AS RECORDED BY COUNT BASIE
ARRANGED BY ERNIE WILKINS, TRANSCRIBED BY JONATHAN LORENTZ
On a warm, July day in 1961 Ernie Wilkins came to a Count Basie Orchestra gig at Birdland in New York with a newly completed manuscript in his hand. He had just finished an arrangement of the holiday classic Jingle Bells and wanted to have the band give it a test-run with an eye towards recording it in the studio later on in the year. Well, despite the fact that it was the middle of the summer the band played it. The raucous chart was a huge success and has been featured on many holiday compilations ever since.
This chart has been transcribed from the live recording as it was a more enthusiastic version than what was later recorded in the studio. In the live recording Count Basie starts off the arrangement with a 64-bar solo based on an 8-bar chord progression. In the studio version, there are only 16 bars upfront. Basie's piano introduction from the studio recording has been written out as it serves the chart well: it is classic Basie piano material. Your band has the option of repeating this 8-bar intro as many times as you need and then cueing the band in. Chord changes for the tenor saxophone solo have been included rather than writing out the solo. There are no saxophone doubles. The sound sample provided is from the studio recording so that you can hear the piano introduction.
# Trumpet 1 to D6
# Trombone 1 to Bb4.
Swing - Difficult