jazz composer, pianist, arranger











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Type: Relaxed Swing

Difficulty: Advanced College to Pro; highest trumpet note is written D

Instrumentation: 2 altos, 2 tenors, bari, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, guitar, piano, bass, drums

Doubles: Alto 1 to flute, trumpets to flugelhorns


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BUY THE PUBLISHED SCORE AND PARTS: $75

Before I Sleep
Composed and Arranged by Michael Collins
Before I Sleep is a contemplative, lyrical, interval-based piece that begins with the brass stating the melody in tight clusters made possible by some precision lead-trumpet playing. Thoughtful backgrounds accompany a spacious blowing section for the lead tenor saxophone; following a brief transitonal theme, the large jazz ensemble expresses a continuous, compounding cascade of emotions that build into fury and release into a peaceful calm. The rhythm section gives us a brief emotional breather before the horns return for the final word.


Type: 2:3 Mambo

Difficulty: Advanced College to Pro; highest trumpet note is written G

Instrumentation: 2 altos, 2 tenors, bari, 5 trumpets, 4 trombones, guitar, piano, bass, drums

Doubles: None


BUY THE PUBLISHED SCORE AND PARTS: $75

Birks' Works
Composed by Dizzy Gillespe
Arranged by Michael Collins

Birks' Works is an energetic arrangement of Paquito D'Rivera's take on Dizzy's Standard. After a wicked, clave-pivoting intro, the head is played in true mambo form by the lead alto and tenor while rest of the band enters in layers. Next comes a 12/8 Blakey-beat surprise which, following a bluesy call-and-response, launches into solo sections for trumpet and bari. The band joins the party with backgrounds and transitions into solos for alto and piano and then one of the catchiest shout choruses you'll ever hear. After the recap, an extended percussion outro completes the tune. Muy Caliente!


Type: Up-tempo swing

Difficulty: Advanced College to Pro; highest trumpet note is written F

Instrumentation: 2 altos, 2 tenors, bari, 5 trumpets, 4 trombones, guitar, piano, bass, drums

Doubles: none


BUY THE PUBLISHED SCORE AND PARTS: $75

Ceora
Composed by Lee Morgan
Arranged by Michael Collins

Think of a "Black Codes" interpretation of Lee Morgan's standard and you will get this incredibly imaginative chart. The tune is definitely there but it's passed all around the band while turned into an energetic, swinging chart. This chart continuously surprises with meter changes, feel changes, and a well-executed modal concept that works extremely well with Lee Morgan's original harmonies and melody. While the melody transformation is exceptional, the star of this piece is the Wayne Shorter-esque breakdown section that leads up to a shout chorus of modal voincings and a singing, swinging melody line. Truly unique and musical, this is a favorite chart in any library.


Type: 12/8 Blakey beat/Up-tempo swing

Difficulty: Advanced College to Pro; highest trumpet note is written E

Instrumentation: 2 altos, 2 tenors, bari, 4 trumpets (5th optional), 4 trombones, guitar, piano, bass, drums

Doubles: none


BUY THE PUBLISHED SCORE AND PARTS: $75

The Drive
Composed by Oliver Nelson
Arranged by Michael Collins

Do you have a burning lead tenor player? This chart is for you! Collins' take on this Oliver Nelson standard begins with a motive derived of the melody stated in dense harmonic structures. The lead tenor takes the melody accompanied by brass hits and harmonized saxes, but it's in a 12/8 Blakey beat! Following a short rest during a grooving ensemble section, the tenor takes over, leading the charge through ensemble sections and time signature changes, resting only at the start of a breakdown section that you have to hear to believe, starting with solo piano and building into an collection of frenzied ostinatos a melody tossed all over the band with split-second timing. Put it on your next Oliver Nelson tribute; it's burnin'!


