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Charles Lazarus’ latest collection, “The Modern Hymn Project” is a set of jazz arrangements of ten popular hymns that have been arranged for all instruments (and voice), with rhythm section parts, demo recordings, and backing tracks. This collection of modern jazzy takes on traditional hymns and spiritual music for all seasons was written by acclaimed keyboardist/producer/arranger Tommy Barbarella. This is an accessible and infinitely valuable resource for performance opportunities — including church services, school performances, and college recitals — and will be incredibly useful for students, teachers, and professional musicians.
Melody parts are written for instruments in B flat, C (treble and bass clef), and E flat, as well as for vocalists. These parts will work with either the jazz rhythm section parts or as a duo with the fully notated piano parts. Also included in this collection are full recordings of these arrangements with The Lazarus Band as well as play-along recordings of all tracks with the melody muted.
Solo parts can be played by trumpet/flugelhorn, trombone, baritone horn, euphonium, tenor/alto sax, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, violin, cello and voice with piano and optional bass and drums.
Each download includes a fully notated solo instrument and piano parts with transcribed improv solos as well as jazz lead sheet versions with chord changes. Each purchase includes 9 books and 2 sets of MP3 files.
Below I will list the full collection of downloads you receive with purchase (over 420+ pages of material), some sample files, and the song list. To the left, you can see some samples, and above you can grab an immediate digital download.
Sample of “Beautiful Savior”
Sample of “There Is A Balm In Gilead”
Sample of “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”
Sample of “Abide With Me”
Sample of “That Wondrous Love Is This”
Sample of “Let Streams Of Living Justice”
Sample of “Be Thou My Vision”
Sample of “The King Shall Come…”
Sample of “It Is Well With My Soul”
Sample of “Were You There/Jesus Christ Has Risen Today”
Foreword by Charles Lazarus
This is one of many projects I’ve created with our executive producer Paul Grangaard and longtime collaborator Tommy Barbarella. It’s part of my joint venture with Paul called Concerts for Community supporting various concert series and organizations advocating for and working in community music, mental health, and education.
Over decades of teaching and performing, I have seen the overwhelming power of how music brings us together in positive long-lasting ways. This may sound cliché and sentimental, but it is still profoundly true. Participating in music, whether as a performer, educator, parent, student, producer, arranger, composer, or audience member requires and fosters listening and openness. When young musicians in schools are involved in music, they learn listening skills, teamwork, leadership, and community connection. These skills translate into all other aspects of their lives which gives them greater ability to develop tools for professional and personal success and happiness. Simply put, it makes us better human beings.
I often hear from adults after concerts that they used to play an instrument that made them feel connected to their community, but they stopped playing and regret it. Paul, Tommy, and I decided to create a publication that would be accessible to players of all ages and levels that includes a recording they can play along with and sheet music they can easily use in musical environments that are part of their existing communities like churches, schools, and bands. A modern take on something classic that is useful and a vehicle for community music. That’s how we came up with The Modern Hymn Project.
~ Charles Lazarus