“It’s a Sin to Turn Off Coltrane”

David Johnston

2011 Composer-in-Residence Nicholas Urie

So remarked Nicholas as he shut off Coltrane’s cover for reasons of time.

Nicholas Urie, one of our 2011-12 Con Edison Composers-in-Residence, wrapped up his residency this past weekend at Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy, with a lecture on the art (and craft) of arranging jazz for the voice.  Nicholas presented a thoughtful, illuminating talk on the subject, using Cole Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye” through a few of its infinite iterations. By tracking the one Porter show tune through a wide range of interpreters – including Ray Charles, Betty Carter, Theo Bleckmann, Annie Lennox and John Coltrane – before winding up at his own arrangement for Dominique Eade and A Far Cry – Urie showed the power and skill of a well-crafted arrangement tailored to a particular vocalist or big band.  He also shed a little light on some of the great arrangers whose names are unknown to the general public but revered by musicians.

Nicholas will be teaching this at Berklee in the fall. We’ll keep you posted.


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