Recorded by Count Basie
Arranged by Benny Carter, Prepared by Dylan Canterbury, Rob DuBoff, and Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-7344DL


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement

Description: Swing - Medium

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

Benny Carter's 'The Legend' was written for one of two sessions the first Renaissance man of jazz made with the Count Basie Orchestra in the early 1960s. The 1962 album 'The Legend' brought together two of the swing era's biggest titans: pianist/bandleader Count Basie and saxophonist/composer Benny Carter. Despite their markedly different musical histories, these two luminaries' styles merged together in such a way that their individual personalities still shined through while creating an unforgettable unified sound. While retaining Carter's distinct musical identity, it manages to be an excellent fit for the classic Basie band style at the same time.

'Who's Blue' occupies a frequently overlooked niche in the jazz world: a slow tempo swinger that is not a ballad. Although the melody is not over a traditional 12-bar blues form, the solo sections are, and the entire arrangement should be approached with an appropriately soulful inflection.

A four bar Basie piano solo (transcribed for your pianist's convenience) sets up the moody melody, handled by a saxophone trio of two tenors and baritone. The piano should add some running commentary around the melody, but nothing too busy or distracting. A slight build in volume sets up the full band's entry for the final few bars of the melody at measure 17, followed by a blues chorus of piano.

Measure 33 sees the arrival of the shout chorus. The trickiness here comes from the shifting back and forth between double time and regular time feels, with the brass providing some surprisingly bebop-ish interjections during the double time segments. This culminates in a single chorus of trumpet solo, handled with tasteful aplomb on the original recording by longtime Basie-ite Al Aarons.

The arrangement ends much the same way it started. The melody returns in the same sax trio as before, with the full band coming in for the final four bars of the form. The only real difference is that the final two bars of the melody are tagged at a lower volume level, with the final ensemble chord displaying a hint of sour dissonance.

With the exception of Count Basie's improvised piano introduction, this publication is not a transcription - it has been prepared from Benny Carter's original score.

Full Score
2 Alto Saxophones
2 Tenor Saxophones
Baritone Saxophone
4 Trumpets
3 Trombones
Trumpets 1-4: Bb5
Trombone 1: Ab4