Recorded by Frank Sinatra
Arranged by Billy May, Prepared by Dylan Canterbury, Rob DuBoff, and Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-9551


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Edition: Jazz Studio Orchestra Arrangement

Description: Swing - Difficult

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

Without a doubt one of the signature entries in Frank Sinatra's discography, Billy May's arrangement of the title track from Sinatra's 1958 album "Come Fly With Me" is quite possibly as close to a perfect studio orchestra arrangement as you can get. From the beginning to the end, it is a perfect mix of creativity, accessibility, and relentless swing.

The magic begins with a series of string tremolos that are no doubt meant to mimic the sound (and feel) of an airplane lifting off the ground. Sinatra enters at measure 5 to invite the listener to join him in his travels, with the band providing some perfectly timed background hits throughout the melody. Be sure to particularly take into account the contrast between the biting trumpets and saxophones and the warmer textures of the trombones and strings throughout.

A timpani roll at measure 59 launches the ensemble into the classic flight of musical brilliance that is May's shout section at measure 61. With the saxophones maintaining the melody, the brass hits should be powerful and authoritative in order to inject a new level of excitement into this section. It all comes to a fore when the brass and saxophones come together with the melody at measure 65, propelled forward by Irv Cottler's relentlessly swinging backbeat.

Sinatra's re-entrance at measure 81 sees a return to the ensemble contrasting one another in the same manner as before, with punchy trumpets and saxophones pairing off against warm trombones and strings. The tension begins to build at measure 97 for the concluding part of the melody, with a dramatic ensemble swell at measure 103 setting up the concluding measures. One final dissonant blast in the horns sets up the strings once again serving as a musical reminder of an airplane. This time, they are a final shot of the plane's contrails as it disappears from sight, serving as a perfect way to set up either the rest of Sinatra's musical travelogues on the original album or your own ensemble's adventures into the wild blue yonder.

Frank Sinatra revisited this arrangement for a Reprise studio recording in 1965 released on A Man and His Music, which won the 1967 Grammy Award. This new studio recording of Come Fly with Me was based on the original score but lowered a half-step to Bb. He would take a modified big band version of this chart on the road with the Count Basie Orchestra in the summer of 1965 and then record it at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas the following year.

This arrangement is for male vocal soloist with studio orchestra. This publication is not a transcription - it has been prepared from Billy May's original score.

Full Score
2 Alto Saxophones (Both Double Flute)
2 Tenor Saxophones (Tenor 1 Doubles Flute)
Baritone Saxophone
4 Trumpets
3 Trombones
Bass Trombone
2 Violins
Percussion: Suspended Cymbal, Xylophone, Bells, Timpani
Vocal Key: B
Trumpet 1: Db6
Trombone 1: B4