When all your players can not make a gig, is it cool to make a smaller group from your big band? Can you still use the same name of the group? If not, what do you call it? I always like the name "little big band" as there is humour and conflict in the name and I gravitate towards that. But, back to the issue at hand; is this ethically the right thing to do? I mean, where does it stop. Do you keep making permutations of the group to fit the gig, e.g., quartets, trios, duets etc. It then becomes a music agency rather than a big band or music group. In my opinion, I think it is okay to take a slightly reduced group into a smaller venue when it is appropriate or to offer/form such a group when there are no other options: players are limited or the space is limited. A little big band to me has several horn players, often multiple reed players, and representatives for each section: saxophones, trumpets and trombones. Additionally, it has a full rhythm section and may or may not have both the guitar and piano. Anyway, this is the predicament I have found myself in and I will embrace. Finding and writing new charts for this reduced instrumentation. Wish me luck.
Dr. Michael Kearns
Musician, educator, husband, father, web designer ... my life is like a mosaic with each piece vying for my attention.