by Edward Kennedy “duke” Ellington
Arr. Eddie Lewis
Heaven for Trumpet Quartet
This is an trumpet quartet arrangement I wrote years ago, but wasn’t able to release it because of copyright issues. Now we are legal, so here it is!
Heaven really is a masterpiece. Duke Ellington has created a piece that has half the measures of a standard jazz song and elevated it to a position over and above the stars!
My trumpet quartet version attempts to capture the entire essence of the beauty of Duke Ellingtons work. I dedicated the arrangement to the late Barry Lee Hall, who was my only connection to the Ellington band.
I don’t think this is one of Duke Ellington’s more popular pieces. It’s one of the movements from his Sacred Concerts albums. The lyrics are a little less religious and actually kind of vague in how they connect to the sacred music theme. But it is a genuinely beautiful piece of musical art.
Writing Trumpet Arrangements
I mentioned last week, in my article about my Stardust arrangement, that I have been writing mostly trumpet pieces. In the last thirty years I have composed literally hundreds of pieces for trumpet, brass ensembles and jazz instrumentations. This is a very big part of what I do. This is not a passing fancy or inerest. I have always loved writing trumpet music and it is an absolute pleasure to me to finally be able to distribute this music around the world for others to enjoy it.
Anyway, the reason I mention this is because this arrangement of Heaven was written long before I got permission to sell it. I posted the recording on YouTube and people have been asking me for the sheet music ever since. It is wonderful to be able to finally share it with you. I do think it is some of my better arranging work. But, part of that is because Duke Ellington is a masterful composer. So he made my job very easy.
About the Arrangement
The arrangement is of intermediate skill level. The highest note in the first part is written B flat above the staff. The piece is primarily quarter-notes and eighth-notes and the tempo is very slow. In fact, that is one of the challenges, not to rush it.
Other than that, it’s really just a beautiful, fun piece to play. It would be perfect as a “contrasting work” in a chamber music recital.
Other Jazzy Trumpet Quartets:
If you like this Stardust trumpet quartet arrangement, you may also like some of these jazzy, fun trumpet quartets: