Recorded by The Duke Ellington Orchestra
Arranged by Duke Ellington, Prepared for Publication by Dylan Canterbury, Rob DuBoff, and Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-7620DL


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement

Description: Swing - Medium

Publisher: Jazz Big Band Arrangement

Originally written under the title Webster Hall, the only recordings available of Swamp Goo come from several live performances of the Duke Ellington Orchestra between 1967 and 1968. An evenly paced piece throughout, it served as a rare clarinet feature for longtime Ellington saxophonist Russell Procope.

Ellington's chunky piano introduces the arrangement with a solo over a simple 12 bar minor blues form. The groove in the drums enters at measure 13, and is highly evocative of Ellington's "jungle music" period of the late 1930s. Ellington takes one more solo chorus before the mournful melody enters in the clarinets at measure 25. This, too, is a bit of a call-back to an earlier time in Ellington's career; in this case, it evokes a darker-sounding take on "Creole Love Call." The brass enter with some gently prodding backgrounds at measure 37 before the spotlight shifts back to Ellington for another chorus of piano solo at measure 49.

Beginning at measure 61, the arrangement turns into a vehicle for Procope's woody, resinous clarinet. His solo begins as a written melody statement in the instrument's lower register with some light trombone backgrounds before shifting into an improvised 2 choruses over an Ab blues form at measure 73. The backgrounds during these two choruses gradually swell in volume and build in complexity, and although the brass ranges never get too difficult the intensity should be constantly growing.

The melancholy written melody in the clarinet returns at measure 97 with the same trombone backgrounds as before. Following a solo clarinet cadenza, a muffled and unsettling groan in the brass and baritone saxophone sneaks in underneath, bringing the piece to an uneasy end.

This arrangement is for jazz big band. Woodwind 2 is on clarinet throughout, and woodwinds 3 and 5 also double on clarinet. It is not a transcription - it has been prepared from Ellington's original score and the set of parts used by the band. Ellington's solo piano introduction has been transcribed for your pianist's convenience.


Full Score
Alto Saxophone
2 Tenor Saxophones (Tenor Sax 1 Doubles Clarinet)
Baritone Saxophone (Doubles Clarinet)
4 Trumpets
3 Trombones
Trumpet 1: Bb5
Trombone 1: F4