Central City Blues/Hello [Central City Sketches #1 & 2] by The American Jazz Orchestra. Edited by Jeffrey Sultanof and Rob Duboff. Arranged by Benny Carter. For big band (2 Alto Saxophones, 2 Tenor Saxophones, Baritone Saxophone, 4 Trumpets, 4 Trombones, Guitar, Piano, Bass, Drums). Swing. Medium. Score and parts. Published by Jazz Lines Publications (JL.JLP-8286-87).
In 1987, Benny Carter was invited to give a concert of his music with the American Jazz Orchestra. The concert would be a career retrospective: classic music he wrote in the 1930s and '40s, compositions from the '60s, including themes he'd written for motion pictures, and a suite composed specifically for the concert. This suite, Central City Sketches, and the resulting studio-recorded CD released by Musicmasters, were praised by critics who were thrilled that Carter was still creating beautiful, swinging music at the age of eighty. Jeffrey Sultanof was present at that concert, and can attest that the audience went wild when they heard this new music that often recalled Kansas City and the swing era. The sources for these publications are the original parts, which were heavily marked up with changes and corrections that were made prior to the premiere. In one case ( People Time ) a score that was engraved by Phil Woods was consulted.Movements 1 and 2 - Central City Blues segue to Hello: The suite opens with Central City Blues which segues into a Basie-styled Hello. Because the blues cannot be played as a separate composition, it is combined with Hello. Central City Blues has been marked as "low-down and dirty" by the editor, and that's exactly how it ought to be played. A piano solo and a change of tempo brings us to Hello, which is Carter's homage to his friend Count Basie. Carter is quite specific about dynamics here, and they should be observed.