The magic of Mark Murphy

All musicians should check out the phrasing mastery of singer Mark Murphy, and we have a great way for you to do just that. Mark created a lyric version (Empty Room) of an absolutely beautiful Fritz Pauer composition. Then he recorded it with Fritz in 1996. Fritz was excited about it and got an audio copy to me shortly thereafter. Then the big wait: it wasn't released until 2014! The good thing now is that it is also available on many streaming sites so you can easily hear the whole track. We have the vocal lead sheet available on jazzleadsheets. Check that out while hearing Mark's incredible phrasing of his lyric, a true work of art. Two other vocalists have recorded it (Dena DeRose and Rachel Gould); check them out too!

Also, new tenor sax and trumpet solos from Harold Land and Joe Gordon, on Harold's Terrain.

Harris Simon and Charlie Shavers, plus more Booker Little

Two very different composers are now represented for the first time on jazzleadsheets.com: pianist Harris Simon and trumpeter Charlie Shavers. Both happen to have the same birthday, August 3rd (though Shavers’ is sometimes given as September 3rd), and both were born and raised in New York. Besides that there isn’t very much in common between them.

Harris Simon, who plays harmonica as well as piano, is a longtime collaborator of jazzleadsheets.com's Don Sickler. The three songs of his now up on jazzleadsheets.com come from his album “Tuesday Night At Cary Street." Cary’s Treat, a lyrical 3/4 song, and the impressionistic ballad Cornerstone in particular showcase Simon’s use of inventive, colorful harmonies. Found And Lost is a beautiful, wistful Latin song that Simon also recorded on an earlier album, “Short Conversation." A solo piano arrangement is available from this one, with a recording by the late, amazing pianist Kenny Drew, Jr.

Born exactly 36 years before Simon, Charlie Shavers was one of the most exciting trumpet soloists of the swing era. As a composer he’s best known for Undecided, which he first recorded at the age of 18; it quickly became a jazz standard. Three Shavers songs are now on jazzleadsheets.com, all originally recorded in the ‘50s on sessions where Shavers was a sideman. Buffalo Joe, originally from a Louis Bellson recording, and Overtime, from a Gene Krupa recording, are in a snappy swing-to-bop style that was Shavers’ trademark. Krupa also played Shavers’ Meddle My Minor, a simpler more swing-style song, at a session that was Shavers’ only recorded collaboration with tenorman Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis.

We also now have more titles by another great trumpeter, Booker Little. These are the three original compositions from his first album as a leader, “Booker Little 4 Plus Max Roach.” Dungeon Waltz and the medium-up swingers Rounder’s Mood and Jewel’s Tempo all have busy, challenging melodies with all the depth and drama that defined Booker’s style. All three have two-horn arrangements with second parts and condensed scores. Trumpet solo transcriptions of Booker are available for Rounder’s Mood and Jewel’s Tempo. Dungeon Waltz has a trumpet melody part with a detailed transcription of Booker’s articulation: an in-depth look at how he interpreted his own melody.

Even more from Kenny Drew, Jr.

Four more Kenny Drew, Jr. compositions are now available. This One's For Bill, his tribute to pianist Bill Evans, is a lyrical 3/4 song which Kenny recorded in both solo and trio settings. The later trio version is with bassist Jon Burr as well as drummer Marty Morell, who played with Evans. The bossa Las Palmas comes from Kenny's first album as a leader; it's one of his simplest compositions but preserves his signature melodic and harmonic style. The Oasis And The Mirage is a suitably evocative song in 5/4, originally recorded in an exclusive solo piano version at Van Gelder Studio; he later recorded it in a duo setting with vibraphonist Thomas Dobler. Finally, Another Point Of View is a medium up song originally recorded as a bass feature; we have a bass part from the original trio recording. We have videos available of Kenny's solo version of This One's For Bill as well as solo and duo versions of The Oasis And The Mirage.

