Andrei Strizek

Music | Musings

Sondheimas 2k16: "Putting It Together" with James Jackson, Jr.

A series of posts looking at the music from Sondheimas 2016. The initial post can be viewed here, and the others can be found here.

Your task: Take a pseudo-minimalist Sondheim song and change it into one with a funk groove. Make sure to keep it interesting. Find a way that showcases James's voice and personality.

Finished product: our "Putting It Together," which brought down the house at both Sondheimas performances. This was really a collaborative arrangement between James, Steven Cuevas, and me. James and I met and hashed out ideas for the chart and worked through some things. It was a fun work session, but also one of those that makes your head tired. I was transposing an already transposed version of "Putting It Together" and working out what the chords were as they came at me, creating a funk-ish feel to the piece and figuring out what we wanted to do when.

I love how this turned out, and I'm so glad that other people did too!

Steven helped a lot with the string parts - you'll hear lots of Sunday... in them - and with some of the reharmonizations after I started coming up with the same chords over and over again. Mairi was thrilled she got to play funk on her cello. Our rhythm section held everything together tightly. This song was a blast.

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