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rrayner 08-06-2017 07:58 PM

Sermonette - Septet
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“Sermonette” is a piece written in 1958 by Julian “Cannonball” Adderly, a very accomplished jazz alto saxophonist, with lyrics (not included in this arrangement), by jazz “scat” specialist, Jon Hendricks. The original arrangement of this piece was written for my working septet by one of the sidemen in my band in the mid-60s, Paul M. Kelly, who was also a member of the USAF Band Arranging Staff.

Somehow, the parts disappeared from my band book. I imagine one of my sidemen decided that as the band was disbanding as I was separating from the Air Force, I wouldn’t miss it if he took the parts to this chart.

Fortunately, for this piece, I had a recording that Paul had made with his old Wollensak tape recorder many years ago. So, I bent to the arduous task of trying to recreate the score. Capturing the lead lines and the bass parts in this kind of endeavor are not too difficult, but trying to figure out the voicings of the horns is quite daunting. Figuring out the chord progressions can also be quite difficult, at least for me. In this case however, I had a lead sheet for the song.

So, the voicings of the horns are close - at least they fit the chords.

This score was created solely for the purpose of printing the parts for a live band. I have performed this labor for a friend (former roommate/classmate at Berklee) who has an off-hours practice septet. Neither his pianist nor drummer read music, so these parts are bare bones. The drum part will look a little odd, as there are a number of measures that don’t even have rests in them. These empty measures are preceded by a measure containing a “repeat previous measure” symbol (a slash with a period on either side), and a number above the symbol to signify how many times to repeat that pattern. When printing, I do a “Collapse multiple measures rest”. This eliminates all of the blank measures, but leaves the measures with the repeat symbols. What I have written for the Drums part is basically “boom-chick, boom-chick”. The piano part provides a road map and the chord progressions.

I have structured the “road map” (qri command) to bypass Rehearsal Marks D through F (open for solos) as there is nothing to be heard there. The band will get to choose who solos in this area.

I hope seeing the score for something meant for live musicians will be beneficial to any aspiring arrangers out there.

Ralph R. Rayner

Sherry C 08-06-2017 09:52 PM

Re: Sermonette - Septet
Hey Ralph,

Amen! :D

I really like this, and the "sheet for live musicians" rings true here - this is similar to sheets I put together for our groups at church, where some folks need some notes on the paper, but others play by ear from the chord names.

I think I'll have to tuck this away for future reference!


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