||"The Funny Thing Is.." by Omar Cherry was written in 2013. Omar is currently a graduate music student at Ball State U. in Muncie, IN. The Jazz Ensemble at Ball State directed by Mark Buselli has given rave reviews of this tune. Open solo section with changes written on all parts. Use your best soloists. This is a funky, soulful chart. Scored for: 5 saxes; 5 Trpts.; 4 Troms.; Piano; Bass; Drums; Congas. Also available as a PDF. This piece is enjoyable to rehearse as well as perform. It blends
contemporary funk and soul; a fresh take on big band music that is also
accessible – even to the advanced high school jazz band with strong
enough soloists. The solo section (mm.37-54) is flexible and as open as you
prefer (hence, the chord changes on all parts). Whether you would like to
feature one soloist or several is your decision, however, if you choose to
showcase two or more soloists, also consider not dragging this section out
for too long.
Snarky Puppy, the Roy Hargrove Big Band, and the like have
indirectly inspired The Funny Thing Is… with its motivic approach to melody
and evocative harmonies. I have found over the past ten years or so that
there has been a movement of Neo-Soul Jazz that has permeated the
world of big band music. I would like to contribute more to this attractive
genre in the future.
There is much syncopation and no swing rhythm so it may be
appropriate to drill rhythms should any issues arise in certain places. The
key to a successful performance of this piece is uniformity in the rhythm
wherever it applies. I have found from my experience in rehearsals of this
piece that the dynamic contours are not as much of an issue and should
be easier to rehearse after the band feels comfortable with every rhythm.
Please also read the note to the director on the first page of the score.