Arranged by Duke Ellington, Transcribed by Mark Lopeman
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Cat #: JLC-5004DL


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement

Description: Swing - Medium Difficult

Publisher: Jazz at Lincoln Center

One of the great joys of delving into the world of Ellingtonia is discovering the hundreds of great pieces that for one reason or another never became well-known. Solid Old Man is a perfect example of one of his compositions that certainly deserves to be brought back to the forefront. It was introduced in 1939, just as the band was getting ready for a Scandinavian tour. Billy Strayhorn had recently come aboard as an aide to Ellington, and within a year’s time, Jimmy Blanton and Ben Webster would also help catapult the band into one of their most beloved periods.

Growling, plunger-muted brass and dramatic minor-themed pieces were among the first things that attracted the music world's attention to the young Duke Ellington, and Solid Old Man fits right in with that tradition. There is less stress on instrumental variety and compositional development than is usual for Ellington. Here, the emphasis is on the solid ensemble effects and the cumulative effects of repeated riffs. If the piece is going to come off as intended, a clear effort must be made to understand the form of the piece and where each section fits, as it builds towards the climatic last sixteen bars.

Full Score
2 Alto Saxophones
2 Tenor Saxophones
Baritone Saxophone
4 Trumpets
3 Trombones
Trumpet 1: C6
Trombone 1: Ab4