Arranged by Rob McConnell, Prepared by Dylan Canterbury, Rob DuBoff, and Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-7000DL


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement

Description: Swing - Advanced

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

Rob McConnell's treatment of the classic Irving Berlin standard 'Alexander's Ragtime Band,' recorded on 1974's 'The Best Damn Band in the Land,' is not for the faint of heart. Featuring several sudden shifts in tempo and feel (not to mention the demanding brass ranges), this is a very challenging chart that will push even the most talented bands to their technical limits.

McConnell makes this known right off the bat in the introduction, a hard-swinging medium tempo take on the final few bars of the melody featuring some screaming lead trumpet work. A brief walking bass solo sets up the quick shift to a double time swing feel at measure 10. Harmonically, the chart takes some cues from McConnell's fellow valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer at first with its highly contrapuntal approach until measure 26, where things become a little more straight ahead for 8 measures. The tempo drops back to the original swing briefly at measure 50, featuring more screaming trumpet work, before the double time returns for the final few measures of the melody.

The next three choruses of the chart are solo choruses for alto sax (the first two) and trumpet (the third). Each chorus features simple but highly effective backgrounds. The conclusion of the trumpet solo at measure 206 sees a sudden drop in volume, followed by an equally sudden swell into the shout chorus at measure 210. The tempo once again drops to the original speed, this time with the drums laying into a heavy backbeat under the blues-inflected horns. Once again, the brass ranges during this section are quite high and require a strong lead (and even 2nd) trumpet and trombone player to pull off effectively.

The arrangement's finale is nearly identical to its beginning, as the band plays the final half of the melody with the same harmonic and rhythmic tricks as before. The melody climbs to one final ensemble blast, and is brought to a conclusion by a quick, crisp tom tom thud.

This arrangement is for jazz big band. It is not a transcription - it has been prepared from Rob McConnell's original score. The second chorus of the alto sax solo (from measure 102 to 165) was written as an insert and did not appear on the original recording. This additional solo section has been included with an optional cut to allow you to perform the chart as you see fit. Also, optional alternate parts for the 2 horns in F are included: trumpet 5 and trombone 5.

Full Score
2 Alto Saxophones
2 Tenor Saxophones
Baritone Saxophone
4 Trumpets
2 Horns in F (or Trumpet 5 and Trombone 5)
4 Trombones
Trumpet 1: G6
Trumpet 2: E6
Trumpets 3 and 4: E6 (Optional)
Trombone 1: D5