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Yardbird Suite

By Claude Thornhill

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Big band (2 Alto Saxophones, 2 Tenor Saxophones, 1 Baritone Saxophone, 4 Trumpets (Originally Scored for 3: Trumpet 4 Is an Alternate Part for French Horn 1), 4 Trombones (Originally Scored for 2: Trombone 3 Is an Alternate Part for French Horn 2; Trombone 4 Is an ) - Difficult
By Claude Thornhill. Edited by Jeffrey Sultanof. Arranged by Gil Evans. Swing. Full score and set of parts. Published by Jazz Lines Publications (JL.JLP-8124).

Item Number: JL.JLP-8124


In 1941 Gil Evans went to New York to write for the Claude Thornhill orchestra, which won two successive Billboard polls in the "sweet band" category. Evans, who was a fan of bebop and modern classical music was the first jazz composer/arranger to combine elements of both into his groundbreaking arrangements. This arrangement of Charlie Parker's Yardbird Suite (known at the time as 'What Price Love') is stunning. Evans employs dissonance throughout (often through minor seconds within sections) as well as subtle color and timbre shifts. Arranging for this same Thornhill band was Gerry Mulligan with whom Gil Evans would later break away and form the famous Miles Davis Nonet and record 'The Birth of the Cool.' This arrangement helped establish Gil Evans as a trend-setting, modern jazz composer. This arrangement has been published from the original autograph score and is authorized by the Estate of Gil Evans. This is not a transcription. The original score was arranged for Thornhill's band that included 5 saxophones, 3 trumpets, 2 French horns, 2 trombones, tuba, guitar, piano, bass, and drums. We have modified the original arrangement to make it playable by a standard big band (8 brass) though parts for the original instrumentation are also included allowing for the option of playing it as it was intended. This is a fairly complex arrangement that calls for solos for piano, alto saxophone, and guitar. There are no saxophone doubles. This arrangement was recently recorded by the Dutch Jazz Orchestra on their 2008 CD titled 'Moon Dreams: Rediscovered Music of Gil Evans and Gerry Mulligan.' Note: The sound sample is courtesy of the Manhattan School of Music's Concert Jazz Band, conducted by Justin DiCioccio. Ranges:Trumpet 1: D6 Trombone 1: B4.

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