University Jazz Combos
Music 47S, 147S, 247S
Jon Nathan, Director
805-689-1029 email:
Jazz Ensemble, T,TH 4:00-5:50 P.M.
Room 1145, Music Building
Office: MUS 1220 Office Hours TH 2-4 by Previous Appointment

Congratulations and welcome to the Winter 2005 installment of the UCSB Jazz Combos. Although combo assignments may change quarter to quarter, you do not need to re-audition each quarter. Please tell me immediately of any changes of your schedule, residence or phone number. Important note: By accepting an approval code and registering for this class you enter into a contract governed by the information in the syllabus. Please consider carefully the decision to be in jazz combos. I am not unreasonable, but I will expect you to be fully responsible for you participation in this class. Attendance: It is expected that you will attend every rehearsal and performance as scheduled. Of course, conflicts arise, but as long as there is communication as to the nature of possible absences, there will be no problem with missed rehearsals. Chronic absence or tardiness will result in lowering of grades and/or expulsion from the ensemble. See rehearsals below for more information

Registration: It is expected that all combo members will be registered for the class. Please consult the instructor if this is a problem. Normally, music 47/147/247 will suffice, but members in both Jazz Ensemble and a combo may get additional credit for combo by discussing the situation with the director and finding an agreeable solution.

Jazz Ensemble Web-page: Jazz Ensemble web site can be found at:

Please feel free to offer any advice or comment on the page.

Rehearsals: Rehearsals will be held at the assigned times in the assigned rooms. Rehearsal rescheduling will only occur by approval of the instructor at least three days in advance. No exceptions. You will be provided with a list of all members of combos and jazz ensemble. Rhythm section players (especially bass) should note that if you cannot attend a combo rehearsal you should make every attempt to find a substitute so that your combo will not suffer.

Performances. All combos will perform during the Jazz Combo concert on Tuesday March 8, 2005, at 4 PM in Room 1250 (Geiringer Hall). All combos will perform on this concert. If you have class or other conflicts you MUST notify me ASAP so we can work out a passable solution. All combos will perform at this time, which will count as the final examination for the class. All class are members are expected to attend the other combos' performances unless a specific conflict prevents that. Plan to be there the entire time! In addition, all combo members are expected to attend the Friday, February 25 Jazz Ensemble Concert in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall.

Weekly Assignments: There will be a general weekly assignment sheet handed out each week for practicing. These will consist of several exercises to help with both the specific tunes you are playing and jazz improvisation, especially II-V-I playing, in general. You will receive a weekly garde for preparation of these assignments. Also, please buy a small three ring binder with some staff paper so that you can take and keep notes about class discussions about theory. I also would like you to keep all assignments in this book as well as xerox copies of the tunes your combo will be performing.

Music: Please own your own copy of the Real Book, jazz fake book. This is available at Santa Barbara Sheet Music in downtown Santa Barbara or at Nick Rail Music on upper De La Vina. Sher Music's Legal Real Book is also acceptable, but not as common. In the case of lack of copies of the book available, xerox copies are ok UNTIL such time that the book may be available. o Repertoire: Each combo should expect to seriously work on 5-7 tunes. These tunes should also be representative of the entire spectrum of the jazz repertoire. For example, each group should play one blues (Straight No Chaser), one bossa (Wave), one Charlie Parker type bebop tune (Ornithology), a II-V-I tin pan alley type tune (All of Me), a ballad (When I Fall in Love), a modal tune (Inner Urge), etc. Please pick your repertoire ASAP and report your set list to jazz director for feedback. In addition, ALL MUSIC must be presented on the concert from memory.

E-Mail: If you don't have e-mail it would be wise to get hooked up. I would like to eliminate as much wasted paper as possible. I would like to eventually be able to do all non-verbal communication via e-mail. If you do get an email from me, PLEASE READ IT VERY CAREFULLY. In the past there have been many instances of missed information from lack of careful attention to emails.

Practicing your music: It is important that you understand your role in your combo. Combo playing is different from playing in the big band in that the written music is much less important than the overall effect of the music and improvisation. Therefore, practicing will be more about understanding general musical concepts involved with jazz combo playing rather than specific music learning. However, the following things may help in your practicing:

1) Know the melody and formal structure of the tunes you are playing. Forms may vary, but are generally 12 bar blues, or some type of 32 bar song form (AABA, ABAC, etc.). There are some variants of these forms. Be in control of your melodic playing, especially regarding intonation.

2) Know what key areas are represented by the music.

3) Practice the arpeggios of the tunes harmonic structure. It is imperitive that you know all of the chord tones, at least R 3 5 7, of the chords in the tunes that you are playing. This will eventually become a "safety net" of notes that you can refer to in your improvisation

4) Know what scales are primarily associated with each chord in the tunes you are playing

5) Listen to as much jazz as you possibly can. We did not grow up with this musical style, therefore it is not in our nature to play it well at first try. The more you listen to, the easier it will be for you to play and understand. At least listen to several different versions of the tunes you are playing. The UCSB Music Library has many jazz recordings and other jazz resources. Please try to take advantage of them

Grading: Your final grade will consist of attendance (25%), preparation, including weekly assignments (25%), and final performance (50%). All music (unless specified by instructor) is to be memorized for final performances.

Good luck and have a wonderful quarter!!!