Recorded by the Duke Ellington Orchestra
Arranged by Mary Lou Williams, Prepared for Publication by Rob DuBoff, Dylan Canterbury, and Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-7654


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement

Description: Swing - Difficult

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

This alternate take on Irving Berlin's Blue Skies comes from the pen of the great Mary Lou Williams, and was written for the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Retitled Trumpets No End by Ellington, this arrangement will serve as a raucous and exciting feature for your ensemble's trumpet section.

An eight bar introduction sets the tone for the entirety of the performance, with the trumpet section playing some crisp fanfares atop a riffing trombone section and a rumbling rhythm section. Although the tune's original melody is played by the ensemble beginning at measure 9, the entire chart serves as a showcase for the Ellington band's trumpet section, which had expanded to include five members by the time of the original recording in 1946.

Once the melody is over, the non-trumpet sections of the band are relegated to accompaniment roles for the rest of the performance. The trumpets continue to trade improvised solos back and forth amongst each other, as well as occasionally coming together for some short ensemble passages. Each trumpeter gets to display their own unique musical personality while soloing, so it would be wise for your section to listen to and study some of the more notable soloists that went through the Ellington band in order to get a feel for how to approach their own solos. The arrangement should continue to build in intensity throughout, ultimately culminating in a screaming solo (courtesy of either Cat Anderson or Al Killian, depending on the recording) that soars atop the band's final riffs.

This publication was based on the set of parts from the Ellington Orchestra - this is not a transcription. Note: Mary Lou Williams's original arrangement was not exactly a trumpet-only feature. She had included solos for clarinet, tenor saxophone, trombone, and a very short clarinet solo to be played by Harry Carney. All of these solos were removed to make this into the trumpet feature that it became. We present the arrangement as-performed by the Ellington Orchestra.


Full Score
2 Alto Saxophones
2 Tenor Saxophones
Baritone Saxophone
5 Trumpets
3 Trombones
Guitar (Optional)
Trumpets 1-5: C6 (Tpt. 1 optional C7)
All Trombones: Bb4