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Looking for 5-part jazz suggestions

I've got a 5-person ensemble (three women, two men) and I'd love to hear your suggestions for 5-part vocal jazz music. Most published music seems to be for 4-part (which means two of my women double all the time) or 6-part (which requires some jumping around from part to part). 
They can do either a cappella (although my bass isn't all that low) or accompanied, and are great sight-readers; they like the challenge of difficult music. But spare me any suggestions from publishers (like UNC) which require you to pay $75 for a "pack", far too expensive for so few performers.
My alto is super-low so we can do SATTB voicing too.
Replies (11): Threaded | Chronological
on August 9, 2010 6:10pm
Have you checked out some of the REAL GROUP octavos available from Walton Music &  UNC Jazz Press(no, not the $75 octavo).
Some very good stuff...I think to suit your voices.
some titles I have in my files include:
Very Early
Waltz for Debby
God Only Knows
Come Sunday
As Rain
Chili con carne
Also...check out some of Paris Rutherford's arrangements, both accompanied and not, from Hal Leonard.  Frequently requires 5 voices.  His arrangements are brilliant!
You Taught My Heart to Sing
Gravy Waltz
Shawnee Press has two or three NY VOICES arrangements:
Sing, Sing, Sing
Me & Julio Down by the Schoolyard
...there are others
Alfred is also publishing some NY VOICES charts...but may be SATB as opposed to 5-part.'s a ton o' fun making your own arrangements...but you probably already know that.
Arrangers like Rutherford, Michele Weir, Darmon Meader, Steve Zegree are all very approachable.  Check out their sites.  They'll give you good ideas I'll bet!
Best of luck...
on August 11, 2010 10:54am
Thanks for your suggestions!
Since NY Voices has only four singers, it's a safe bet their arrangements are only four-part. We do a couple of the Real Group arrangements, but they have a really low bass in their group, so we have to be choosy. I'm a big fan of Rutherford and Zegree, but I wasn't aware they had their own websites. I'll look more into it.
Indeed, I write many of my own arrangements as well, but it's very time-consuming.
on August 11, 2010 1:47pm
Just to clarify, in their earliest years (the first, and maybe the second, album they released), NY Voices was actually 5 singers...also 3 women, 2 men. Check out the earliest stuff and you may find what you need.
on March 12, 2012 4:45pm
I know your 5-part vocal jazz arr. query is from quite a while back...but am "catching up",  as it were.
There are several 5-part NY Voices arr's published by Univ. of Northern Colo. Jazz Press
NYV was originally a 5-voice ensemble.  
Some of those titles include:
Lady Be Good
To Dare the Moon
Do You Wanna Know What I Want?
Open Invitation
...+ several others
Sorry for the huge delay...
on March 10, 2012 12:09pm
I would add this to my close to 2-year old reply re: vocal jazz arrangements --- If you make your own charts you need to do it the right way...i.e. - seek out the owner(s) of the tune first....get their permission.  Then proceed with your own arrangement.  Don't do something that could come back to bite you in the....future!
on August 4, 2011 6:09pm
Also check out Jeremy Fox's website.  His arrangements are great. 
Applauded by an audience of 1
on October 12, 2011 3:21pm
Also check out the arrangements of Dave Barduhn, Dave Cazier, Kirk Marcy, Norm Wallen, Michelle Weir, Kelly Kunz, Peter Taylor, Vijay Singh, Kirby Shaw, Randy Crenshaw, Jeff Horenstein, Matt Falker, Jennifer Barnes, and Ken Kraintz......many of these folks teach/arrange top level vocal jazz repertoire (frequent 4-6 parts) for leading college groups in the Pacific NW (the birthplace of vocal jazz ensembles) that will challenge anyone...many of their charts also have been recorded by excellent collegiate ensembles.  Many of the best vocal jazz writers also have charts available/catalogues with Sound Music Publications (  Good luck!
