Recorded by The Count Basie Orchestra
Arranged by Thad Jones, Prepared for Publication by Dylan Canterbury, Rob DuBoff, and Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-7758DL

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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement

Description: Swing - Difficult

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

Inspired by the Count Basie Orchestra's 1957 trip to England, Thad Jones's H.R.H. (short for Her Royal Highness) is an appropriately regal sounding blues that nonetheless retains all of the classic elements of the Basie band's sound from this time period. The arrangement as a whole is not exceedingly difficult, but has some noticeably rangy brass bits that require some strong players to execute properly.

The opening brass fanfare is a bit of a fake-out, as it's actually the first two measures of the melody. The entrance of the saxes brings us back to more familiar Basie-esque territory with their lazy bluesiness, although the brass retain their prim and proper approach throughout the first chorus. The second chorus sees the saxes accompanying Al Grey's soaring but playful trombone. While said trombone melody can be somewhat loosely interpreted, the saxes should play their parts fairly straight. This is followed up by a brief Basie piano chorus at measure 25.

The spotlight shifts back to the sax section at the pickups to measure 38. Although the volume level is fairly subdued, this section should be approached with a markedly hard sense of swing; it's advised for your lead alto player to study Marshall Royal's playing on the original recording to get a feel for how to interpret this. The final four bars of this soli are a slow build-up to the full band's re-entrance at measure 50. From here through the rest of the arrangement, everyone should be roaring at full strength, with the same contrast between the formal-sounding brass and the casual-sounding saxes as found in the chart's beginning. The introductory fanfare is repeated once more at the end, with a quick drum fill setting up the triumphant full band grand finale.


Full Score
2 Alto Saxophones
2 Tenor Saxophones
Baritone Saxophone
4 Trumpets
3 Trombones
Trumpet 1: F6
Trombone 1: Eb5 (opt. G5)