Posted 2022-11-07, evaluated by Liontamer
Time to wrap up our release day flood for the OC Jazz Collective's new album Mode Seven: A Jazz Tribute to the SNES! Every so often, we get a chance to right some cosmic wrongs around here. Until today, we only had one OC ReMix of Mario Paint's "Creative Exercise"; but if it was only ever going to be one ReMix, sephfire & SGX's "Intense Color" is a damn fine example, one of the coolest transformations in the whole of the VGM arrangement scene. Still, I was never cool with just the one; I've waited diligently for more with this excellent source, and my patience has paid off! Fratto & Wiesty tag-teamed the arrangement for this liberal spin, complete with an intro based on the title theme and some middle-of-the-mix soloing with quick burst references to other Mario series themes as well (can you name 'em all?)! This one boasts the biggest OCJC roster of the EP, 10 musicians deep, including evil judge yet extremely saxy individual Joe Zieja, as well as OneUps alumnus Dr. Anthony Lofton:
- Brian Fratto (Fratto) - arrangement, trombone, bass trombone
- Dylan Wiest (Wiesty) - arrangement, drums
- Joe Zieja (XPRTNovice) - alto saxophone, baritone saxophone
- Anthony Lofton - tenor saxophone
- Jorik Bergman (Bowlerhat) - flute
- J Damashii - trumpet
- John Stacy (JohnStacy) - trumpet
- Andy Pearce (AndyP) - guitar
- Markus B. (Nostalvania) - piano
- Alejandro Espinosa - bass
Co-arranger Fratto recounted and replayed the track's creation:
"After choosing this track, Dylan and I were talking about how much it reminded us of Neal Hefti's "Cute", which is a great chart, and that idea got me started. The muted intro takes the "Title" theme and gives it the "Cute" treatment. After that, it moves to the "Creative Exercise" theme and a couple great solos from Jorik and Andy. Each wind section gets a soli starting with the bones, then Dylan gives us muted trumpets, and ending with the saxes. Big ol' shout section, then it tones down a bit for the ending. I've really gotten to enjoy writing with Dylan and I finally got to arrange my VGM big band chart."
Wiesty followed up explaining this item's special place within the album as a true example of a big band undertaking:
"This is a track I've always wanted to arrange, given how much it reminded me of Neal Hefti's "Cute". I was super-happy that Brian picked it as a tune, and was impressed with his overall orchestration and direction for the track. I offered to step in to do a bit of rhythm arrangement, as well as writing a trumpet soli for the tune which both Jordan and John pulled off with ease. As one of our only big band tracks on the album, it required a great deal of coordination to pull together, but the final product was well worth the effort."
Don't think that brushwork in the opening of this track escaped me... I'm a smart Yoshi's Cookie! Wait, wrong Mario spinoff game... Seriously though, one of the highlights of my time in the community is comparing the arrangements to their source tunes, so whenever we also have non-VGM influences shouted out, I recommend taking the extra time to compare those as well. Check out the CSU Long Beach rendition of Hefti's "Cute" and be not only amazed at their musicianship, but just how effectively Fratto & Wiesty put on that skin in adapting this style for the OC Jazz Collective with Mario Paint. I'm genuinely floored at the end result, and there's so many more jazz influences to uncover throughout this amazing album! Wiesty's final introductory thoughts in the EP's liner notes summarize why this one belongs in your rotation:
"Capturing a style of music such as jazz that requires such close interaction between musicians is no easy task when the musicians are seperated by multiple continents, recording their parts one at a time. However, with the level of musicality and meticulous attention to detail this ensemble brings, I hope that Mode Seven: A Jazz Tribute to the SNES will be as memorable as the console which inspired it."
Whether you listen to the other arrangements by Bowlerhat, JohnStacy, Gregory Weaver of The Hard Modes, or Nostalvania, whether you go down the nostalgia path of Mario, Zelda, Mega Man, or Metroid; whether you resonate with jazz inspired by Hank Levy, Oliver Nelson, Nate Smith, or The Jazz Crusaders, we promise Mode Seven: A Jazz Tribute to the SNES has the detail, the creativity, and the musicianship that you need! On behalf of all of us at OCR, thank you to the entire OC Jazz Collective for a stellar piece of business. :-)
Please enjoy the album, please spread the word, and never give up the fight to promote video game music as the art form it is and always has been!
Sources Arranged (5 Songs, 3 Games)
- Primary Game:
Mario Paint (Nintendo
Music by Hirokazu Tanaka,Kazumi Totaka,Ryoji Yoshitomi
- "Creative Exercise"
- Additional Game:
Super Mario All-Stars (Nintendo
Music by Koji Kondo
- "Super Mario Bros. - Overworld BGM"
"Super Mario Bros. 3 - Overworld BGM"
- Additional Game:
Super Mario World (Nintendo
Music by Koji Kondo
- "Athletic BGM"
- Brass,Electric Guitar,Flute,Piano,Saxophone,Trombone,Trumpet
- Arrangement > Extended Soloing
Production > Live Instruments
- 6,723,323 bytes
- Size: 6,723,323 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 85ebb7f35bcffd094a85b1d1201b9dd1
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