Blue Note 75th
Play your way through Blue Note Records' 75th year at jazzleadsheets.com!
Blue Note Records has stood for the finest in jazz for seventy-five years. It's no coincidence that over that time hundreds of Blue Note sessions have featured Second Floor Music repertoire: the producers and artists at the legendary label have long recognized the superior abilities of our composers. In fact, the very first Blue Note session on January 6, 1939, was comprised almost entirely of Second Floor Music repertoire played and composed by pianists Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis, making that date an especially historic one in jazz history.
Second Floor Music is proud to carry the legacy of great jazz music into the modern day with our digital download sheet music website, jazzleadsheets.com. And this year, we're especially excited, as we'll be celebrating our connection with Blue Note throughout the entire year. Only at jazzleadsheets.com will you be able to find exclusive access to the charts from these Blue Note sessions, from their first release up to recent recordings.
Check our whole Blue Note collection for this exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the music, artists, and composers. Play your way through the year with these charts, curated and compiled by our own five-time Grammy award-winning producer Don Sickler!
- Changes In Boogie Woogie - Albert Ammons Swing (medium)
- Gayle's Groove - Mickey Bass Swing (medium)
- Chicken An' Dumplins - Ray Bryant Swing (medium)
- Midnight Blue - Kenny Burrell Swing (groove - medium)
- High Step - Barry Harris Swing (medium)
- Abdullah - Elmo Hope Latin/swing (medium up)
- Carvin' The Rock - Elmo Hope & Sonny Rollins Swing (medium up)
- Chips - Elmo Hope Swing (medium)
- Crazy - Elmo Hope Swing (medium up)
- De-Dah - Elmo Hope Swing (medium)
- Freffie - Elmo Hope Swing (medium up)
- Happy Hour - Elmo Hope Swing (medium)
- Later For You - Elmo Hope Swing (medium up)
- Low Tide - Elmo Hope Swing (medium)
- Stars Over Marrakesh - Elmo Hope Latin/swing (medium)
- Vaun-Ex - Elmo Hope Swing (medium)
- Enigma - J.J. Johnson Ballad
- Ka-Link - Philly Joe Jones Latin/swing (medium)
- Night In Barcelona - Harold Land Latin (Bossa)
- Boss Bossa - Hank Mobley Latin (Bossa)
- Break Through - Hank Mobley Swing (medium up)
- Breakdown - Hank Mobley Swing (uptempo)
- Changing Scene - Hank Mobley Swing (medium)
- Deciphering The Message - Hank Mobley Swing (uptempo)
- Dig Dis - Hank Mobley Swing (medium)
- Don't Cry, Just Sigh - Hank Mobley Swing (medium)
- East Of The Village - Hank Mobley Latin/swing (medium)
- Feelin's Good - Hank Mobley Swing (groove - medium)
- Gettin' And Jettin' - Hank Mobley Swing (uptempo)
- Git-Go Blues - Hank Mobley Swing (medium)
- Greasin' Easy - Hank Mobley Swing (medium)
- Hank's Other Soul - Hank Mobley Swing (medium)
- High And Flighty - Hank Mobley Swing (uptempo)
- High Modes - Hank Mobley Swing (medium)
- Hipsippy Blues - Hank Mobley Swing (medium)
- Lookin' East - Hank Mobley Swing (groove - medium)
- My Groove, Your Move - Hank Mobley Swing (medium)
- No Room For Squares - Hank Mobley Swing (uptempo)
- Old World, New Imports - Hank Mobley Swing (uptempo)
- Opener - Hank Mobley Swing (medium up)
- Out Of Joe's Bag - Hank Mobley Swing (uptempo)
- Pat 'N Chat - Hank Mobley Swing (uptempo)
- Peckin' Time - Hank Mobley Swing (medium up)
- Smokin' - Hank Mobley Swing (uptempo)
- Soul Station - Hank Mobley Swing (medium slow)
- Split Feelin's - Hank Mobley Latin/swing (medium up)
- Straight Ahead - Hank Mobley Swing (uptempo)
- Stretchin' Out - Hank Mobley Swing (uptempo)
- This I Dig Of You - Hank Mobley Swing (medium up)
- Turnaround - Hank Mobley Even 8ths (funky)
- Uh Huh - Hank Mobley Swing (medium)
- Up A Step - Hank Mobley Swing (medium up)
- Workout - Hank Mobley Swing (uptempo)
- Glad Lad - Leo Parker Swing (uptempo)
- Carvin' The Rock - Elmo Hope & Sonny Rollins Swing (medium up)
- Boppin' A Riff - Sonny Stitt Swing (medium up)
- Harbor Freeway 5 p.m. - Jack Wilson Even 8ths (medium)
Albert Ammons, one of the most influential figures in early jazz piano, is best remembered for his contributions to the burgeoning style of boogie-woogie piano. Albert was born in Chicago on September 23, 1907. He began playing professionally at age 17 when he and childhood friend Meade "Lux" Lewis, both taxi drivers at the time, started to play together in various Chicago nightclubs and rent parties. Read more...