Vijay Singh, Central Washington University
Former National R & S Chair, Jazz Choirs, ACDA
Applauded by an audience of 1
on October 12, 2011 11:05pm
smpjazz is exactly the wrong suggestion -- almost everything they sell costs $65, a ridiculous price for a 5-member ensemble. Kirby Shaw's arrangements may be pedestrian, but at least they don't cost $13 a copy.
on October 13, 2011 2:43pm
SMP is exactly the RIGHT suggestion for educational ensembles who have multiple members and wish to not deal with octavos at $2.25 a copy......if your jazz choir has only 5 members, I can see your preference to dismiss SMP as not worth your investrment; however, it does not in any way dismiss the QUALITY of their catalogue or their writers.  This brings up another interesting point:  since most jazz rep is copyrighted and many of the arrangers who write for their school groups are taking the appropriate measures to ask permission to arrange for their educational fair use, it does not give them license to sell the arrangements to others (unless they are granted permission from the copyright owner).  Most publishers investing in vocal jazz rep have to make their product marketable to a wide variety of ability levels of their such, most of the really hip and sophisticated stuff is not commercially available.  This is why we frequnetly see the same 20 or so well-worn jazz standards recycled in various arrangements over time, or groups are limited to perform a lot of either out-dated or predictable charts.  
Does your group charge for concerts?  Is money exchanged in any way for attending your concerts?  Are you purchasing arrangements "under the table" from arrangers who have not legally received permission from the copyright owners; if not, do the arrangers offer proof they have permission to arrange/sell their product?  Another dilemma in vocal jazz circles today (as I've witnessed multiple times adjudicating various jazz festivals across the globe): many groups simply wish to "re-create" their favorite pro's recordings as opposed to actually being CREATIVE in their own interpretation.  I find nothing wrong in trying to imitate the latest Real Group or NYV chart (a worthy endeavor and not easy to achieve), but jazz has always valued creativity and personalizing your performance in unique ways....the re-creation of another group's performance is simply a copy of what has been done.  Most jazz musicians value not performing the same song the same way, and take pride in creating a new interpretation each performance.  Ensembles have a trickier time with this (both bands and choirs) as they must deal with ensemble uniformity and precision in "honoring the ink".....being a "slave to the page" can be one of the most confining things to jazz music.  Kudos to you for creating your own arrangements for your group!  That is one of the best ways to customize charts to their both Steve and Paris are good friends and colleagues of mine, I also commend your complimenting their writing!  Kirby is also a good friend (and fellow Just 4 Kicks brother) and I can assure you the stuff he writes for us in Just 4 Kicks is anything but "pedestrian"......don't imply his music is not worthy simply because the stuff he writes for Uncle Hal (HL) is for the educational market.  I extend an invitation to you to attend our Northwest Collegiate Vocal Jazz Summit held at Mt. Hood Community College on April 14, 2012.  Ten of region's most creative college groups will share music performances over the course of the day, with most of the charts being highly creative and interpretive. (I would be surprised if any charts performed would be of the re-creative type from the usual publishers and/or Real Group stuff).....that's just the vocal jazz climate around the NW and the tradition established years ago by the "Trinity" of jazz educators that started this whole movement in jazz education (Waldo King, Hal Malcolm, and John Moawad).  I hope you can would find many 5 part arrangements that your group might enjoy!  Respectfully,  VS
Applauded by an audience of 1
on October 13, 2011 10:14pm
J.S. Bach probably would have said the same thing about Baroque music (it's supposed to be creative and improvisational), and he'd probably be horrified if he could come back and see the modern "authentic performance" movement, which involves being a "slave" not only to the page but to all kinds of scholarly writings dictating how the music should go. At least in the case of jazz it's mainly second-rate performers who try to exactly imitate the performances of others — in Baroque performance it's many of the top-ranked performers who do so.
I accept your rebuke about Kirby Shaw; I admit that I'm only familiar with his Hal Leonard stuff. 
on September 15, 2014 1:26pm
Loads of folks are writing for 4 - 8 part harmonies. I love Kerry Marsh's stuff. Jeremy Fox is great. Michele Weir, oh my goodness. Jason Alex Smith - YeS!!!. Paul Langford. I write for those levels. All of the folks above are correct. SMP Jazz is great.
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