Recorded by the Count Basie Orchestra
Arranged by Neal Hefti, Prepared for Publication by Dylan Canterbury, Rob DuBoff, and Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-7614


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement

Description: Swing - Medium

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

One of the cornerstone arrangements of the "New Testament" era of the Count Basie Orchestra, Neal Hefti's Cherry Point epitomizes the style of the legendary organization in just about every way. Its moderate difficulty makes it an excellent entry point to the Basie sound for younger bands, while its deceptive simplicity finds a way to provide a stylistic challenge for even the most advanced of groups. This arrangement was first recorded in 1953 and then famously performed live in 1959 and released on the Breakfast Dance and Barbecue album.

A piano solo sets up the arrangement proper, which begins at measure 14 with a somewhat ominous sax riff over a dramatic Bb pedal in the trombones and bass. The ensemble comes together for a quick pronouncement before Basie's piano sets the stage for the melody, an extremely simple half-measure riff that is repeated in call-and-response between the brass and piano (on the first time) or saxes (on the second time). Said riff is broken up solely by another brief ensemble interjection at measure 34.

Basie takes center stage once more for two blues choruses at measure 40, with some clever harmonic substitutions and sax backgrounds on the second chorus. The key shifts up a fourth at measure 64 for the slow-building ensemble shout chorus, which begins with yet another simple riff being traded back and forth between the brass and the saxes as the volume slowly but persistently crescendos. The second half of the shout sees another key change up another fourth, with the brass transposing their riff accordingly while the saxes play a new unison idea as their response. Everyone comes together for a fairly quick drop-off in volume at measures 86 and 87, with Basie's piano playing a brief fill before everyone comes in at full blast for the final chord.

Over the years, most of the original parts for this arrangement have been lost. The missing parts have been transcribed from the original recording.

Full Score
2 Alto Saxophones
2 Tenor Saxophones
Baritone Saxophone
4 Trumpets
3 Trombones
Trumpet 1: C6
Trombone 1: Bb4