Gospel/Jazz (Arrangements)

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  • Be Still, God Will Fight Your Battle

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    This is a relatively little known spiritual that fits beautifully with the crossing of the Red Sea where Moses says, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today… The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:13-14) 

    This arrangement isn’t “authentic” or true to a particular stream of African American performance practice, just something that makes it accessible to a group that can read a leadsheet. Below is a video from the service for which I arranged it. Notice that this song segues like butter into “Go Down, Moses.”


    Sunday Worship on May 3, 2020 – Wilderness – Discovering God in the Desert from Fuller Avenue Church on Vimeo.

  • Go Down, Moses

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    [audio mp3="https://gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/go_down_moses.mp3"][/audio]

    If your church has a jazz band, you’ve got to try this swinging spiritual. The chart is scored for 2 trumpets, alto sax, tenor sax, trombone, flute (optional), and rhythm section. It’s easy enough for high school level players but will make them sound like seasoned pros.

  • Guide My Feet

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    [audio mp3="https://gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/guide_my_feet-piano-FtoG.mp3"][/audio]

     

    This quintessential song of commitment needs a strong rhythmic backbone that few hymnals provide. This Just Add People! piano accompaniment gives “note only” musicians enough options to sound like they’re playing “off the page.”

    Piano accompaniment for congregational singing.

  • Lo, How a Rose

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    [audio mp3="https://gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/02-Lo-How-A-Rose.mp3"][/audio]

    One of the most lovely songs of the Advent/Christmas season is turned into a tender jazz ballad. An oft omitted verse is included (“O Flow’r whose fragrance tender…”) and a short soprano solo provides extra vocal texture. This flexible choral anthem includes chord symbols for jazz combo, but it can also be sung a cappella, as in the recording above by the Heinz Chapel Choir of the University of Pittsburgh. The orchestral accompaniment is also flexible, allowing full orchestra or just the strings to support the sound of the choir and piano.

    [audio mp3="https://gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/lo_how_a_rose.mp3"][/audio]
  • Thank You, Lord

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    [audio mp3="https://gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/thank_you_lord-piano.mp3"][/audio]

     

    Like many Black Gospel songs, the beauty of this is that it focuses on one thing (thanksgiving) while allowing for lots of flexibility. The lead singer can improvise new verses in the moment (“Been so good,” “Saved my soul,” etc); the Just Add People! piano arrangement is equally flexible, with an optional modulation and chord symbols for guitar, bass, and other instruments.

    Piano accompaniment for congregational singing.

Showing all 5 results