Double Latte is a technical étude for front ensemble. I designed it to develop two techniques:
I wrote this for the Glassmen Front Ensemble in 2008, then added the melody for the Churchill High School Front Ensemble in 2015.
Each four-bar phrase is comprised of three bars of 5/8 followed by a bar of 3/4. You can find this time signature pattern in the verse sections of Dave Matthews Band’s “You Never Know” on the 2002 album Busted Stuff.
Key centers move in chromatic mediant fashion. We ascend through the Dorian/minor keys of A, C#, E, and G - then descend through G#, E, C#, and A.
Marimbas play double lateral sticking patterns over sus4 chords. Hands remain in fourths, and turns are never required. This provides an optimal level of comfort so that the performer’s focus can remain on technique.
While the marimbas exercise the double lateral stroke, vibraphones focus on a skill more idiomatic to their role in the ensemble: melodic playing in octaves.
The melody is inspired by the jazz standard “The Saga of Harrison Crabfeathers” - composed around 1972 by pianist Steve Kuhn.