Arranged by Thad Jones, Prepared by Dylan Canterbury, Rob DuBoff, and Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-7561DL


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement

Description: Swing - Advanced

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

One of the later and lesser known entries in Thad Jones' expansive catalog of arrangements, '61st and Rich'it' was written as a tribute to the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra's original bassist, Richard Davis. It serves as a master class on how to construct an arrangement that manages to be densely packed with content while never sounding cluttered, all while maintaining an infectious sense of swing.

A gently fluttering introduction sets up the irresistibly catchy melody in the woodwinds at measure 5. The woodwinds carry the melody for most of the first chorus, with the brass backgrounds ranging from gently prodding trombone hits to powerful trumpet bursts. It is important, however, to make sure that these backgrounds never overwhelm the woodwinds. The trumpets commandeer the melody for the final A section at measure 29, leading to a full-bodied but brief brass fanfare.

A swiftly descending woodwind line with harmonic accompaniment in the trombones sets up a soli chorus at measure 37 featuring a typically knotty Jones ensemble line being played in (mostly) unison by two flutes and two muted trumpets (one in cup, one in harmon). The flute parts during this section are fairly difficult and require a pair of talented doublers to properly execute. Despite the harmonic complexity, this soli should be performed in an almost over-the-top cutesy fashion to provoke the fullest emotional effect. The background patterns continue largely in a similar fashion as those during the melody before a highly contrapuntal extended ending to the tune's form beginning at measure 65.

A gradual dynamic swell during this extended section culminates in a full ensemble blast that leads into a two chorus bass solo. Brass and woodwind backgrounds enter toward the end of the first chorus at measure 101 and continue throughout the second. Once again, be sure to be mindful so as not to overwhelm the soloist. The swelling contrapuntal ensemble tag returns to finish the bass solo off at measure 133. Jones teases one of his trademark sax solis at measure 141, only to pull them back into a support role underneath a chorus of muted trumpet solo four bars later, followed by a one chorus piano solo with no backgrounds.

The full band comes in following the piano solo for a thrilling shout chorus at measure 209 that, in many ways, serves as a summary of Jones' writing: dense and occasionally dissonant, but heavily rooted in Basie and relentlessly swinging. Several subtle dynamic shifts occur throughout this section that must be observed to create the necessary sense of tension and release. The extended ensemble tag from before returns one last time to set up the climactic ending: a one bar unison sax riff, two strong hits from the rhythm section, and a final full band fanfare that brings the arrangement to a triumphant close.

This arrangement is for jazz big band. It is not a transcription - it has been prepared from Thad Jones' original score.

Full Score
Woodwind 1: Flute, Alto Saxophone
Woodwind 2: Flute, Alto Saxophone
Woodwind 3: Flute, Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Woodwind 4: Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Woodwind 5: Bass Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone
4 Trumpets
3 Trombones
Bass Trombone
Trumpet 1: F6
Trombone 1: C5