Recorded by Ella Fitzgerald with the Duke Ellington Orchestra
Arranged by Billy Strayhorn
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Cat #: JLP-9683


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement with Vocal

Description: Ballad - Medium

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

An unsung masterpiece of the Ellington/Strayhorn catalog of songs, this version of 'I Like The Sunrise' from their Liberian Suite was re-done and re-worked for legendary singer Ella Fitzgerald for their 1965 collaboration 'Ella At Duke's Place.'

This arrangement is, when all's said and done, extremely simple in terms of notation, consisting mostly of soft pads under the vocalist, who maintains the melody throughout. As is typical for Ellington and Strayhorn, however, the beauty is in the details. First are the two occasions where the volume actually rises above a whisper; the first swell occurs at measure 26, the second shortly thereafter at measure 31. Second, there are multiple moments where a single instrument has a subtle moving line underneath the otherwise organ-like ensemble. One example is the brief addition of the baritone saxophone to an otherwise brass-exclusive portion at measure 24. Another clever arranging device is how the arrangement begins and concludes with a solo from a brass player. At the beginning, it is Cat Anderson's closed plunger muted trumpet; at the end, it is Buster Cooper's operatic trombone.

Overall, this arrangement is to be played at an extremely soft volume level. Saxophones should play without any vibrato whatsoever (including the brief solo smear from the 1st alto sax as the arrangement begins), and the brass should be deep in hat (or in stand) almost throughout in order to muffle their sounds even further. If one listens to the original recording, it becomes apparent that even Fitzgerald herself is singing at the lowest possible volume level. This serves to only add to the hushed beauty that the song already possesses. The drum groove should be played throughout on mallets, and should be pulsing but never overpowering.

This arrangement is for a jazz big band with female vocal soloist. The majority of this publication is not a transcription and was taken from the original set of parts used during the recording session. Unfortunately, the first trombone part appears to have been lost over the years, and has been transcribed accordingly. The vocal key is Bb. There are no saxophone doubles.

Full Score
2 Alto Saxophones
2 Tenor Saxophones
Baritone Saxophone
4 Trumpets
3 Trombones
Vocal Key: Bb
Trumpet 1: G5
Trombone 1: Ab4