Arranged by Duke Pearson, Transcribed by Dylan Canterbury
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Cat #: JLP-7327DL


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Audio Sample:

Edition: Jazz Nonet Arrangement

Description: Swing - Medium Difficult

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

Originally written for trumpeter Johnny Coles' 1963 recording "Little Johnny C," Duke Pearson's "Heavy Legs" is a surprisingly high-energy entry into Pearson's catalog as a composer. Despite the almost frantic nature of the piece, it still maintains the addictive lyricism that was Pearson's trademark as a writer. The opening ensemble riff is a fairly simple call-and-response between the horns and Pearson's piano. The most important thing to pay attention to is the dynamics, as the markedly softer "response" is what prevents the riff from losing the listener's interest too quickly. The rhythmically jaunty melody is played in unison by Johnny Coles' trumpet, Les Spann's flute, James Spaulding's alto and George Coleman's tenor before adding in the rest of the ensemble for a fully harmonized bridge. The introductory riff pops up one last time before the melody is over to serve as a send-off into the first solo. The melody is restated once solos are over, followed by a vamp and fade over the introductory riff with Pearson's piano filling in the gaps.

On the original recording, there are four soloists: James Spaulding on alto, George Coleman on tenor, Johnny Coles on trumpet, and Duke Pearson on piano. The alto sax and trumpet solos are accompanied by backgrounds, the tenor sax and piano solo without backgrounds.

The transcription has been done for the band's original instrumentation of trumpet, flute, alto, tenor, baritone, trombone, piano, bass and drums. An optional guitar part has also been included. We sincerely hope you enjoy playing this tune as much as we enjoyed preparing it for you!

Full Score
Alto Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Guitar (Optional)
Trumpet: A5
Trombone: Bb4