Recorded by the Harry James Orchestra
Arranged by Andy Gibson, Prepared for Publication by Rob DuBoff, Jeffrey Sultanof, and Dylan Canterbury
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Cat #: JLP-7773DL


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement

Description: Swing - Medium Difficult

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

'The Sheik of Araby' continues to be a popular tune among Dixieland and swing musicians to this day. This Andy Gibson arrangement for Harry James offers up a fun take on the old standard.

The thumping of tom-toms and an exotic-sounding James trumpet solo establishes the performance’s mood before the ensemble roars to life for a brief melody set-up at measure 21. The melody proper commences at measure 29 with some good-natured call and response between the brass and the woodwinds. The band comes together briefly toward the melody’s end at measure 53 before the saxes play a slightly more complicated figure to lead into the solo section.

Things kick off with a half-chorus piano solo at measure 61. The woodwinds have some surprisingly complex backgrounds at this point that need to be kept light and low. The spotlight shifts to a tenor sax solo at measure 77 for another half chorus, with some slightly more exuberant brass backgrounds. James plays a rapidly ascending trumpet break leading into a key change at measure 93, and dominates the arrangement’s final two ensemble choruses. The backgrounds underneath should continue developing gradually, egging on the trumpet soloist until things wrap up with a few brief screaming trumpet breaks and a full ensemble capper.

This publication was based on the original Andy Gibson pencil score - this is not a transcription.


Full Score
Trumpet Soloist
2 Alto Saxophones
2 Tenor Saxophones
3 Trumpets
3 Trombones
Trumpet Soloist: Eb6
Trumpet 1: C6
Trombone 1: Bb4