Maple Leaf Rag


Written by Scott Joplin in 1899, Maple Leaf Rag is one of the best known works of its genre. The popularity of ragtime faded after Joplin's death, though underwent a brief revival in the 1970's. Ozzie Nelson ran a much underrated band in the 1930's and early 40's, before moving on to establish a long-running radio and TV career. He left us with a fine legacy of recordings on several labels including Brunswick, Vocalion, Bluebird and Victor. Our version of Maple Leaf Rag is an adaptation of Nelson's version recorded on Bluebird B-7726 which featured solos from Charlie Bubeck (Bari), Boe Ashford (Trumpet), Elmer Smithers (Trombone) and Don Ferris (Piano). The original chart was written for 6 brass and 4 reeds. We have adapted it to a full (5444) big band line-up and have written out all of the original solos "as played" on the recording and have also spread the first of the Trumpet solo across all four chairs (with the entire solo cued on 1st & 2nd parts) and have also cued the 2nd Trombone solo on 1st, 3rd & 4th parts too. We have deliberately not included the chord changes on any of the solos, to avoid the temptaion of your players to want to insert a flamboyant jazz solo that wouldn't fit with the chart. As for the merits of having this chart in your library, just think of the times when you are on a gig and half the crowd doesn't feel comfortable dancing to a swing chart. You are thinking "what can we play to get them all on the dance floor?". Well, think no more. This chart will get the crowds up, waving their arms and legs about in "roaring twenties" style. The brass ranges are moderate and there are no sax doubles.

Part Number
Transcribed by
Myles Collins
Ozzie Nelson
2 mins 20 secs
Trumpets 1-4
Bb5, A5, E5, Eb5
Trombones 1-4
Ab4, F4, Eb4, C4

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