Arthur Johnston – Pennies from Heaven

Roy Noble – The Very Thought of You

Antônio Carlos Jobim – The Girl from Ipanema

Felix Rigg – Berry’s Blues

‘Fats’ Waller & Harry Brooks – Ain’t Misbehavin’ 

This ninth volume of arrangements for brass quintet features another five classic songs from the Great American Songbook. In penning these arrangements, I have tried to ensure that all five instruments have their ‘moments in the sun’: if not always in each song then certainly throughout the volume itself, which contains a variety of styles and tempi. No collection of songs from the American jazz tradition would be complete without a version of Pennies from Heaven. As with so many of the songs that have become standards, it seems to work at whatever tempo one chooses. Contrastingly, The Very Thought of You is unimaginable as anything other than the tenderest of ballads, although, whilst maintaining a slow tempo, I’ve tried to keep it swinging (employing a uniformly short staccato will help you achieve the right sort of sound). Central to the volume is Antônio Carlos Jobim’s The Girl from Ipanema, which – being best performed with simplicity and economy (less is more!) – presented an unusual challenge for the brass quintet arranger: you will have to judge whether I have caught the mood of gentle guitars as I’d hoped. Berry’s Blues is an original number (for which I hope I may be forgiven), penned because I felt the collection ought to have at least one twelve-bar blues. Finally, Fats Waller’s famous Ain’t Misbehavin‘ takes us back, once again, to an earlier era.   

The arrangements are very much designed for public performance: whether as amusing novelties/encores within a concert dominated by more serious music, or perhaps as background music for an event. I hope that brass players of all standards enjoy these arrangements, which demonstrate the sheer beauty of melodic and harmonic invention within the genre.

Felix Rigg

Parts included:

  • Score
  • Trumpet 1 in B-flat
  • Trumpet 2 in B-flat
  • Horn in F
  • Trombone
  • Tuba