Written for the Glenn Miller Orchestra Under the Direction of Ray McKinley
Arranged by Deane Kincaide, Prepared for Publication by Dylan Canterbury, Rob DuBoff, and Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-7945


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement

Description: Swing - Difficult

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

This Deane Kincaide arrangement of the Gershwin Brothers' classic 'S Wonderful was written in 1959 for, but never officially recorded by, the Glenn Miller Orchestra under the direction of Ray McKinley. It's a surprisingly adventurous chart, incorporating some challenging bebop-influenced riffs and harmonies that make it stand out next to the Miller Orchestra's more typical fare.

Before venturing into more modern territory, the introduction actually harkens back to a Dixieland style, with clarinet playing lead over the trumpets on top of the trombones sliding around underneath. The now-muted brass handle the first stretch of the melody, engaging in some biting call-and-response with the woodwinds before yielding the spotlight on the bridge to an improvised clarinet solo. Returning at measure 35, the brass finish the melody off before the clarinet resumes improvising a few measures later. This solo section has two different sets of backgrounds - the saxes on the first chorus, the trombones on the second.

Once the clarinetist has wrapped up, the key changes at measure 79 for a trombone solo that lasts for most of a chorus. The exception occurs at measure 95, where the sax section plays an eight bar soli section to break things up. A half chorus of densely orchestrated ensemble shouting begins at measure 119, followed immediately by a half chorus of tenor sax. Another key change occurs at measure 143, where the main melody returns, albeit in extended and highly deconstructed form. Plunger-fanning brass accompany another improvised clarinet solo on the slowly-building final bridge, culminating in yet another key change at measure 171 for the final stretch. The ending is a bit of a fake-out, initially seeming to return to the Dixieland style of the intro before shifting gears into a far moodier atmosphere.

This publication was prepared using Deane Kincaide's score and a set of parts from the Glenn Miller library. The sound sample is provided courtesy of Glenn Miller Productions.

Full Score
2 Alto Saxophones (Alto Saxophone 1 Doubles Clarinet)
2 Tenor Saxophones
Baritone Saxophone
4 Trumpets
4 Trombones
Drum Set
Trumpet 1: D6
Trombone 1: Bb4