easy to understand rhythms, and exciting introduction will make this arrangement a permanent part of your basic library.
Jeffrey Whalen was also the Co-Director for the Yorktown High School Jazz Band.