Recorded by the John Kirby Sextet
Arranged by Charlie Shavers, Prepared by Dylan Canterbury, Rob DuBoff, and Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-7528


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Audio Sample:

Edition: Jazz Sextet Arrangement

Description: Swing - Medium

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

Known informally as "the Biggest Little Band in the Land," the John Kirby Sextet may be more accurately described as "the biggest little chamber ensemble in the world." The band's arrangements (most provided by trumpeter Charlie Shavers) feature an almost baroque quality to their interweaving, chromatic melody lines and softly textured harmony. Even their treatment of the old Dixieland warhorse Royal Garden Blues is not immune to this delightful treatment.

The arrangement starts off relatively normally, with the cup-muted trumpet stating the melody with some accompanying held tones from the clarinet and alto sax. The three horns all come together to play a rhythmically jaunty re-imagining of the melody beginning at measure 13 before the baroque influences take over with a clever re-imagining of the famous solo send off at measure 25.

Solo duties are handled by the piano before another clever send-off at measure 37 leads to a key change and the famous melody is stated fairly conventionally. The quasi-classical approach returns for each additional solo send-offs, with some bell tones from the horns at measure 53 setting up the clarinet solo, and an almost Bach-like line at measure 65 setting up the trumpet solo. An extremely intricate and clever ensemble break at measure 89 sets up the return of the melody, once again stated fairly conventionally before the arrangement comes to a swift and pleasant close.

This arrangement was written for jazz sextet featuring clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, piano, bass and drums. This is not a transcription - it was prepared from the original score. We sincerely hope you enjoy playing this arrangement as much as we enjoyed preparing it for you!

Full Score
Alto Saxophone