Recorded by Woody Herman
Arranged by John La Barbera
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Cat #: W-51581


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement

Description: Swing - Difficult

Publisher: Walrus Music Publishing

The day after Christmas 1975 I got a phone call every composer/arranger dreams of...a major band leader needing original music for an upcoming recording. The only problem was that the recording session was 11 days away. My buddy Bill Byrne, who was Woody Herman's road manager for years, called me with just such a request. They were recording for Fantasy Records in San Francisco and I was on the East Coast. I don't write just to put things in a file cabinet and wait, I always write for specific bands and players so if I wanted the gig, I had to get it done fast, score and parts.

I sat down and worked out a few ideas that I thought would suit the band and got to work. The result was Toothless Grin and another chart that shall be forever nameless. This was during the infancy of overnight mail and, in situations like this, I would go to the airport, find a flight to the destination city, find a "stewardess" (remember this was 1975-76), give her $25.00 and the charts. Well, Bill was waiting at the airport and found out the woman put the package underneath the plane rather than putting it in the overhead. The package was drenched with water and only Toothless Grin was salvageable.

I knew most of the guys on the band and I had Gregory Herbert in mind for this and he played it beautifully. I've re-scored this from Woody's instrumentation (5-3-4) to accommodate the more conventional big band set up. Although it was recorded with electric bass and piano, I think acoustic instruments would be more suitable.

Recorded by Woody Herman and the Thundering Herd in 1975 and released on the King Cobra album.

- John La Barbera



Full Score
2 Alto Saxophones (Both Have Optional Flute Doubles)
2 Tenor Saxophones
Baritone Saxophone
4 Trumpets
3 Trombones
Bass Trombone
Trumpet 1: E6
Trumpet 2: D6
Trombone 1: G4