Recorded by the Count Basie Orchestra
Arranged by Neal Hefti, Prepared for Publication by David Berger, Dylan Canterbury, Rob DuBoff, and Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-7887DL


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement

Description: Swing - Medium

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

There are few collaborations in the world of big band jazz that have produced more classic outcomes than those of bandleader Count Basie and arranger Neal Hefti. At the start of their association in 1951, Basie was looking to revive his big band after a period where economics had forced him to downsize his unit to an octet. Hefti, a youthful veteran who had already written for Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, and Charlie Parker, was looking to expand his name in the public eye. When the two brought their highly sympathetic musical personalities together, the result was a completely re-defined sound of the Basie organization, and big band jazz in general, by combining the easy-swinging riff-based style of Basie’s 1930s groups with Hefti's more contemporary, orchestrated sensibility. Their relationship reached its apex with three albums comprised entirely of Hefti's arrangements: 1957's The Atomic Mr. Basie, 1958's Basie Plays Hefti, and 1962's On My Way & Shoutin' Again. These universally-acclaimed classics left the sound of big band jazz permanently altered for the better, revived Basie’s fortunes as a bandleader, and paved the way for Hefti's transition to the world of scoring for television and film.

One of the (many) reasons the Count Basie Orchestra excelled at playing the blues was the countless great soloists that came through the band's ranks over the years. This arrangement was written as a feature for the dueling trumpets of Thad Jones and Joe Newman, and will serve as a wonderful showcase for your band's stars on that instrument.

A chorus of Basie up front establishes the loping, medium-slow tempo that the arrangement adheres to throughout. The conversational melody in the twin trumpets (both sporting Harmon mutes with stems throughout) begins at measure 13. A descending sax line and some moderately high brass parts provide a contrast to the more intimate soloists. The melody is followed by some slowly 'wah-ing' trumpet figures and some ensemble shouts to break up the building tension.

The 'wah-ing' figure is played again at measure 38, but this time it serves as a send-off for two choruses where the trumpet duet becomes more of a dialogue. The trumpets trade improvised barbs back and forth by themselves at first, with some non-intrusive backgrounds coming in at measure 50. The melody returns at measure 62, played largely the same way as it is at the beginning. The final four measures are tagged a few times before the dueling trumpets play a brief, slightly rubato written statement by themselves, ending things off with a taunting quasi-laugh atop the ensemble's final bluesy chord.

This publication was based on the original set of parts from the Count Basie Orchestra - this is not a transcription.

Full Score
2 Alto Saxophones
2 Tenor Saxophones
Baritone Saxophone
4 Trumpets
3 Trombones
Trumpet 1: F6
Trumpet 3: C6
Trombone 1: Bb4