2 May 2013


Tuba Skinny (and more specifically - I guess - Shaye Cohn) did it again: in early-2015 they came up with a new tune and gave it a brilliant performance from which we can all learn something.

I am referring to Blue Chime Stomp which - thanks to the generous video-maker codenamed RaoulDuke504 - became the newest tune in their YouTube repertoire on 24 March 2015. Have a listen by clicking here.

Great stuff, isn't it?

Underlying all the excitement and brilliance, the tune comprises just two 16-bar themes, both played in the key of Bb. Let's call them A and B.

The A Theme includes the 'Chimes' - descending in semitones over bars 1 - 4  and 9 - 12.

The B Theme is sprightly and melodious. Using a comfortable chord progression (you find something very similar in Do What Ory Say and Dallas Rag and Sister Kate and South), it lends itself easily to improvisations.

The band plays the themes in this order:

As usual, Tuba Skinny add sparkle, brilliance and excitement to the basic material. This includes playing the 'chimes' in different ways - such as hitting the second beat of the bar rather than the first, and breaking each chime into four single notes played by the tuba, trombone, cornet and clarinet successively over the four beats of a bar.

And when they play Theme B, they build up the excitement like this:

5th time: Clarinet alone leads;

6th time: Clarinet gets support from the trombone;

7th time : Cornet joins in, for a thrilling energetic polyphonic chorus.

There are no tedious 'solo' choruses. Except as mentioned above, the full ensemble keeps busy throughout.