Brand New 2018 Edition

Recorded by Count Basie

Arranged by Frank Foster
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Cat #: JLP-51217DL


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement

Description: Swing - Medium Difficult

Publisher: Walrus Music Publishing

"Discommotion" was recorded by the Count Basie Orchestra on their album "Basie at Birdland." This is unquestionably one of Frank Foster's finest charts for the band, but be warned: it is quite the difficult blow, especially for your trumpet section. A strong set of brass players is needed to be able to pull this chart off with the energy and authority it requires.

Like much of Foster's writing during this time, the chart is largely based off of a 12-bar blues form, but with a twist. After the corkscrewing introductory chorus, the main melody is based largely around a series of dominant b9 chords in the saxophones, creating a slightly sour, unnerving quality. The trumpets and trombones play in unison at measure 13 before branching out into separate counter lines at measure 25.

The band yields the spotlight to its leader for two choruses of piano before putting the trumpet section on display for a stop-time soli section at measure 50. This almost bugle-like passage will require some work to get to maximum precision and cleanliness, as some of the rhythms can be quite tricky. Following this soli, the arrangement becomes a soloist spotlight, first with Budd Johnson's tenor saxophone for 3 choruses beginning at measure 74, then Benny Powell's trombone for 3 more beginning at measure 98.

From measure 128 out, the full band engages in one of Foster's most brilliantly orchestrated shout choruses. As usual, it begins at near nothing, cycling through some surprisingly modern chord alterations before slowly building in intensity through measure 147. The second trumpet takes over the ensemble lead at measure 159 to allow lead trumpeter Snooky Young to do some screaming, followed by an 8 bar drum solo before the full band comes together for the final chorus at measure 175. The corkscrewing introduction is alluded to for a moment once again at measure 183 when the bottom suddenly drops out for a Basie piano fill, one final triumphant band fanfare, and one last sudden drop off for the final chord, bringing this musical roller coaster ride to a close.

This arrangement is for big band. It is not a transcription - it has been prepared from Frank Foster's original score and parts.

Full Score
2 Alto Saxophones
2 Tenor Saxophones
Baritone Saxophone
4 Trumpets
3 Trombones
Bass Trombone
Trumpet 1: C7
Trumpet 2: E6
Trombone 1: C5