Recorded by the Count Basie Orchestra; New 2019 Edition
Arranged by Ernie Wilkins, Prepared by Dylan Canterbury, Rob DuBoff, and Jeffrey Sultanot
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Cat #: JLP-54407DL


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement

Description: Swing - Difficult

Publisher: Walrus Music Publishing

New edition for 2019!

It's hard to pick a single favorite album from the long and storied discography of the Count Basie Orchestra, but 1959's "Chairman of the Board" is likely to top at least a few lists. This Ernie Wilkins arrangement only offers up a few brief piano solos, but has plenty of exciting spots to showcase your ensemble. These sections will give your players a good workout at times, so be sure to be ready for them.

The melody (beginning at measure 26) is handled at first by muted trumpets. The sax and trombone backgrounds should have a nice kick to them while not being too loud. The brass (with now-open trumpets) and saxes trade some figures on the bridge at measure 36, with the trumpets returning to their mutes for the final A section at measure 44.

Beginning at measure 52, the spotlight shines mainly on the sax section for the next chorus. This soli section is written in such a way that it will swing all on its own, so no need for your players to force it. The brass figures are largely simple, short interjections, but should be attacked with authority. Make sure your brass section pays close attention to the rapid dynamic shifts at measure 68, as they are necessary to make for an exciting performance. The ensemble comes together at measure 80 for an extended send-off into a typically minimalist Basie piano chorus at measure 88.

The full ensemble gets to shout together from measure 113 until more-or-less the end of the chart. Once again, pay attention to the quick-fire dynamic changes during these shout sections in order to maximize excitement. Although the ensemble still ostensibly has the starring role at measure 144, this is the time to let your drummer show off a bit, as their fills around the band hits can truly make or break this section. Another Basie piano solo over the bridge at measure 153 sets up the final A section, where the trumpets provide a muted treatment of the melody as they did before. The band then tags a couple of times before coming to a warm and satisfying conclusion.

This arrangement is for jazz big band. It is not a transcription - it has been prepared from an engraved score that was based on an original set of parts that Ernie Wilkins had in his library. On the original recording, the first chorus of the form (from measures 1-25) were scrapped in favor of an eight-bar solo piano introduction. We have included the original opening should you wish to play it.

Full Score
2 Alto Saxophones
2 Tenor Saxophones
Baritone Saxophone
4 Trumpets
4 Trombones
Trumpet 1: F6
Trombone 1: Bb4