Study and Listen: Blues for Mr P (big band)

I have recently come across a very cool tool that converts documents into “flash” like presentations. The coolest thing is that you can add audio to the documents.

Using this tool, I will be posting a variety of charts here for you to study while listening. The first chart in this “Study and Listen” series is an original of mine called Blues for Mr P. Its a straight ahead chart that has alot of space for soloists to blow on.

This chart actually features the great Conti Condoli playing a terrific trumpet solo.

Points to consider:

1) I used alot of closed voicings on this one, and also doubling tpts and trombones at the octave, then filling in saxes similarly. I wanted to see how this kind of writing would sound at the time, and it works well. I don’t do this always now, especially with the trumpet section, but this one utilizes that technique alot.

2) I broke up and balanced full voiced out chords with alot of manipulation of “weight” between instruments. So you’ll find quick unisons, or perhaps 2 lines voiced quickly between full chordal voicings.

3) Solo sections are “open” for the most part. Keeping these sections open-ended works well on a blues especially, and certainly if you have good soloists. It gives the soloist time to “stretch out”. Backgrounds are “on cue”. Lots of riff-like figures that lend themselves well to this type of style.

I hope you like this method for presenting scores to view and listen to! In the future I will includes scores that are in “concert” pitch. I just don’t have one available for this one yet.

Study and Listen – Blues for Mr P
Click on the graphic below to open the score in full screen mode. Audio and “zoom” controls are located just above the manuscript. Click on the speaker icon to start and stop the audio at anytime. You can also use your mouse to navigate, zoom in, and go from page to page. Press “escape” to exit.

Purchase this chart (PDF score and parts) for $19.95

19 Replies to “Study and Listen: Blues for Mr P (big band)”

  1. Howard Wrightson

    Jim, great idea & tool. I see you use this in your Big Band & Combo club also which I’m a member. I bought this chart so I have that to refer to.


  2. Matt Kern

    Whew. Great chart. That one goes on the Xmas list.

    Neat tool. To start over I had to quit the page and fire it up again.

  3. Jim Martin

    Thanks for the comments guys. Apparently, the tool does not allow you to back up the audio. Maybe I’ll suggest that to them. You can start and stop using the speaker icon, but you can’t back up like you can with the flash player I’ve used for years. that means you cant move it to a certain spot either. I’ll experiment to see if I can figure out a work around.

  4. Jerry Swiatlowski

    Great, moving chart. Love the idea to hear and see the parts, Next step is find a software that isolates the sections to listen too.

  5. Robert Barboni

    JIM, dig the chart, but is it or will it be possible to change the tempo for us slow listeners? Also as some said, it would be great to be able to back up to an earlier spot.

  6. Jim Martin

    Robert: I don’t think it will be possible to ever be able to change the tempo. you can’t do that with a regular mp3 unless you import into audacity or something.

  7. David Cannaday


    Good groovin Chart. Nice Blues I like the back ground voices good change of pace. I’m not crazy about the new format. Just not use to it. Keep em coming nice ideas. Thanks.David

  8. Jim Martin

    Thanks guys, I can’t slow the chart down because the mp3 is attached to the flash file itself. You’d have to get audacity or something to do that.

    George: I run out of ideas all the time. We did have alot of fun playing this one at our weekly gig at the Moosehead in the 90s in Chicago. Having a 3 hour big band gig every week really helped the band gel and sound good. That’s when I could sight read anything. Not so much like that any more!

  9. RM G

    Bunch of little Q’s: Bar[1] what does “Ens.Cues” mean?; Bar [8] Bass Clef on Piano/Gtr. part, who plays what?; Bar [12] [24] Why label with cue “Unis.” vs. “Div.”? Does that Cue show up in parts?; Bar [41] Cue reads: Sparse Fills to “?”…what’s that in square?; Bar [72] What are the trombones doing with the x note heads; Bar [96] [144] What does “Ens.” mean?; After Trumpet solo there’s a trading section with Sax, is that cued in chart?; What’s your preference with full score: Concert vs. Transposed.

  10. Jim Martin

    RM G: I can answer some questions without referring to the score. I did write this one years ago and I do some stuff different now. Here’s some answers.

    Ens Cues = Ensemble Cues. Its to tell the drummer that the rhythms are the entire ensemble.

    Both piano and guitar would play those notes. I write much more definitive rhythm parts now than I did back then so I would do this differently now and there would be a separate guitar part.

    I usually don’t use “Div” unless its string writing, but telling the players a line is unison helps them know what’s going on, and yes, it would be included in the parts too.

    Bar 41: In the original manuscript, I believe I used letters. Letter “D” would have been bar 49. Someone did the finale for this after the fact. Basically the rhythm section plays alone here until the solos start at m. 49

    X noteheads are a symbol for “ghosting” a note. Can be used in any instrument.

    Ens = Ensemble

    The trading section was added for the recording session with Conti Condoli. We used this chart for alot of solos and it was pretty open but changed frequently.

    I prefer concert scores to study, but for publishing I prefer transposed.

  11. Jim Martin

    Thanks for commenting Frank. Glad you like the tune. The Mr. P that this title and tune refers to passed away a couple weeks ago. Made me very sad because he was a good friend and taught me alot about jazz, arranging, and life in general. A kindred spirits of sorts I guess you could say. I played in his band starting in 1987 and was the permanent sub during the 1990s. Check out Bob’s playing at this link

  12. David Arivett

    Hi Jim very cool new tool for viewing scores/charts, ect! The tune is really great as well!!

    I’m interested in obtaining this software and went to and uploaded a .pdf but couldn’t figure out how to attach an audio file, ect.

    Thanks so much!

    David Arivett

  13. Jim Martin

    David, I know issuu has changed somewhat over the last couple years. I haven’t used it for awhile, so perhaps they changed the ability to add an audio file. It used to be that you just attached an mp3 in a field upon upload. I’ll have to check this out further though.

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