Don't Be Evil

Study Score, Downloadable

Duration 13:30 $30.00


Solos are in the bass, guitar (electric), and trombone 2. It is important to have strong players in all of these positions.


5 reeds (no doubles), 4 trumpets (harmons), 3 trombones (harmon in lead), 1 bass trombone (bucket), accordion, guitar (electronics/pedals for effects), piano, bass, drums. If you don’t have accordion, this piece is still possible to play. Vibes could be interesting as a replacement to add a little more fortification to the rhythm section if you don’t have accordion available.

The offer contains

  • Study score (transposed) via PDF download
  • Original audio track from the recording (download)
  • Streamed video of Maria discussing the writing of this work


Recorded on Data Lords, “Don’t Be Evil” is named after the now discarded corporate motto of Google. A commission by David and Ginger Komar through ArtistShare, it was premiered at the Newport Jazz Festival on August 6th, 2017.

I knew what the title of this piece would be the second I came up with the opening repetitive idea. I heard mockery in the music, mocking a company I feel set the bar as low as it could go with its ‘don’t be evil’ motto, and over time failed to even reach that low goal. I enjoyed giving a unique space for Jay Anderson on bass right at the opening. This is an intentionally menacing and dark piece, for instance calling on the horns to sometimes play with a wide, exaggerated vibrato to yank it from feeling like a more regular big band piece, to hopefully feeling big and darkly gripping, but also, I hope, fun. It puts a spotlight on my wonderful trombone section. It passes through various moods, and has a lot to dig into as a score, including some unique harmonic structures beneath the trombone solo.

Under “Solos” and “Instrumentation” you can see some of the options I’ve laid out for those that might hope to play this music with their own ensemble, as not everyone has accordion for instance. You can read some of the other ideas I had.

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