Written for the Count Basie Orchestra
Arranged by John La Barbera
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Cat #: W-51626DL


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement

Description: Swing - Difficult

Publisher: Walrus Music Publishing

The story behind this arrangement may be more interesting than the chart itself. In 1976 legendary booking agent Willard Alexander introduced me to Count Basie during Buddy Rich's engagement at the St. Regis Hotel in New York. Willard was a friend, patron and mentor to me and told Mr. B that I was Buddy's principal arranger and he suggested that I should write something for his band. Needless to say, I was thrilled at the possibility but then Basie threw me a curve...he asked me to do a chart on Rubenstein's Melody in F.

This old chestnut was not my idea of what should be my first chart for him but he told me he always liked it since he heard Freddy Martin's band play it. I struggled with it but finally got it done and called trumpeter and road manager Sonny Cohn to see when we could run it down. Well, when I got to the rehearsal Basie asked me, "What key is it in?" I gulped and said F, to which he replied, "I prefer to solo in G." I realize now that he was testing me and, because of my experience with Buddy and his scheduling demands, I was able to make the changes (the key change at measure 41) fairly quickly and it went into the book. Maybe I should have called it Melody in G?

I patterned the beginning after Basie's version of All of Me with the surprise entrance of the band at measure 8. Just like all Basie charts, dynamics are key in making the performance true to his style. Exaggerate the dynamics wherever possible and if your band is experienced enough, try having the band lay back Basie style on the quarter note triplets (i.e., measures 41-76-81) and anywhere else you feel it would be appropriate. Because of range considerations, I've added some alternate notation in the trumpet 1 part. Also includes optional fully notated bass part.

- John La Barbera

Full Score
2 Alto Saxophones
2 Tenor Saxophones
Baritone Saxophone
4 Trumpets
4 Trombones
Drum Set
Trumpet 1: D6 (Optional F6)
Trombone 1: A4