Arranged by Duke Ellington, Prepared by Dylan Canterbury, Rob DuBoff, and Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-7361DL


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement

Description: Swing - Difficult

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

In many ways, "Emancipation Celebration" could be considered a jazz concerto for cornetist Rex Stewart and trombonist Tricky Sam Nanton. The two brass stalwarts are heavily featured in both solo and duet formats throughout the movement, and the rest of the ensemble should musically approach this situation accordingly.

Coming from the bombastic ending of "West Indian Dance," the beginning of "Emancipation" is surprisingly light and playful. Stewart handles melody duties right off the bat, with the saxophones and trombones providing some gently prodding backgrounds underneath. A brief repetitive riff in the woodwinds at measure 8 sets up a brief solo break for Stewart, who then resumes melody duties, this time employing his signature half-valve effects.

Stewart is joined by Nanton at measure 24, with a simple series of calls and responses with the woodwinds. The two trade phrases with one another at measure 32 before the full band plays a triumphant riff at measure 40. Nanton gets a moment in the spotlight with an improvised solo break at measure 46 before being rejoined by Stewart at measure 58. The duo perform a playful plunger duet before the full band returns for its final salvo at measure 67.

Beginning at measure 75, the arrangement begins a slow but steady decay in volume. Initially, Stewart and Nanton resume their trading with the woodwinds. The woodwinds eventually drop out at measure 83, seemingly leaving the brass duo to themselves. Ellington, however, decides to get in on the fun with one final melody recap before drummer Sonny Greer brings things to a quick and sharp close.

Emancipation Celebration starts at 4:02 in the below sound sample.

Full Score
2 Alto Saxophones
2 Tenor Saxophones
Baritone Saxophone
4 Trumpets
3 Trombones
Trumpet 1: D6
Trumpet 3: B5
Trombone 1: Bb4