snapshot of score of Nights in Tunisia and Elsewhere

Nights in Tunisia and Elsewhere

Variations on a theme of Dizzy Gillespie (a collection of semi-tasteless pastiches) — 1985

This is just me having fun, with encouragement from Elgar Howarth. He had in mind a special Grimethorpe Colliery Band concert, the details of which I don’t recall, where the band would play something light but challenging without a conductor, to which this was my contribution. The envisaged concert never happened, although I believe someone in Grimethorpe got as far as copying out the parts. Whether they have played it since I can’t say.

The theme is a direct transcription of the classic 1946 Charlie Parker recording of Gillespie’s tune A Night in Tunisia, complete with the ‘famous alto break’, which is given to the solo cornet. After that, each variation is ‘A Night in...’ a different place, the music being a pastiche of the local style of music, and featuring a different instrument:

My extensive notes on performance in the score finish with, ‘Nights in Tunisia and Elsewhere is not intended to be taken seriously, but it is intended to be played right.’

Just for fun, I did make my own MIDI recording of this piece, not sticking to brass sounds, but using more of what the brass is supposed to be imitating. That was a very long time ago, however, and definitely not good enough to include here. I might have another go at it some time...


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