Recorded by Ella Fitzgerald
Arranged by Nelson Riddle, Prepared by Rob DuBoff and Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-9415DL


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Edition: Jazz Studio Orchestra Arrangement with Vocal

Description: Swing - Medium

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

"Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Songbook" is universally considered to be a masterpiece of the vocal jazz genre. Fitzgerald's incomparable singing obviously garners the most attention, but arranger Nelson Riddle produced a prolific number of highly diverse arrangements for the session considering the relatively limited scope of music he had to work with. This arrangement of "(I'm) Bidin' My Time" stands out as one of the most musically interesting of them all.

The 8 bar introduction incorporates some highly unusual harmony by Riddle's standards, with the woodwinds and cup muted brass going back and forth at each other (and finally settling on a Dbmi(Maj7)/Eb!). The arrangement becomes a bit more conventional harmonically when Fitzgerald enters at measure 9, but Riddle's use of a sole bass trombone as horn accompaniment is both clever and highly appropriate for the context.

The writing at measure 17 is much more typical Riddle fare, with lush string chords being accompanied by some sugary sweet riffs in the flutes. The arrangement returns to a similar approach as before at measure 25. Here, the bass trombone is playing a series of rhythmic hits with the rest of the trombone section, so the low counter line is instead scored for bass clarinet. The introduction is re-used at measure 33, with some minor vocal interjections from Fitzgerald.

The cup muted brass engages in a brief, clipped shout section at measure 41 before the spotlight returns to Fitzgerald. A new, but equally cutesy flute riff enters at measure 49, accompanied by more lush string pads but also some punchy brass hits to provide a slight bit of edginess. Some recycled backgrounds set up the ending at measure 64. The ensemble tags a brief descending figure while shedding instruments with each repetition; the woodwinds are the first to go, followed by the trumpets and lastly the strings and trombones. The volume level decays in tandem with the gradually shrinking ensemble until finally all that is left is vocalist and bassist.

This arrangement is for studio orchestra with female vocal soloist. It is not a transcription - it has been prepared from Nelson Riddle's original pencil score.

Full Score
3 Flutes
Clarinet/Bass Clarinet
4 Trumpets
3 Trombones
Bass Trombone
3 Violins
3 Celli
Vibraphone (Optional)
Vocal Key: Ab
Trumpet 1: Bb5
Trombone 1: Cb5