Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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Written By: Ted Snyder
Arranged By: John Edmondson
Instrumentation: Big Band
Publisher: Queenwood KJOS
Grade 3 Bright Swing (Quarter Note) q = 152 $40.00
“The Sheik” is the venerable jazz tune, “The Sheik Of Araby" as referred to by jazz musicians for decades. It was first published in 1921 by Mills Music and is one of the most performed jazz tunes of all time, especially by Dixieland groups. This arrangement is an updated version in a big band swing style setting and features a brief trumpet solo.
The tempo should be bright with a pronounced backbeat feel. At measure 9 the saxes should not be too loud, and are thus one level lower than the brass melody figures. At 17 the saxes have a soli section for 8 measures and are marked one dynamic higher. The tag eight measure ending at 33 is the same as the introduction, and it leads to a unison brass variation of the melody with a sax section answer. The trumpet solo or unison spot at 49 may be played by one player or the entire section. If the soloist is used it might be nice to stand next to the saxes, ala Woody Herman, and he or she can return to their seat during the two-measure unison spot at 57. However, they should play their written part starting with the second note at measure 59.
With great swing lines, a written soli and very good arranging this chart is a winner. You might want to consider handing out some changes to extra soloists in the ensemble which would enhance the entire jazz experience for both the students performing and the audience listening. Either way “The Sheik" is a good choice for your developing jazz ensemble program.
Top note for trumpet is written F in the staff