Recorded by Count Basie
Arranged by Benny Carter, Prepared by Dylan Canterbury, Rob DuBoff, and Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-7346


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement

Description: Latin (Mambo)/Swing - Medium Difficult

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

Benny Carter's 'Amoroso' was written for one of two sessions the first Renaissance man of jazz made with the Count Basie Orchestra in the early 1960s. The 1962 album 'The Legend' brought together two of the swing era's biggest titans: pianist/bandleader Count Basie and saxophonist/composer Benny Carter. Despite their markedly different musical histories, these two luminaries' styles merged together in such a way that their individual personalities still shined through while creating an unforgettable unified sound. While retaining Carter's distinct musical identity, it manages to be an excellent fit for the classic Basie band style at the same time.

'Amoroso' provides a stark contrast to the rest of the album by being an old school up-tempo mambo. The steadily pulsing bass line and high powered percussion make this not just a unique entry into the Basie band's musical catalog, but also Benny Carter's extensive library of compositions.

The groove is established for eight measures prior to the trumpets' unison statement of the tricky, undulating melody. Some call-and-response occurs between the trumpets and saxes before the roles are reversed at measure 31. The trumpets take the melody back at measure 49, coinciding with a shift to a major key for a bit before the main melody line - back in the saxes - returns at measure 65. Although the Latin groove continues throughout this section, all running lines should be performed with a slightly swung-8ths feel; after all, this is the Basie band.

A two-bar break sets up not just a Frank Foster half-chorus tenor sax solo at measure 81, but also a change to a swing feel. The bridge at measure 123 becomes a Sonny Cohn trumpet solo, but not before an open Latin percussion interlude at measure 115. The entire band states the melody in unison one more time at measure 139, this time in a swing feel all the way up until measure 151. Things come to a close with a gradual vamp and fade over a tagged final melody riff, passed back and forth between the saxophones and muted trumpets.

On the original recording, the ending is a vamp and fade out. We have included an optional ending based off of what was originally written in Carter's score.

This arrangement is not a transcription - it has been prepared from Benny Carter's original score.

Full Score
2 Alto Saxophones
2 Tenor Saxophones
Baritone Saxophone
4 Trumpets
3 Trombones
Trumpets 1 & 2: E6
Trombones 1 & 2: D5