Arranged by Duke Ellington, Transcribed by Mark Lopeman
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Cat #: JLC-5001DL


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement

Description: Swing - Difficult

Publisher: Jazz at Lincoln Center

Jelly Roll Morton always claims that one of the essential elements from the very first days of jazz was the break. A break was when the regular rhythm was suspended, and one of the players had to step out front and keep the motion going. Throughout the music's history, this tradition has been carried on in many ways. Most frequently, it is heard now when jazz bands exchange four-bar breaks with the drummer, which is known as trading fours.

Given the preponderance of military music in the years surrounding America's entry into World War I, and the ever-increasing interest in what was becoming known as jazz, it was almost inevitable that the military bugle call would be brought into jazz. It was Johnny Dunn, who first popularized the jazz bugle call break around 1920. Dunn was a well-known trumpeter in the years before Louis Armstrong became the dominant figure.

Only a couple of years later, The New Orleans Rhythm Kings came up with a swinging formula that wove the bugle call into a swinging blues. Their Bugle Call Rag brought the tune to a larger audience in 1922. So, it was only natural that Ellington decided to turn it into something original, as he did with every genre that he encountered. This Ellington version was recorded in 1932, as he was reaching his first era of true sophistication and innovation. If you want to hear how quickly his band was maturing, listen first to their 1928 version of Bugle Call Rag. In the four years between that one and this, the band had learned how to swing in the new Armstrong manner.

Full Score
Woodwind 1: Alto Sax/Clarinet
Woodwind 2: Alto Sax
Woodwind 3: Tenor Sax/Clarinet
Woodwind 4: Tenor Sax (Optional)
3 Trumpets
3 Trombones (Trombone 3 Optional)
Trumpet 1: Bb5
Trombone 1: Db5