Type: Peruvian Festejo

Difficulty: Advanced; highest trumpet note is written E

Instrumentation: soprano (lead), alto, 2 tenors, bari, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, guitar, piano, bass, drums, percussion

Doubles: Lead alto to soprano


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El Sur
Composed by Gabriel Alegria
Arranged by Michael Collins

Recorded by Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra on their GRAMMY-nominated album, "40 Acres and a Burro," El Sur is an energetic and beautiful Peruvian Festejo in the traditional 12/8 meter. Although the rhythm section sizzles beneath, the melody, lead initially by flugelhorn and soprano saxophone, is delicate and subtle. It is passed on to the trumpets, who perform the lyrical melody in unison with consonant harmonic support from the trombones. The saxophones continue, presenting the C section in a magical, neo-classical style before the brass returns to lay the groundwork for a flugelhorn solo accompanied by warm brass backgrounds. Following the flugelhorn is an extended development featuring an intricate saxophone soli laced with turns that are subtle yet impossible to miss. The initially beautiful brass interjections become increasingly agitated and subtlety is abandoned in favor of gratification. After the lyrical recap, the agitation returns in a series of exchanges between the drums and the band, with a guitar and bass ostinato tying the whole piece together.


Type: Medium Swing

Difficulty: High School to Junior College; highest trumpet note is written Bb (one ledger line)

Instrumentation: 2 altos, 2 tenors, bari, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, guitar, piano, bass, drums

Doubles: none


BUY THE PUBLISHED SCORE AND PARTS: $75

Gauk-Free Life
Composed and Arranged by Michael Collins
Guak-Free life is a blast and a half for your high school or junior college band to play! An ode to being free of the soul-crushing prison that is marching band, this chart has more joy and more groove than you would think is possible from it's ease of exectution. Following an intro of groove and sus chords, the brass takes the catchy melody accompanied by a carefree saxophone counter-melody. The solos are open and marked in every part, and the backgrounds, ensemble section, and shout are equal parts bluesy and energetic. Following the recap, the rhythm section wraps up the piece, grooving hard with the joy of the newly-liberated!


Type: Medium Swing

Difficulty: Advanced College; highest trumpet note is written E

Instrumentation: 2 altos, 2 tenors, bari, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, guitar, piano, bass, drums

Doubles: None


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BUY THE PUBLISHED SCORE AND PARTS: $75

Just Go With It
Composed and Arranged by Michael Collins
Just Go With It is a great change-of-pace tune: another quirky chart, it features totally swinging a cappella horn sections. With the trombones setting up a groove, the rest of the horns gradually enter in, spinning the rhythm, melody, and harmony into what eventually becomes the head. After the exposition, there is a wide-open trumpet solo over the form which features a bluesy +11 chord vampish A-section and a John-Coltrane-changes bridge. Following a transistion and trombone solo intercut with shouts from the band, the chart moves through a swinging shout chorus to a surprise ending that will have everyone smiling.


Type: Ballad/Medium swing

Difficulty: Advanced College to Pro; highest trumpet note is written G#

Instrumentation: 2 altos, 2 tenors, bari, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, guitar, piano, bass, drums

Doubles: Altos and tenors to clarinet, bari to bass clarinet, trumpets to flugelhorns


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BUY THE PUBLISHED SCORE AND PARTS: $75

Last And Only
Composed and Arranged by Michael Collins
Last and Only is a beautiful, melodic ballad. An out-of-time clarinet choir transitions into a brass choir which brings the melody and dense harmonies to life. After piano and alto solos, the tune never looks back, with an extended development section of lush harmonies played in swinging time, leading up to another ensemble section that combines some ridiculous full-ensemble bop lines and an augmentation of the melody to bring the piece to an end on a high (really high!) note.


Type: Conducted ballad/Relaxed waltz

Difficulty: Advanced College to Pro; highest trumpet note is written F#

Instrumentation: 2 altos, 2 tenors, bari, 5 trumpets, 4 trombones, guitar, piano, bass, drums

Doubles: Saxes to flutes and clarinets, alto 1 to soprano, bari to alto, trumpets to flugelhorns


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Lonely Waters
Composed and Arranged by Michael Collins
Lonely Waters opens with an extended, conducted intro featuring woodwinds and bucket-muted brass interwoven with soprano saxophone cadenzas. After the gorgeous yet moody intro, the soprano saxophone leads the way through this contemplative chart accompanied by rich textural backgrounds. The ample improv space soon gives way to an ensemble section that emotes joy and introspection leading all the way up to a brilliant climax. There is a gradual denouement that removes the listener from this visceral space, bringing them back to introspection with dark, deliberate ensemble playing.


