Click the links below to hear the pieces in the book
1. Four on the Floor – This piece has a steady rock beat and an ABA form. Although it’s in a minor key it’s got an exuberant strut to it, so play it with attitude. Pay particular attention to the articulation markings I’ve used, and you’ll have your horn really talking.
2. The Trees of Brambletye – Inspired by the natural beauty surrounding a school where I teach, The Trees of Brambletye should be played with a full, warm tone, and a sense of majesty. You can work on your breath support here to obtain a nice legato line, and do be mindful of the dynamic markings.
3. Found My Missing Keys – This should be played joyously, and with a swing. You’ll notice the key change in the middle, hence the title – it moves from C major to E major and back again. The middle, or B section, should be played legato, in contrast to the bouncy accents in the A sections.
4. The Mist Covered Mountains – I’ve loved this old Scottish tune since I first heard it in the film Local Hero, where it was arranged by Mark Knopfler. This mostly reflects his arrangement, slow and flowing with underlying arpeggios in the piano. This is all about controlled, supported breath and long legato phrases.
5. Andalusian Folk Melody – I first heard this melody when I was performing in Milan, Italy. Its actual title is The Gift Thou Givest, and it was the tune played by a pair of clacking toy shoes on sale from various North African street vendors at the time. I find it a haunting tune. Because of its folk structure, the meter changes in places. Don’t let it throw you, though – just keep a steady tempo with the quavers and you’ll be fine.
6. Zeke & Me – This is in memory of my little spaniel, who’s now sadly gone. He was a very happy dog, though – playful and full of energy – so, let that guide you. Articulation is important here, whether it’s slurring into a staccato note, or an accented syncopation. It’s the study and practice of the articulations that will change this from a run of the mill piece to one that really speaks.
7. Cool World – This was inspired by a composition by jazz pianist Mal Waldron. In fact, I mostly left the rhythm of his piece intact, but inverted the melody to make it something of my own. I think you’ll find this infectious if you really swing it and follow the articulation markings.
8. Swinging Elise – This famous piano piece by Beethoven makes a lovely swinging solo for trumpet. Keep the swing gentle, your tone sweet, and articulate like mad. There’s a fun little ping pong game going on between the piano and trumpet in bars 14 – 17.
9. Wolf at the Door – This minor key swing piece was originally written as a duet for my second book of Big Bad Wolf Trumpet Duets, but I always thought it would make a good solo too. Follow the dynamic markings closely – it really opens up to a solid forte in the B section (bars 13 – 20) before returning to the main theme.
10. One for A Leap Year – Playing in 6/8 can be tricky at first, but it gives wonderful opportunities to play with shifts between triple and duple metre, called a hemiola. As an example, first play bars 1 – 4 and then bars 16 – 23 to feel the shifting beats there. Have fun with the C to C octave leaps too.