Kenny Drew, Jr.

jazzleadsheets.com's fans have an opportunity to enjoy the artistry and creativity of pianist/composer Kenny Drew, Jr., with new releases from our video library. We were able to film Kenny as he played his compositions on Rudy Van Gelder's magnificent Steinway D.
A Silent War
Farmer's Waltz

“Papa” Joe Jones, Al Cohn & John Webber

"Papa" Jo Jones was already represented on jazzleadsheets.com's Drum Corner, but now we also have three of his own compositions available. These songs, from his 1960 album "Vamp 'Til Ready", are simple, catchy, and very swinging. Vamp 'Til Ready is a medium-up "rhythm changes" head, and the medium-tempo Sox-Trot is based on Honeysuckle Rose changes. Show Time is Papa Jo's uptempo, stop-time drum feature; we have a Drum Transcription showing all his fills on the in and out heads.

Two more new arrivals feature guitar, though they were not written by guitarists. Johnny Red by bassist John Webber is an angular, Monk-esque song which he recorded with guitarist Peter Bernstein. Our guitar lead sheet shows a few two-note voicings Peter plays on the melody. Saxophonist Al Cohn originally recorded The Mellow Side with a 4-horn arrangement; we have an exclusive recording of Al's son, guitarist Joe Cohn, playing this song in a trio setting.

Blues and Sentimentals

Two new songs on jazzleadsheets.com are based on the changes of the standard I'm Getting Sentimental Over You. These show two completely different approaches to the same harmonic material, and allow an especially interesting comparison being both in the same key. Dexter Gordon's tribute to his wife, Fenja, is an elegant medium-tempo song with a lyrical melody in Dexter's classic style. Recorded on one of his best-known albums, "Homecoming," this song differs from I'm Getting Sentimental Over You in its form, an even 32 measures without the latter song's four-measure tag. This tag is included in the form of Ronnie Ball's Earful, a witty and wide-ranging song in the tradition of the Lennie Tristano school. Earful's melody, packed with sequences of various lengths, is different in all four sections of the form as in many Tristano-style songs over more repetitive changes.

We also have two new arrivals in a blues vein, both with quite simple melodies but somewhat different changes from standard blues progressions. 310 Blues by Ralph Moore, from his album "Furthermore" featuring trumpeter Roy Hargrove, is a medium shuffle in a classic hard bop style. The melody stays in the blues scale over some tasty passing and substitute chords, which are also used in the solos. Finally, Bill Barron's Jelly Roll Twist is funky yet subtly experimental, based around an ominous bass ostinato that the piano doubles throughout on the recording without ever comping. Like Earful, this song was originally recorded with a quintet featuring two tenor saxes.

Ten new songs for 2022

We're excited to announce a wide variety of new arrivals on jazzleadsheets.com! First up is Herbie Nichols' Trio, which completes our set of eight songs from Herbie's 1955-56 Blue Note sessions. Besides our lead sheets, we have piano melody transcriptions from both the master and alternate takes. Be sure to read our detailed descriptions on this and the other Herbie Nichols songs.

Next we have two Ryan Kisor compositions from his December 2002 album "Awakening." Sioux City (named for Ryan's hometown) and What Can I Say? are both mellow, laid-back medium swingers, showing a very different side of Ryan's style from some of his more challenging uptempo songs. The "Awakening" album also features two other jazzleadsheets.com composers: Grant Stewart and Peter Bernstein.

Don Friedman's Jazz Dancing is a bright-toned medium-up song in a bebop style, with intricate changes full of tritone subs and side-slips. Richard Wyands' Candied Sweets is a bouncy minor blues variation, slightly different from standard blues changes in both the head and solos. Richard's original recording, with saxophonist Jerome Richardson, comes from one of the first sessions at Rudy Van Gelder's Englewood Cliffs studio.

