by Randy Waldman, arr. Murray Gusseck
Instrumentation: Glockenspiel, Chimes, Xylophone, 2 vibraphones, 2 marimbas—low A, Drumset (snare, kick, rack tom, floor tom, hi-hat, ride cymbal, 2 crash cymbals), Drums (congas, timbales*), Cymbals (splash cymbal, dark suspended cymbal, China cymbal, sizzle cymbal), Accessories (wind chimes), Piano, Upright bass (or electric), Optional wind parts**
*2 drums with cha bell, mambo bell, small crash/ride cymbal
**1 Flute, 2 trumpets, 1 French horn, 1 trombone, 1 tuba
In 1998, a somewhat underground jazz record called "Wigged Out" was released by Los Angeles-based pianist and composer Randy Waldman. The album featured a trio consisting of Waldman and monster musicians John Patitucci and Vinnie Colaiuta playing unique jazz arrangements of classical greats like Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee. Waldman’s arrangements are full of life and love for the original classics, and his playing is just flat-out insanely good. Matched by Patitucci and Colaiuta, this little underground record soon became a hot topic in musician circles.
In this collection, Murray Gusseck has taken four of Waldman’s inventive arrangements and masterfully adapted them for percussion ensemble, piano, and rhythm section. Additionally, for groups that have a capable flautist and/or brass quintet with some time on their hands, optional wind parts have been included in the first three of these four pieces.
These four arrangements are designed to work well together but may also be performed individually if it pleases the concert programming gods.
I. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies (1:30)
After Tchaikovsky’s familiar melody is stated delicately at the beginning, this arrangement takes a left turn into big swing country. This serves well as an introduction to the rest of the collection where many more left turns will soon be taken. An optional flute part is included.
II. Ride of the Valkyries (2:00)
In this adaptation, Wagner’s classic turns seven—7/8 swing, that is. The pianist is featured in this production with a short, swung solo. An optional flute part is included.
III. Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (2:15)
This may not been what Ludwig originally had in mind, but it’s hard to argue that Waldman’s salsa treatment of the first movement of Symphony No. 5 isn’t a complete blast! Optional brass quintet parts are included (2 trumpets, french horn, trombone, tuba).
IV. Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (1:30)
The final piece in this collection is essentially J.S. Bach’s classic 3/4 melody on steroids. The melody is presented as a nonuplet (“nine-let”) over a pedestrian “two” feel.
Wigged Out comes in a fancy, bound folio along with a CD-ROM containing printable individual parts and reference audio recordings.