Stairway To The Blues – Gene Roland
A riff blues from the repertoire of the Woody Herman big band. The title describes exactly what the melody does!
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- Recording: Woody Herman - Woody Herman '58
- Recorded on: July 3, 1957
- Label: Verve (MGV8255)
- Concert Key: E-flat
- Vocal Range: , to
- Style: Swing (medium)
- Clarinet - Woody Herman
- Tenor Sax - Bob Newman, Jimmy Cook, Jay Migliori
- Bari Sax - Roger Pemberton
- Trumpet - Danny Stiles, Bill Castagnino, Andy Peele, Bill Berry, John Coppola
- Trombone - Willie Dennis, Bill Harris, Bob Lamb
- Piano - John Bunch
- Bass - Jimmy Gannon
- Drums - Don Michaels
It's fun to play in a big band, but a lot of big band music can also be very enjoyable in a small combo setting. After the first four measures of the melody, the melody is turned over to the lead trumpet player. We've elected to leave the melody as is in the B♭ lead sheets in case a trumpet player is also a lead player and wants to try to lock in the high notes with the Woody Herman brass section. In a small quartet setting, you'd probably want to take these high parts down an octave, as well as the first eight measures of the shout chorus. For the very last two measures, we show the interplay of the sax line with the brass line. One instrument can play it all, or a single horn could split it up with a pianist or guitarist, for example.
For another song from this album, check out Wailin' In The Woodshed. For other Roland titles recorded by Stan Kenton and Roland's own band, see the list.
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...