Hot Sauce – Elmo Hope
An intricate bebop song in the classic Elmo Hope style, with a series of rhythmic hits also used as an intro and ending. Piano melody and bass parts are available based on the first recording.
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- Recording: Elmo Hope - New Faces-New Sounds: Elmo Hope Trio
- Recorded on: June 18, 1953
- Label: Blue Note (BLP 5029 10" LP)
- Concert Key: C minor
- Vocal Range: , to
- Style: Swing (uptempo)
- Piano - Elmo Hope
- Bass - Percy Heath
- Drums - Philly Joe Jones
Though the form is AABC, the melody is different in the first two and last two measures of the two A sections. C is like the first A but the last two measures are a break. The A section changes on the head are based on a stepwise descending cycle from C down to G, with a III-VI7-II-V7 cadence in the third and fourth measures which brings an unexpected parallel major sound. The bridge has a descending series of II-V7s eventually landing in G♭ major before a final G7. The stepwise descending cycles are not played in the solo choruses, and on the recording Elmo really skims over the changes, sometimes barely touching the Em7 and A7 (III-VI7) in the third measure.
Our bass clef lead sheet has a couple of phrases in the bridge written an octave higher to be less difficult for trombone. Click on Piano Corner and Bass Corner for details about our piano and bass parts. In a trio setting, drummers can read either part.
With this song (plus the trio version of Carvin' The Rock) we now have all the Elmo Hope compositions from his first session as a leader. Besides six originals, Elmo, Percy Heath, and Philly Joe Jones also recorded three standards at this session: Sweet And Lovely, I Remember You, and It's A Lovely Day Today.
Elmo recorded this song again eight years later on the album "Here's Hope," featuring Philly Joe Jones again with Paul Chambers on bass. This later version is even faster; Elmo improvises around the melody on both the in and out choruses, playing the first two measures of each section similar to the first version and then taking the lines in different directions. Freffie and Stars Over Marrakesh were also recorded on both of these sessions.
For more details about Elmo Hope's recordings, check out the Elmo Hope Discography on Noal Cohen's Jazz History website.
June 27, 1923 – May 19, 1967
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...