Recorded by Frank Sinatra
Arranged by Nelson Riddle, Prepared by Dylan Canterbury, Rob DuBoff, and Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-9542


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement with Vocal

Description: Swing - Medium Difficult

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

Released in 1955, Frank Sinatra's performance of "Learnin' The Blues" proved to be yet another hit in his lengthy string of popular successes, even becoming the most played song on the radio for a brief time. With Nelson Riddle's arrangement providing ideal accompaniment, it's honestly not hard to see why this would be the case.

Things begin with the trombones performing a unison riff based off of the melody's A section. The dynamics and harmonies in the saxophones and rhythm section both gradually dwindle as the introduction goes on, with three trumpet players each getting brief solo interjections over top of the ensemble. Your trumpeters should not be afraid to inject their own unique musical personalities into these solo spurts.

Upon Sinatra's entrance at measure 9, Riddle's chart largely becomes a simple riff based accompaniment, even dipping into the Billy May bag of tricks for a moment with the tenor sax serving as lead voice of the woodwind section. With a few exceptions (such as measure 39-40 and 47-48), the volume level should be kept fairly low.

The closest this arrangement gets to having a shout chorus occurs at measure 63, where the trumpets play a blasting unison line over a harmonically descending progression for four bars. Sinatra re-enters with the melody's bridge at measure 67 with some slightly different backgrounds before the ensemble rapidly builds in volume, leading into a key change at measure 75. The backgrounds here are largely recycled from before until the arrangement's closing few bars, where a simple but highly effective rhythmic riff sets up the slightly sour final chord.

This arrangement is for jazz big band featuring male vocalist. In addition to the standard big band instrumentation, there is a vibraphone part that is essentially optional.

This is not a transcription - it has been prepared from the original set of parts from Frank Sinatra's library.

Vocal Key: A Modulating to Bb



Full Score
2 Alto Saxophones
2 Tenor Saxophones
Baritone Saxophone
4 Trumpets
3 Trombones
Bass Trombone
Vocal Key: A Modulating to Bb
Trumpet 1: C6
Trombone 1: Bb4