Type: Funk shuffle

Difficulty: Advanced College to Pro; highest trumpet note is written F

Instrumentation: 2 altos, 2 tenors, bari, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, guitar, piano, bass, drums

Doubles: Bari to bass clarinet


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Mr. Tet
Composed and Arranged by Michael Collins
Composed for Phoenix legend Cleve Huff a.k.a. "Mr. Tet," Mr. Tet is everything you love about a drummer's chart and then some. Racous trombone solos, metric modulations, wicked breakdown sections, uptempo swing figures, and open drum solos; this chart has it all. It's all tied together with an infections melody that you will be singing weeks later...if you can hear it over the drums, that is!


Type: Medium to Up-tempo Swing

Difficulty: Advanced College to Pro; highest trumpet note is written E

Instrumentation: 2 altos, 2 tenors, bari, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, guitar, piano, bass, drums

Doubles: None


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BUY THE PUBLISHED SCORE AND PARTS: $75

Old Habits
Composed and Arranged by Michael Collins
Have a saxophone section that can handle anything? Do they sight-read better than Finale? This chart will bring them back down to earth! Get ready for a conscious-altering experience; Bill Watrous referred to this arrangement as a "chart of divine inspiration." Old Habits is a modern motivic tune with a bebop bridge that tumbles its way from the exposition to trumpet and alto solos to a modern-mixed-with-bop contrapuntal hoedown. That's only the beginning; a breakdown section follows during which the saxophones contrast flowing lines with the broken feel of the rhythm section. It all explodes into a swinging ensemble section that is guaranteed to excite and to challenge even the most accomplished band, and the ending is oh-so-satisfying.


Type: Up-tempo Swing

Difficulty: Advanced College to Pro; highest trumpet note is written E

Instrumentation: 2 altos, 2 tenors, bari, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, guitar, piano, bass, drums

Doubles: None


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BUY THE PUBLISHED SCORE AND PARTS: $75

Sketch Artist
Composed and Arranged by Michael Collins
Recognized in the 2009 ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Awards, Sketch Artist is an incredibly energetic and deliriously twisty chart that has been leaving Southern California and South American audiences with their jaws wide open. Performers and audience members alike love this chart. After an opening drum solo, the quirky melody builds into an alto solo with some exciting backgrounds and exchanges with the band. Following a piano solo is a development in which the main theme gets tossed all over the band while being turned inside-out and upside-down, and the recap is ridiculous!


Type:Up-tempo Swing

Difficulty: Advanced College; highest trumpet note is written E-flat

Instrumentation: 2 altos, 2 tenors, bari, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, guitar, piano, bass, drums

Doubles: None


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BUY THE PUBLISHED SCORE AND PARTS: $75

Too Dark For Clarke
Composed by Armand Boatman
Arranged by Michael Collins

This arrangement of Too Dark For Clarke is a perfect union of jazz legend Armand Boatman's infectious, swinging bebop melody and Mike's adventurous arranging style. The perfect set-opener, it grabs attention with its intense Count Basie-like intro. After an energetic melody and ensemble section, the trumpet takes it on a standard-like bebop progression. After a sax soli reminiscent of Thad Jones, backgrounds under the guitar solo become more and more intense and contrapuntal, leading into an exciting, swinging shout chorus. The energy keeps building through the twisty, metrically-altered recap and the chart ends just as intensely as it began. You won't be able to get this melody out of your head.


Type: Half-time feel rock

Difficulty: High school to junior college; highest trumpet note is written D

Instrumentation: 2 altos, 2 tenors, bari, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, guitar, piano, bass, drums

Doubles: None


BUY THE PUBLISHED SCORE AND PARTS: $75

Waking Light
Composed by Beck
Arranged by Michael Collins

Yep...BECK!!! Collins' jazzy, funky take on this pop tune is one that your student big band will enjoy. The lyrical yet quircky melody is stated by the tenor saxophone and then continues during a unique a-cappella horn section that sets up the groove. When the rhythm section comes in, get ready to rock through tenor and piano solos and onto a unison sax soli and a shout that may or may not quote some of Beck's 90s hits! Look out!


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