"Cassanova" - Rebirth Brass Band

"Cassanova" (PDF) from the Rebirth Brass Band album, Hot Venom, and compilation, Ultimate Rebirth Brass Band.
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While studying this tune, something about its melodies seemed rather odd to me.  I found myself humming the melodies during my daily routine, which isn't unusual, but I had noticed how easy it was to sing these lines.  And as I dissected the Melody B section and noticed its stacked-third harmonies, I thought it was an uncharacteristic way of arranging a tune for brass band.  With the number of available voices, it seemed rather frugal that they would all play a harmonized melody, rather than multiple parts that compliment each other.  It was then that I suspected that this was a cover version by Rebirth.

Yet, because my digitally purchased copy of this album does not include liner notes, I'm left only to make assumptions about this tune based on what I read on the Internet.  I did some (a little) research on the telepathy machine and learned that this tune is based on the song, "Casanova" by LeVert.  But notice how the title of Rebirth's version includes an extra "s" in its spelling.  There could be a reason behind the alternate spelling, but who knows?  We are simply left to assume the truth.  And you all know what happens when we assume, right?  We make a "Cass" out of "ano" and "va."

Include liner notes.  < shakes fist towards the sky >

I want to reiterate that this transcription is not meant to be a note-for-note full score.  But because of the nature of the live recording, I wanted to include the many rhythmic elements throughout the tune.  Rhythm becomes a key factor when using contrasting melodies to differentiate sections.  In addition, the chord progression does not extend much beyond the tonal center, therefore the use of the major pentatonic works well.  However, the use of syncopated rhythms help make what you're playing stand out, and isn't that the purpose of a solo?

So focus on syncopated rhythms, and bending the weight of a phrase.  Where do you want to put the "umph!" of what you are saying, to drive it home?  And also note the extensive use of sixteenth-notes.  In order to play a constant stream of notes, you must support it with a constant stream of air.  As you warm up in the practice room, work on long tones and tonguing on that air stream.  Gradually work up to steady and rapid sixteenth-notes.

Or go play in the street for six hours.  Focus on your tone as you dodge all the passing cars, yelling colorful words of encouragement.  Hmm.  Maybe you should stay inside, instead.

More thoughts on cover tunes, later…  In the meantime, here's a relatively safe-for-work YouTube video of Rebirth playing this party tune.  But take a look at other live versions on your own time.

Recommended Reading: Scam School Book 1 by Brian Brushwood.  Published by Bizarre Magic, Inc.