Esmeralda is a charming uptempo samba by Ralph Moore, with a soaring, lyrical melody which is a great workout for horn players seeking to control their breathing. We have a lot more Ralph Moore songs coming soon to jazzleadsheets.com.

Three versions of Curtis Fuller's One Dream Gone (with Fleurine Mehldau's lyrics) are now available, with exclusive minus melody tracks for singers. The version sung by Rachel Gould is in the key of A♭ minor, while Richard Allen's version is in Fleurine's original key of B♭ minor (but he sings it down an octave). Singers now have the choice—according to their range—to practice with either version. Both recordings feature Norman Simmons on piano. We also have two more of Norman's own songs now available, Precious Love and In A Dream, from his 1997 album "The Heat And The Sweet." These lyrical, gently swinging songs are great examples of Norman's writing style. In A Dream is written in 4/4, but on the recording the rhythm section starts by playing the head in 3/4.

Finally, we have another song by one of our more obscure composers deserving much wider recognition, Sara Cassey. Her composition Honey Did was recorded by the vocal scat duo Jackie Cain and Roy Kral with a big band in 1957. It's an elegant bebop-style swinger reminiscent of Tadd Dameron; our lead sheet shows the melodic thread of Ernie Wilkins' big band arrangement.

Classic Gene Ammons solo transcriptions

We have some very exciting new arrivals on jazzleadsheets.com: for the first time on the website, transcriptions of Gene Ammons solos are available. These all-time classic solos come from three of the tenor sax giant’s original songs, all of them blues. Two of them come from his 1960 album “Boss Tenor”: Blue Ammons, a cooking medium swinger, and the deep slow blues Hittin’ The Jug. The third song is Jim Dog, a medium jump blues that Gene recorded at two sessions in 1953 and 1958. Jim Dog has three of his solos—from the 1953 recording and both the master and alternate takes of the 1958 recording—available together in one publication. This is a fascinating opportunity to compare and contrast his solos on different versions of the same song. These transcriptions have detailed articulation and dynamic markings to really give an in-depth look at Gene Ammons’ signature style. Lead sheets are also available for these songs. The 1953 version of Jim Dog also has a condensed score that shows the 4-horn voicings and all important differences from the 1958 recording, which is the source of the lead sheet.

We also have several new songs from other tenor sax masters. New to jazzleadsheets.com are Charlie Rouse and Clifford Jordan. Two songs by Charlie Rouse are available: Upptankt, a “rhythm changes” head from his first album as a leader, and Bird’s Nest, a blues head from his last album. Clifford Jordan’s delicate yet solemn gem of a song, Down Through The Years, is now here as well. This one is also part of our new Guitar Corner; check out the recordings featuring Marvin Sewell and Hugo Lippi, as well as our Guitar Chord Melody Arrangement.


Finally, we now have all six of Lucky Thompson’s compositions from one of his best-known albums, “Lucky Strikes.” These songs make a great set together, as they cover a wide range of different tempos and moods: uptempo “rhythm changes” (Fly With The Wind), medium up 3/4 swing (Mid-Nite Oil), laid-back medium swing (Reminiscent), uptempo Latin (Mumba Neua), ballad (I Forgot To Remember), and medium swing stop-time blues (Prey-Loot). Enjoy! Check out the LUCKY STRIKES set (below New Arrivals on the Home page).

More great tenor saxophonists, plus . .

We've got more fun things for you to play starting with additions from two of our Tenor Sax masters. We're starting to explore Hank Mobley's "Curtain Call" album with On The Bright Side, The Mobe, and Curtain Call. From Gene Ammons we're adding two of my favorites - Ger-ru, and Geru's Blues. Be sure to also check out the video of five more classic Tenor Saxophonists (Coleman Hawkins, Don Byas, Barney Wilen, Guy Lafitte, and Stan Getz—positioned as you see them on the video)—playing our last selection for today, the classic contrafact by Tadd Dameron & Fats Navarro: Ice Freezes Red.
-- Don Sickler