I have both Part I and Part II of Hest’s arrangement of Sing Sing Sing….the two arrangements are clearly different…and I do not have any scores. Can anyone summarize the difference and possibly which arrangement is most often used or authentic.
– Steve S
Sing, Sing, Sing Part 1 (Hest version) is the actual “Sing, Sing, Sing” tune.
During the famous Carnegie Hall at which it was played, Bennie Goodman realized
he had the audience by the throat and he didn’t want to just let the tune go out.
So, like a good band leader does, he plugged in an open drum solo (what has
become the famous Krupa solo, transcribed, known and played to this day by all drummers)
to buy some time while he called up and the band pulled out another tune that was in the same tempo and style. Bennie was creating an instant, on-the-spot swing medley, one of the most popular moves he ever made, as it turned out.
This 2nd tune, actually called “Christopher Columbus,” became known as “Sing, Sing, Sing Part II but it was–and is–a stand-alone tune. The recording of the Carnegie Hall Concert became such a well-known classic that most people don’t know “Christopher Columbus” per se. If you play it without playing “Sing, Sing, Sing” first and connecting them with the Krupa drum solo, they’re apt to think something is wrong.
If you just want to play “Sing, Sing, Sing Part 1” you can probably get away with that, especially with a younger audience that may not know what this music is all about anyhow. Otherwise, I’d suggest that if you’re going to play “Sing, Sing, Sing,” you play it as the swing-era public knows it:
Parts I & II. You can’t go wrong if you do that.
The Goodman version of “Sing, Sing, Sing” was worked out over time. I think Jimmy Mundy wrote the Sing, Sing, Sing part (before the clarinet solo) and the ‘interpolated’ Christopher Columbus is by Fletcher Henderson. That’s the part that is the bone riff: C E F E F F#G C, Followed by trumpets in harmony doing the chromatic bend. Add drum solos and extra little riffs, it’s a good example of how old riff tunes developed back then.
The RCA Victor studio recording was released in two parts hence Jeff Hests arrangement is also divided. The Carnegie Hall recording stretched out the solos a bit more but otherwise is very similar. The part two is mostly trumpet and clarinet solo (with the wonderful descending triplet harmonies alternating throughout the sections and more licks from earlier in the chart while part one features mostly drums.
Both parts together make a wonderful performance but as an earlier person hinted at, it’s too long and not enough ensemble and too much solo’s (If you don’t have James & Goodman in our band) perhap for some audiences.
Most bands I’ve played with only perform part 1.
There was a great movie in the 80’s called “Swing Kids” that had an edited down version of the two parts togther that kept the best of each at a reasonable length. You might want to use that as a guide and edit your own copy.