Ristar! Hell yes! Furthermore, this unique arrangement from the SouthWestern College Afro-Cuban Jazz Ensemble (LQ YT) absolutely embraces the music & environment of the game. Submitter and band member Dustin Cubit, alias Strider Yoko, writes:
"We are all college students with the exception of Justin Grinnell who is the Professor / Band Director for the SouthWestern College Afro-Cuban Jazz Ensemble
Halfway through last semester we had only rehearsed 4 songs out of 8 for the end of the semester concert. We were in need of some tunes to play and Justin had asked me earlier if i had wrote anything playable for the class. I took up his request and started a basic preliminary arrangement of Dancing Leaves. When i first played this game back in the mid 90's this was one of the tunes that made the score stick out for me. I was a sucker for any jazz tunes in a game with a walking bass line. I've also been a video game arranger for 10 years so I always keep my ears open when im playing a game. Dancing Leaves I thought had a great melody to fit the Afro Cuban style of Jazz. The the arrangement I came up with was very basic. I wrote it all out in Finale which is a music notation program. I hit a few snags and I couldn't figure out the harmonic progression during the bridge. My preliminary arrangement also had a harmonized melody but it was scrapped due to our bands lack of a brass section. Justin did some amazing things with the arrangement and it became a total new one. He fixed the bridge and added some flavorful hits. Also my arrangement contained all of the original melody and by hearing the tune some of the melodic passages were well above our playing level. So he shot for accuracy over virtuosity. The Final Lead sheet ended up being 4 pages long! which is not what I'm used to seeing in non Big Band Jazz.
We performed the tune in concert and at toward the end of the semester we were told some disheartening news. Justin announced the the Afro-Cuban Ensemble was going to be cut next semester. The good news was that he wanted to plan a recording session and cut a cd using the band trust fund. He also wanted to use the CD as a presentation to the SWC Board of directors to show them what they were going to lose by cutting this class. On Dec 9 2009 we recorded Dancing Leaves and 7 other songs at Studio West Located in San Diego. It was a great first time experience for me and some of my fellow Band/Classmates."
First off, bravo to all of you - this is a fantastic arrangement, performance, and recording, and I'm very proud to be posting it on OCR. Secondly: Arrgh... my heart goes out to professors and students of the arts who are constantly victim to threats of budget cuts or outright cancellations that jeopardize innovation and ex
Alright, enough soapboxing. Shariq chimed in first on the decision thread:
"Man, I love this remix, though it maybe just be Ristar-bias on my part, seeing as how I played the crap out of this game when I was younger. One of the best Genesis soundtracks ever, bar none. This mix is a bit on the conservative side, but I think it does enough to expand the source theme in terms of part-writing to just get it over the bar. Rhythm guitars are especially nice with the comping chords and arpeggios, and the percussion has a lot more going on. Plus there are all these phrases where the entire ensemble locks together for a syncopated statement. Very nice."
Since Dustin provided the full roster for the track, let me copy that here as well:
- Dustin Cubit aka Strider Yoko - guitar: Main Melody, Solo 2
- Scott Inumerable - guitar: Rhythm for Melody, Solo 1
- Marco Lopez - guitar: Rhythm for Melody
- Ryota Machida - Rhythm for Melody and solo section
- Nikko Nobleza - guitar: Main Melody
- Jon Polansky - electric bass
- Fernando Gomez - drums
- Etienne Argoud - timbales
- Soran Dalawi - percussion
- Justin Grinnell - Band Director/Arranger
Guitar solos don't completely rock out, but do make for a nice understated, relaxed & loose feel, and the whole thing feels festive, mellow, and organic. It's getting darker earlier, and much colder, so it's nice to have tracks like this to mentally escape to the Carribean, if only for a few minutes. Great work from the whole crew, Justin and Dustin in particular (they should do a trio with Mustin just to have three "ustins" on a mix) - budgets and schedules may be ephemeral, but music like this lasts forever!
on 2015-12-02 10:12:05
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Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Ristar (Sega, 1995, GEN)
Music by Masafumi Ogata, Naofumi Hataya, Tomoko Sasaki
- "Dancing Leaves (Round 1-2)"
- Jazz, Latin
- Acoustic Guitar
- Production > Live Ensemble
Production > Live Recording
- 6,812,505 bytes
- Size: 6,812,505 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 0a1c25e3f49f58033f30753953641fcc
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