Recorded by the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band
Arranged by Quincy Jones, Prepared for Publication by Dylan Canterbury, Rob DuBoff, and Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-7311DL


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement

Description: Swing - Medium Difficult

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

Before his emergence as one of the most influential figures in the music industry, Quincy Jones served as trumpeter and musical director for the State Department-sponsored big band run by Dizzy Gillespie. His original composition, Jessica's Day, became a cornerstone of the band's book thanks to its easy swing feel and highly memorable melody.

A bombastic introduction sets up the cheeky tune at measure 5, with Gillespie's trumpet playing lead over a band-within-a-band consisting of flute, alto, tenor, baritone, and trombone. Following a standard A-A-B-A form, the bridge is left as an improvised tenor sax solo courtesy of Billy Mitchell. The final A section is slightly extended with an ascending brass figure over a sax-and-bass pedal to set the stage for an improvised half-chorus from Gillespie at measure 36. The saxophone backgrounds are simple and relaxed, but provide enough push to still be engaging.

The ensemble bombast briefly returns at measure 46, with the brass and saxes shouting to announce a half-chorus alto sax solo, handled by a young Phil Woods on the original recording. The volume picks up one more time for the final ensemble shout chorus at measure 62, which functions almost like a variation on the original melody; while not being exactly the same, it bears enough resemblance so as to be familiar to performers and listeners alike. A piano solo from Walter Davis, Jr. on the bridge leads the performance into the final re-statement of the melody, which ends by hanging somewhat ominously on a minor chord without resolving.

Most of this publication was prepared from the original set of parts. Unfortunately, the second trumpet part was lost over the years. It has been transcribed accordingly. Alto saxophone 1 doubles on flute.

Full Score
Solo Trumpet
2 Alto Saxophones
2 Tenor Saxophones
Baritone Saxophone
4 Trumpets
3 Trombones
Trumpet 1: Db6
Trombone 1: C5