Born Lee Odiss Bass III, Mickey Bass is an American bassist, composer, arranger, music educator and producer. He was born in Pittsburgh, PA. His grandmother, a minstrel show performer, taught Mickey and his cousins Barbershop Harmony, a great start to a life in music. Read more...
Harold Floyd "Tina" Brooks and his twin brother Harry were born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, becoming the youngest of eight children. The family moved to NYC in 1944. By then, Harold was already being called Tina (pronounced Teena), a grade school nickname that came from his tiny or teensy size. Around this time, he started playing the C Melody saxophone, studying with his 10 year older brother David "Bubba" Brooks, Jr. Bubba had become an established R&B tenor saxophonist, and in late 1950, Tina subbed for Bubba for a few months in pianist Sonny Thompson's R&B band. Tina made his first recording with this band. Read more...
Following performances in his native Philadelphia with guitarist Tiny Grimes and as house pianist at the Blue Note Club with Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Miles Davis and others, Ray Bryant came to New York in the mid-1950s. His first jazz recording session in New York was with Toots Thielemans (August, 1955) for Columbia Records. That session led to his own trio sessions as well as sessions with vocalist Betty Carter for Epic Records in May and June ("Meet Betty Carter and Ray Bryant"). On August 5, 1955, Ray recorded with Miles Davis, and on December 2, 1955, with Sonny Rollins, both for Prestige Records. Read more...
Duke Ellington's favorite guitar player, Kenny Burrell has influenced musicians worldwide. His career spans decades, from his first recording session with Dizzy Gillespie at the age of twenty to his current job as head of the jazz program at UCLA. Read more...
A remarkable composer and pianist whose special touch and articulation makes him instantly recognizable at the piano, Sonny (Conrad Yeatis) Clark recorded so much on the Blue Note label that he was practically their in-house pianist. This hard-bop mainstay was particularly noteworthy for his virtuosic right hand lines. Read more...
Trumpeter/composer Kenny Dorham was very much on the jazz scene from the mid-1940s through most of the 1960s. He worked and recorded with all the major figures in the modern jazz movement, which includes the legendary Billy Eckstine big band, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Bud Powell, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and Max Roach as well as Kenny Clarke, Sonny Stitt, Fats Navarro, J.J. Johnson and many other giants of that period. Read more...
Kenny Drew was born in New York City. He studied classical piano but soon turned to jazz. His recording career started in 1950 at age 22, first with Howard McGhee for Blue Note, then Sonny Stitt for Prestige. These two 1950 recordings plus a surviving radio broadcast with Charlie Parker (December 8, 1950) put him in the company of jazz greats J.J Johnson, Max Roach and Art Blakey. Read more...
Tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon was born in Los Angeles, CA. In his last year of high school, he received a call from alto saxophonist Marshall Royal asking him to join the Lionel Hampton big band. This led to Dexter's first recording, with the Hampton band, on December 21, 1941. In 1944, after a few weeks with the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra and working and recording with Louis Armstrong's orchestra, Dexter joined Billy Eckstine and recorded with Eckstine's legendary band of soon-to-be jazz superstars that included Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, Gene Ammons, Leo Parker, Art Blakey, Sarah Vaughan, arranger Tadd Dameron and others, on September 5, 1944. Read more...
A bebop trombonist with deep roots in blues and popular song, Bennie Green developed a distinctive sound and style that was easily recognizable—no easy feat in a trombone landscape that was so dominated by his contemporary, J.J. Johnson. Read more...
Gigi Gryce was a fine altoist in the 1950s, but it was his writing skills, both composing and arranging (including composing the standard Minority) that were considered most notable. After growing up in Hartford, CT, and studying at the Boston Conservatory and in Paris, Gryce worked in New York with Max Roach, Tadd Dameron, and Clifford Brown. He toured Europe in 1953 with Lionel Hampton and led several sessions in France on that trip. Read more...
Pianist Barry Harris, born in Detroit, learned piano with his mother, a church pianist. The lessons started when Barry was only four years old. Detroit was an important jazz city in Barry's youth. Many great jazz artists were born and raised there, although most came to New York City to pursue their careers. Pianist Hank Jones was a little older than Barry, but Tommy Flanagan and Barry were friends as teenagers and they certainly learned from each other. Read more...
An imaginative pianist who valued subtlety over virtuosity in the landscape of bebop, Elmo Hope never achieved the fame that his close friends did, perhaps because he so rejected stylistic norms of the time. Elmo was a classically trained pianist with technique rivaling that of his childhood friend Bud Powell and a composer of music whose inventiveness and complexity approaches that of Thelonious Monk. In fact, Elmo, Thelonious and Bud used to hang out so much together in the late 1940s they became known as "The Three Musketeers." Powell, in Francis Paudras' book "Dance of the Infidels" is quoted as saying, "You gotta hear Elmo. He's fabulous. His stuff is very hard. He does some things that even I have trouble playing." Read more...
