• Alto Saxophone giant Charles McPherson is also a gifted composer.

    Today, one of jazz's great artists and a real gentleman, alto saxophonist Charles McPherson joins with his own great compositions. Some of you are already playing compositions from that Charles recorded as a sideman with Art Farmer and Kenny Drew. Now you can start exploring Charles' own original compositions from his own albums. He is a gifted composer as well as being one of our legendary Alto Saxophonists. To start with, check out Bud Like, The Journey and Fire Dance, and come back for more soon.

  • A few minutes of peace and beauty . . .

    Listen to SEEK ME by Cecilia Coleman and Bebe Herring, performed by Cecilia on piano with Cassie van Stolk-Cooke, voices. Performed and recorded at the Van Gelder Recording Studio. Rudy Van Gelder recording and mixing, Don Sickler producing, photos & video by Maureen Sickler. On our homepage today. And from Cassie: In these times when we are required to be physically apart from each other, it comes as no surprise that many of us may feel lost.  While we cannot reach out to you with our hands, we can find each other in the miracle of music, and the beauty of our living planet.  If you feel alone, anxious, or afraid, we hope that you will find comfort and courage in this video.  Music existed long before this pandemic, and we will still be singing long after it has passed.  Be healthy, be well, and most importantly, go make some joyful sounds.

  • Three new composers

    These are all seasoned jazz artists whose compositions are new to Alto saxophonist Justin Robinson is the youngest of the three, but he's been on the scene for quite a long time. He started his recording career with The Harper Brothers in 1988; did his own first album as a leader for Verve Records in 1991; among other projects, he played and recorded with trumpeter Roy Hargrove for many years.

    Organist Larry Young, Jr., a major influence on organ in the 1960s and 1970s, brought "free, swirling chords, surging lines, and rock-influenced improvisations." We're starting with some of his early compositions.

    Pianist Billy Lester has his own unique story, as you will hear in his music. Billy is a wildly creative improviser with a sly melodic sense. His playing and composing offer a very personal, modern take on the Tristano tradition. The NY Times reported on Billy's first conversation with Tristano, at the Half Note in NY: “He had this sweet voice,” Lester recalls, “and what he said was: ‘The guys who are out there playing all the time, it just becomes a business.’ When he said that, it resonated with me. I knew that he was playing because he was an artist.”

  • Herbie Nichols Solo Piano Summit

    Today, January 3, 2020, on Herbie's 101st birthday, we're announcing that as soon as possible we will be releasing 24 previously unrecorded Herbie Nichols compositions recorded by 23 different great pianists (encompassing eight generations!) in our special Herbie Nichols Solo Piano Summit project. All were recorded at the Rudy Van Gelder Studio on the same famous Steinway B piano that Herbie and so many famous jazz pianists (Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, and many others) recorded on. As a producer, it was a great honor for me to work with these 23 pianists, who, in turn, all said they were honored to get to pay tribute to this great pianist/composer Herbie Nichols. I'm anxious for everyone to get to hear these new, previously unrecorded Herbie Nichols compositions. Look for more announcements about the specifics of the project from Meanwhile, explore four new titles that Herbie himself recorded: 117th Street, Furthermore, 'Orse At Safari and Sunday Stroll.

  • More new titles

    We're adding titles and composers as fast as we can, so you can increase your repertoire this summer. Check out NEW ARRIVALS on the home page. The baritone saxophonist who who contributed so much to the development of that instrument from bebop on, Cecil Payne; more from trumpeters Roy Hargrove and Lonnie Hillyer; father and son pianists Kenny Drew, Sr. and Kenny Drew, Jr; a Minus You recording of the jazz classic Cup Bearers by Tom McIntosh that's a must for everyone to know . . . every title brings new opportunities.

  • Ten new arrivals from seven of our established composers.

    First, David Hazeltine pays tribute to fellow pianist Bill Evans with his playful composition For Bill, and then another gorgeous ballad Catherine's Fantasy (both with Solo Piano Arrangements). Next we hear from four of our great tenor saxophonists: Grant Stewart provides some great energy first with his tribute to Jackie McLean, Shades Of Jackie Mac, with subtler inspiration for two of Grant's other heros, Sonny Rollins and Sonny Stitt with 3 For Carson and Systems. Another three of Grant's tenor sax heros are next with their own compositions—Lucky Thompson: Open Haus; Johnny Griffin: Grab This; and Bill Barron: Blast Off. This edition of our new arrivals closes out with Fritz Pauer's Fairytale Countryside (plus a video to watch of Fritz playing it with Art Farmer) and Roy Hargrove's Into Dawn. Quintet parts available on Fairytale Countryside, 3 For Carson and Systems.

  • New Roy Hargrove titles, plus an opportunity: Catch up to Herbie Nichols!

    Check out early quintet titles from Roy HargroveDepth and A New Joy  Then, try to get conversant with an exceptional pianist/composer, Herbie Nichols. Probably unknown to many jazz musicians, this immensely talented composer will be explored many times on throughout his Centennial year, which starts on his 100th birthday (January 3, 2019). We're starting next year's celebration now, letting you explore Herbie's first recorded composition Who's Blues. Herbie's grand nephew has given access to Herbie's unrecorded manuscripts, so stay in touch for more!

  • Bruce Barth and David Berkman: new to

    Bruce Barth and David Berkman are two more great jazz artist composer/pianists that are newly added to Both are active performers (and composers) and both are also important teachers; David Berkman heads the jazz department at Queens College in NY, and Bruce Barth teaches at Columbia University in NYC and Temple U in Philadelphia. Check out their music!

  • Jon Davis: innovative, impressive, memorable is excited to release music from three recording sessions featuring pianist and composer Jon Davis. The first of these was recorded on September 4, 2010, at the Van Gelder Studio, with Daryl Johns on bass (who was 14 years old at the time), and his father Steve Johns on drums. Ten Jon Davis compositions were recorded at this session, and as they are added to they will appear in Rhythm Section Workshop format with Minus You tracks for piano, bass, and drums. This is a great opportunity to get into Jon's compositions in detail.

    In addition to lead sheets and Rhythm Section Workshop piano, bass, and drum parts, most of these songs have a Melody Transcription available which shows exactly how Jon plays the melodies on these recordings. Jon always finds new ways to interpret his own songs, constantly re-imagining the melodic and rhythmic material; the transcriptions may inspire you to come up with your own expressive interpretation of these songs.

    On May 26, 2012, Jon came to the Van Gelder Studio again, this time by himself, and recorded solo piano versions of six of the same songs, as well as several others. These solo piano recordings also have melody transcriptions, which show further ways to interpret these melodies. Videos are available from this session so you can literally see how he plays.

    Plus, check out the August 24th, 2011, session of Jon Davis and Daryl Johns duo. A jazz piano master and a kid? Not so!

  • Kenny Dorham: Ten Feet Tall!

    After extensive research on trumpeter/composer Kenny Dorham's life and career, journalist Kahron Spearman has published a fascinating article on K.D. in the Austin Chronicle. You can celebrate and promote this extraordinary musician by playing his music, available only on Check out all the compositions available now on his composer's page; they cover many years of his composing and recording life. His music is so compelling we created The K.D. Challenge, a great collection of K.D. titles that have Minus You audio tracks to help you master his complexity. Kenny wrote for the whole band so every musician had a specific part to play. The Minus You tracks allow you to become part of the band.

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