Posted 2021-05-17, evaluated by Liontamer
George R. Powell returns after almost five years with a swingin', syncopated Big Band-style take on "Hard Man" from Mega Man 3:
"After picking up an old-school NES and a Mega Man 3 cart recently, I almost forgot how much I missed that game (3 was my first Mega Man experience as a kid, and my favorite - up there with Mega Man 2 and 5) from my childhood. And for whatever reason, as I played Hard Man's stage again, the weird idea just popped in my head how it could be turned into a big band/swing-type piece, so I took a crack at seeing how it would turn out."
Pretty well, I'd say! We don't get a ton of swingin' stuff in this style, and while the instruments are synthetic and vary in their verisimilitude, the arrangement here is pure joy, with a nice mix of solo/ensemble parts, infectious momentum, and a hip & happenin' vibe. There are a couple drum mini-solos/fills that fit in nicely, and percussion in general is a strong point. Liontamer evaluated:
"Really glad to hear George back in the inbox once again. This is such a great concept, and I'd love to hear this done by live musicians one day. Though the instrumentation could use more richness, the textures click nicely, the overall mixing's made to sound like it's performed in a hall, and the percussion in particular has a deep sound to it that really lets you get into the big band swing of things. There's nothing in music quite like good big band drumming! And the smooth adaptation to swing could easily make someone unfamiliar with the theme believe this was "Hard Man's" original genre. Props to George for a fun rendition to get you movin'. :-)"
What he said; beyond a great concept, the execution here is actually pretty damn good, given the higher difficulty in emulating this type of instrumentation. Sure, live musicians would give this more mojo, but this still packs a punch as-is. Sax is probably the most notably artificial, but still sequenced well, and I love the piano & clarinet work in particular - some real razzle-dazzle. Late-breaking key change at 2'09" ups the intensity for the finale, & all told in under three minutes this is a satisfying big band romp which does a superb job injecting a cooperative source tune with a dose (or even two!) of swing. Great to see George back, and with an unexpected arrangement that's absolutely a blast!
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Mega Man 3 (Capcom, 1990, NES)
Music by Harumi Fujita, Yasuaki Fujita
- "Hard Man Stage"
- Jazz, Swing
- Energetic, Jazzy
- Brass, Piano, Saxophone, Woodwinds
- Time > Tempo: Fast
- 4,524,242 bytes
- Size: 4,524,242 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: d8b78910b0a3374bb937a92ebc1eea58
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