Blue Ghost – Gene Roland
Exactly what the title implies - an ominous, dark minor blues head at almost a ballad tempo. In addition to our Concert Condensed Score we also have simplified "thread" parts showing the melodic lines running through the arrangement.
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- Recording: Stan Kenton - Adventures In Blues
- Recorded on: December 7, 1961
- Label: Capitol (ST 1985)
- Concert Key: C minor
- Vocal Range: , to
- Style: Even 8ths (slow)
- Trumpet - Dalton Smith, Marvin Stamm, Norman Baltazar, Bob Rolfe, Bob Behrendt
- Mellophone - Ray Starling, Dwight Carver, Keith LaMotte, Carl Saunders
- Trombone - Bob Fitzpatrick, Bud Parker, Dee Barton
- Bass Trombone - Jim Amlotte, Dave Wheeler
- Alto Sax - Gabe Baltazar
- Tenor Sax - Buddy Arnold, Paul Renzi
- Bari Sax - Allan Beutler, Joel Kaye
- Piano - Stan Kenton
- Bass - Pat Senatore
- Drums - Jerry Lestock McKenzie
A simple bass ostinato anchors this song, but the drums are not playing a groove. Except for the one swinging solo chorus in this arrangement, the drum part is limited largely to hi-hat on beats 2 and 4.
Gene Roland's arrangement is one of only two on this album that use piano. The piano has the melody in the first chorus, beginning with two-note voicings in thirds; at the ninth measure slightly larger voicings appear. In this first chorus, one muted trumpet plays the response figures. The second chorus adds the mellophones to the piano voicings, with the responses played by the trumpets and saxes. There is then one chorus of muted trumpet solo, in which the rhythm section swings with a 4-feel and the mellophones play backgrounds. The head is then played again three times. The first two feature a double-time feel, with the same bass line but with hi-hat on the offbeats instead of beats 2 and 4. Both of these choruses have brass on the melody - first the trombones, then adding the trumpets - with dramatic swells and answered by the saxes. Starting in the eleventh measure of the first of these choruses, the mellophones add a third line of counterpoint. The last chorus returns to the texture of the first, but with mellophones and trombones added in the last four measures and an almost "cha-cha-cha" ending with a muted trumpet solo fill.
Our Concert Condensed Score shows the two-part piano voicings and all important counterpoint. This includes some of the inner voice lines in the mellophone backgrounds for the trumpet solo. We also have "thread" parts which are slightly simplified, though they still show the counterpoint of the call and response figures. These threads have the main melody ("call") as a single line, and a single-line background figure for the solo chorus. Most importantly, the thread condenses the melodies into a more playable range.
September 15, 1921 – August 11, 1982
The only composer with the distinction of working for Stan Kenton for all four decades of Kenton’s band’s existence, Gene Roland was born in Dallas, Texas, and began studying the piano at age eleven. Over the course of his career, he mastered many instruments, from trombone to trumpet to mellophonium to drums, but his real success came through his talent as an arranger and composer. Read more...