“You’ve got a winner. The charts are all “killers,” and with the good favor of Radiohead, could be a whole new thing for bands. I think these arrangers deserve some praise.” - Bill Holman, arranger/composer
"Thank you for being bold enough to record and publish some of the most cutting-edge big band charts available. This CD has the potential to change how people perceive and appreciate jazz. For many students and parents, their exposure to jazz is limited to what their school big band plays. When they hear these charts, they will be drawn more deeply into the art. Jazz musicians sometimes worry about jazz not having the mass appeal that it once did. These arrangements will help today’s kids and audiences explore the jazz style and really get into the music. They can relate more to 'Paranoid Android' than they can to 'Summertime,' because it belongs to them." - Neil Delson, Central Bucks High School West (PA)
“This project is certainly one of the most gratifying of my long, crazy career. Having twelve brand new Radiohead charts recorded and in print in less than ten months, is something that I probably would have thought was impossible. It has been a great ride. Bravo to all involved.” - Bob Curnow, publisher/executive producer
The English alternative rock band Radiohead was formed in 1985, releasing their first single in 1992 and first album in 1993. The cutting edge 5-piece group achieved notoriety in the U.K. by the mid-1990s and international recognition before the turn of the century. In 2005, they were ranked 73rd in Rolling Stone's list of "The Greatest Artists of All Time,” and they are commonly viewed as the most inventive and successful band in modern rock.
Radiohead members have cited the music of jazz icons Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Charles Mingus as inspirational sources. The band has abandoned conventional instrumentation and standard song forms, and they’ve employed rhythms and grooves seldom found in the rock genre. They claim that they’ve drawn many conceptual elements from jazz. "We bring in our favorite jazz albums and say: We want to do this," says Radiohead lead guitarist and principal arranger Jonny Greenwood. "That's what we do, and that's what bands have always done, since the late '50s -- a bunch of guys in England listening to American blues records and copying them. In our case, it's jazz."
Many jazz solo artists and small ensembles have recorded Radiohead songs and frequently include them as “new standards” performance repertoire. To name but a few: Pianist Brad Mehldau ("Exit Music from a Film," "Paranoid Android," "Everything in Its Right Place," and "Knives Out"); saxophonist Chris Potter ("Morning Bell"); singer Jamie Cullum ("High and Dry"); ensemble Bad Plus (“Karma Police”); and pianist Robert Glasper (cleverly combining Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage” with Radiohead’s “Everything in Its Right Place”).
It’s a logical progression to expand jazz solo and small group interpretations of Radiohead tunes to the large jazz ensemble format, and the RADIOHEAD JAZZ PROJECT is the first grand-scale effort to arrange multiple Radiohead compositions for the jazz big band.
Sierra Music Publications, Inc., one of the world’s most respected jazz publishers, has published all 12 titles in a new “Radiohead Jazz Project." The arrangements are now available at www.sierramusic.com. Big bands from five of America’s iconic university jazz programs – the Eastman School of Music, Lawrence University, the University of Miami, the University of Northern Colorado, and the University of North Texas – have or will perform music from the RJP. The Colorado, Nevada, and California High School All-State Jazz Ensembles have each showcased RJP selections on their respective programs.