Recorded by Benny Goodman
Arranged by Fletcher Henderson, Prepared for Publication by Rob DuBoff, Dylan Canterbury, and Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-7799


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement

Description: Swing - Medium Difficult

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

It’s hard to think of more historically important compositions in the jazz catalogue than “King Porter Stomp.” The most enduring hit for jazz’s first great composer, Jelly Roll Morton, Fletcher Henderson’s arrangement not only became a staple for his own band, but also served as a source of musical rejuvenation for the Benny Goodman Orchestra in the 1930s.

The performance wastes no time exploding out of the gate courtesy of a brilliant trumpet solo from Bunny Berigan (written out in full with chord changes), propped up by some hard-hitting saxophone riffs. The only real change-up in this action comes when the brass play a brief fanfare as a bridge between the two halves of Berigan’s solo at measure 15. This whole section sets the tone for the rest of the performance, so make sure that your ensemble plays with an unbridled enthusiasm and sense of joy.

The full ensemble leans into a wind-up at measure 25 before the key changes and the bottom drops off for the tune’s main melody four bars later, played in a silky-smooth fashion by the sax section. The arrangement then gives way to a series of solos, each backed by simple but effective backgrounds. Goodman’s clarinet is up first at measure 39, with Berigan on deck and Jack Lacey’s trombone in the hole after that.

The shout section at measure 76 is one of the definitive moments of the swing era. A series of rapidly rising and dropping dynamics across the horns creates a sense of unease before everything comes together in glorious celebration at measure 86. Here, the brass and saxes commence playing a game of tug of war, responding to each other in kind all the way to the thrilling ascending conclusion.

This publication has been prepared using a set of parts that were created for Benny Goodman in 1949. They are identical to the 1935 parts with the exception of added baritone saxophone and third trombone parts. These parts were used for several Armed Forces Radio Broadcasts in 1949 and 1950 as well as for the 1955 soundtrack to the Benny Goodman Story.


Full Score
Clarinet Soloist
2 Alto Saxophones
2 Tenor Saxophones
Baritone Saxophone (Optional)
4 Trumpets
3 Trombones
Trumpet 1: Eb6
Trumpet 4: D6
Trombone 1: Cb5