Recorded by Count Basie
Arranged by Neal Hefti, Prepared by Dylan Canterbury, Rob DuBoff, and Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-8062


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement

Description: Swing - Medium Difficult

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

Red Bank, New Jersey native William "Count" Basie usually spent more time calling attention to the many wonderful musicians in his fabulous bands. This Neal Hefti arrangement, originally recorded for the 1958 album now popularly known as "The Complete Atomic Basie," does things a little differently by shining the spotlight almost solely on Basie and his perennially underrated piano playing.

The band kicks off this fast blues with a powerful introductory fanfare, letting everyone know that "The Kid" is about to make his entrance. As soon as the band finishes their statement at the end of measure 6, however, the volume level immediately drops off to allow Basie room to play one of his trademark simple riff-based solos before the band repeats their opening blast.

The rest of the arrangement is largely structured the same way, with the raw power of the 1950s "New Testament" Basie band serving as interludes between several Basie piano choruses. Although Basie was best known for his minimalism, he was originally schooled in stride piano, and takes advantage of some of his solo moments to showcase his skills in this classic style.

The proceedings come to a close with the band once again returning to the opening fanfare - this time with an added concluding riff that is not present at the beginning of the arrangement. After another brief but powerful blast at measure 114, Basie plays a brief, simple solo break that leads into the final, surprisingly dissonant held chord from the ensemble. The most important musical factor in performing this arrangement is to make sure to emphasize the dynamic contrasts between the ensemble portions and the piano solo. These contrasts between full-bore band and mild-mannered piano are what ultimately create the arrangement's main source of listening tension, and ignoring these shifts in volume will make the proceedings somewhat uninteresting to the audience.

This arrangement is written for standard big band instrumentation (with three trombones). It is not a transcription - everything has been engraved from Neal Hefti's original set of parts. We hope you enjoy this arrangement as much as we enjoyed preparing it for you!

Full Score
2 Alto Saxophones
2 Tenor Saxophones
Baritone Saxophone
4 Trumpets
3 Trombones
Trumpet 1: F6
Trombone 1: C5