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David Heyes

Tony Osborne: Junior Jazz Book 1 for double bass & piano

Tony Osborne: Junior Jazz Book 1 for double bass & piano

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About the Book

These are jazz solos rather than bass lines, to give an opportunity to those unfamiliar with, or inexperienced in jazz to explore a world very different from the usual repertoire. Some are more challenging than others, often in terms of style rather than technique, and the all-important word is ‘feel’.

They can be played pizzicato or arco, even a mixture of both, but they were written to be enjoyed by player and audience alike. It would also be possible to add a drum beat. Go for it!

Table of Contents

1. Syncopated Swing

This has a strong but relaxed rhythmic feel and is initially a kind of ‘conversation’ between piano and bass before developing into a unison. Syncopation is an essential ingredient in jazz and is very pronounced in this piece.

2. Boogie Shuffle

This abounds in chugging rhythms and Blues harmonies and is reminiscent of the old-style Boogie-Woogie pianists in New Orleans. There is also an opportunity to play a typical jazz bass line.

3. Bassa Nova

Latin-American rhythms such as the Samba or Tango have a special vitality, and the Bossa Nova lends itself particularly to jazz. Although very rhythmic, this is also relaxed and controlled throughout.

4. Chill-Out

Jazz is often described as ‘hot’ or ‘cool’ depending on mood or style. This is definitely ‘cool jazz’ and has a riff, or repeated phrase, with changing harmonies giving an exciting effect.

5. Jazz Waltz

There are few musical styles that will not adapt to jazz, and the essence of this waltz is that the swing beat will adapt to 3/4 time. The cross-rhythms between 6/8 and 3/4 are another important feature.

6. Jazz Rock

“Blues meets Rock ‘n’ Roll”. The 12 bar sequence is at the heart of most rock ‘n’ roll music and the even-quaver rhythm could almost be reminiscent of ragtime, although retaining its own jive beat.

Program notes by Tony Osborne (1999)

About the Composer

Born in 1947 into a musical family, Tony Osborne studied at the Royal Academy of Music (London) with John Walton (double bass) and Richard Stoker (composition), and divided a busy career between composing, teaching, and performing. A prolific composer and arranger, Tony's original compositions include works in almost every genre, notably Chaconne Syncopations and Wainwright's Ways for brass quintet, Celebration Fanfare for brass ensemble, the musical A Fine Time for Wine, a beautiful and dramatic Requiem, and many works for string orchestra.

Tony’s music for young bassists is very much at the heart of the teaching repertoire, particularly his jazzy and enjoyable bass trios and quartets, and he had the rare ability to create wonderful music which is always player and audience-friendly.

In 2001 Tony Osborne was elected an ARAM (Associate of the Royal Academy of Music) for his pioneering and important work for double bass and was a featured composer at Bass-Fest for over ten years. He was a very successful BIBF

Composer-in-residence in 2002-3, was a judge for the British Composer Awards and a judge for the BIBF Composition Competition from 1999 until 2015.

Tony Osborne died on 30 March 2019 at the age of 71.

Syllabus Information

Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music: Bowed Strings 2020 - 2023 (until Dec 2023)  
Syncopated Swing - TCL Grade 3 / MTB Grade 3
Bassa Nova - ABRSM Grade 3
Chill-Out - MTB Grade 4 / TCL Grade 4
Jazz Waltz - MTB Grade 5

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