J.J. Johnson is arguably the most influential bop and post-swing trombonist and also one of the great composers and arrangers in jazz. He was one of the first trombonists to embrace bebop; his playing continues to exert a strong influence on other musicians. He started his recording career in 1942 in Benny Carter's big band. On July 2, 1944, J.J was on the first Jazz At The Philharmonic concert. He recorded with the Count Basie Orchestra beginning in 1945. Read more...
Philly Joe Jones was one of the most well-known drummers of his era. A natural comedian, he was a spellbinding storyteller, both in music and in words. Here's a famous example clipPJJ recorded by engineer Rudy Van Gelder before a session. Read more...
Many people only know of Harold Land as the great tenor saxophone soloist who made the classic quintet recordings with the Clifford Brown - Max Roach Quintet: Joy Spring, Daahoud, The Blues Walk and other classics—many of which are available from jazzleadsheets.com. Harold is far more than just a great tenor saxophonist sideman. Read more...
Born Meade Anderson Lewis in Chicago, Meade "Lux" Lewis is one of the most important early jazz pianists. When he was a child, his father insisted that Meade learn violin. After his father died, he took up piano at the age of 16. He learned by listening to pianist Jimmy Yancey and received no training. Despite this, his considerable skill earned him the attention of the Chicago music scene, and in addition to securing local gigs, he made his recording debut in 1927 with "Honky Tonk Train Blues" for Paramount Records. Read more...
Hank Mobley is one of the most acclaimed tenor saxophonists in modern jazz history. He is recognized by musicians and critics alike as one of the most important and eloquent jazz instrumentalists of all time. He recorded well over 100 of his own original compositions and left an indelible mark on the post-bop jazz scene. Read more...
Saxophonist Leo Parker was born in Washington, D.C. In case you're wondering, Leo was not related to Charlie Parker. Leo played alto sax on his first recording sessions, first with the Trummy Young sextet, and then on two sessions with Coleman Hawkins, all in February of 1944, when he was still 18 years old. Read more...
Tenor saxophone legend Sonny Rollins is without question one of the most important and influential jazz musicians and composers in history. His enduring career has made him both a hallmark of the bebop and hardbop eras and a great contemporary player—and a forefront of every jazz movement in between. Miles Davis himself considered Newk (a nickname inspired by his resemblance to the Brooklyn Dodgers' pitcher Don Newcombe) to be the greatest tenor saxophonist of all time. Read more...
Alto saxophonist Sonny Stitt was 3 1/2 years younger than Charlie Parker. When they met in 1943, each was surprised to find the other had developed a virtually identical style. Sonny was always frustrated when he was labeled as just another disciple of Charlie Parker, knowing he had already developed his style before hearing recordings of Charlie Parker with Jay McShann. Read more...
A beloved pianist with one of the most easily recognizable styles, Bobby Timmons is responsible not only for bringing his unique gospel-tinged voice to the piano, but also for his funky compositional masterpieces that have become jazz standards, like Moanin’ and This Here (Dis Here). These two are by no means the only memorable original works of Bobby’s—nearly all of his works are instantly recognizable as Bobby Timmons originals, as they all have his signature style of soul, funk, and gospel, while maintaining the hallmarks of true hard-bop jazz. Born in Philadelphia to a religious family, Bobby studied piano with his uncle, who also taught McCoy Tyner. He moved to New York at age 20 to start his recording career with Kenny Dorham’s Jazz Prophets. Read more...
Harold Vick is a quintessential example of a great saxophonist and composer who never gained wide public recognition, but was always highly regarded by his fellow musicians. Even jazz legend Sonny Rollins paid compositional tribute to him in 1998 with Did You See Harold Vick? Harold was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, which is also the birthplace of Thelonious Monk. At 13, Harold received a clarinet and inspiration from his uncle Prince Robinson, a well-respected clarinetist and tenor saxophonist who played with the likes of Duke Ellington, Roy Eldridge and Louis Armstrong from the 1920s-1950s. Read more...
Pianist Jack Wilson was born in Chicago but moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, at age seven. By his fifteenth birthday, he had become the youngest member ever to join the Fort Wayne Musician’s Union. At the age of seventeen he played a two-week stint as a substitute pianist in James Moody’s band. After graduating from the local high school, Wilson spent a year and a half at Indiana University, where he met Freddie Hubbard and Slide Hampton. He went on to tour with a rock ‘n roll band, which led him to Columbus, Ohio, where he found the then-unknown Nancy Wilson and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. He settled there for a year, then moved to Atlantic City, where he led the house band at the local Cotton Club. Read more...