Recorded by Nat 'King' Cole with the Stan Kenton Orchestra
Arranged by Pete Rugolo, Prepared for Publication by Dylan Canterbury, Rob DuBoff, and Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-6029


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement with Vocal

Description: Swing - Medium Difficult (Advanced for Brass Section)

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

Orange Colored Sky is one of the two sides produced by the lone collaboration between singer Nat 'King' Cole and the Stan Kenton Orchestra in 1950. The song became an instant hit, and has since appeared in a wide variety of settings and covered by a wide variety of musicians, including Cole's daughter Natalie. This Pete Rugolo arrangement does an excellent job of interpolating Cole's lightly swinging trio into the dramatic bombast of the Kenton band, but be forewarned - a strong brass section is absolutely necessary to be able to pull this chart off.

A quick trio introduction sets up the arrangement's medium pace. The melody is handled by Cole's vocals throughout, with the accompaniment trading back and forth between the trio and the band. The band interjections are dominated by Kenton's signature screaming brass section, here led by a young Maynard Ferguson. The band even gets in on the singing fun a little bit with some enthusiastic group vocals on a few different occasions.

The shout chorus at measure 37 is a similar back-and-forth style, with the trio playing a gentle take on the melody before letting the brass rip into the stratosphere at full roar in response. Cole's vocals return for the bridge at measure 53, with the arrangement initially being copied note for note from before. The melody is briefly extended and tagged at measure 69 before the band plays a typically Kenton riff - an ascending, polytonal melody that builds from modestly loud to ear-shattering. Cole has a quick, sly vocal retort all to himself before the final few measures. The volume seems to be tailing off via the trio's descending melody, only for the brass to get one last screech in before the side comes to a close.

In the original score, at measure 75, there is a cue for Nat to ad-lib a brief spoken-word quip. On the original recording, he says: "Wow! I thought love was much softer than that - what a most disturbing sound!" Your vocalist is, of course, free to come up with their own line if they want. This publication was based on the original Pete Rugolo score and the set of parts used during the recording session - this is not a transcription. The vocal key is Bb.

Full Score
2 Alto Saxophones
2 Tenor Saxophones
Baritone Saxophone
5 Trumpets
5 Trombones
Vocal Key: Bb
Trumpet 1: Ab6
Trumpet 2: G6
Trumpets 3-5: C#6 (opt. G6 for trumpet 3)
Trombone 1: D5
Trombone 2: C5