Archives: January 2010

  • 50th anniversary titles & more

    This week marks the 50th anniversary of two great recording sessions for Riverside Records. On January 11, 1960, Julian Priester recorded his “Keep Swingin’” album, and on January 13 and 14, Bobby Timmons recorded his trio date “This Here Is Bobby Timmons.” These 50th anniversary sessions were also each artist’s first album as leaders.

    From Julian Priester: The End (plus Julian’s trombone solo) Under The Surface (plus Julian’s trombone solo) I proofread the two Julian Priester arrangements with one of my combos at Columbia University this last semester, then performed both at the winter concert. The combo used the same instrumentation as the recording, except tenor sax played the melody and trombone played the second part. During the semester I had to sub for both tenor and trombone, on trumpet, so we also got to hear Trumpet/Tenor-2nd part and Trumpet/Trombone-2nd part. The arrangements work great with any instrumentation, or with just the melody part in a quartet format.

    I get a lot of requests from trombonists for transcribed solos. Julian Priester is not only a great composer, he’s also a great trombone soloist. As I mention in my description notes, Julian’s The End composition is a challenging form, as the rhythm switches between Latin and swing at initially unpredictable times. As you’ll see and hear, when Julian solos the transitions really make sense.

    From Bobby Timmons: Joy Ride Bobby Timmons was a very versatile composer at age 24, when he recorded the album “This Here Is Bobby Timmons.” He’d already written and recorded his two major hits in his own fully developed funky-churchy language, at 23. This trio date, his first as a leader, comes approximately one year and three months after Bobby first recorded Moanin’ with Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, and a little less than three months after he recorded his second hit, This Here, as a member of the Cannonball Adderley Quintet. Jazzleadsheets.com will post This Here shortly, but for now, Joy Ride shows you Bobby is very much at home writing challenging boppish compositions.

    Additionally, the print arrangement of Moanin’ is available from Second Floor Music with full score and alternate parts. Order online at MusicDispatch.com.

    On top of these anniversary titles, we also have more Carl Perkins, from the Curtis Counce album “Carl’s Blues”: Carl is another “groove master,” and Carl’s Blues is in a great tempo (medium slow) and key (A-flat) that we all need to practice.

    In December 2009, we posted two arrangements of Gerald Wiggins’s A Fifth For Frank. One was from a Cal Tjader recording, with Gerald on piano. Gerald’s A Light Groove also comes from this album, it and gives you a different kind of “groove.”

    Let’s all Keep Swingin’! --Don Sickler

  • 5 new titles, with alto sax, trumpet and piano solos

    Nica’s Tempo is a significant Gigi Gryce composition that he revisited several times during his career. We’ve posted lead sheets for two different quintet arrangements by Gigi that were recorded almost 5 years apart, and I’ve explained some important differences between the two. Melody and second parts are available for both. Also, Gryce’s and Farmer’s solos are available, both great studies in improvisation. Trumpet players, especially newer players, should get a lot out of studying both the Art Farmer and Gigi Gryce (B-flat edition) solos. Alto solos transposed to B-flat generally don’t go too high, giving trumpet soloists who haven’t yet developed their high range new ideas in a lower register.

    Elmo Hope was one of Monk’s favorite composers. It’s fascinating to follow his compositional history since his style of writing changed over the years. I feel it’s important to start with his earlier works, like Happy Hour. We’ll post a few more over the next weeks, then get into the later period.

    January 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of Bobby Timmons’s recording career as a leader. Although we’re starting with a 1961 session here, with Easy Does It, we’ll get to his 1960 gems to commemorate their 50th anniversary later this year. Check out our first transcribed piano solo, Bobby’s six piano choruses on five pages. Timmons’ solos should be available for study. He’s always so full of energy, movement and swing. We’ve really made an attempt to indicate his articulations, which are so much a part of his playing. He can create a great funky feel, or just swing like hell. Either way, he doesn’t hold back, he’s always generating his own type of energy. He exhibits the qualities of a true artist: he always sounds like “Bobby Timmons.”

    We’ve already given you two of Ray Bryant’s Latin-jazz classics: Cubano Chant and Cuban Fantasy, but we also want you to hear Reflection. We’ve posted two different recordings, one by Ray himself, and one by his friend, pianist Phineas Newborn. Fun to compare the two approaches.

    Tina Brooks had the soulful trumpeter Johnny Coles at his side for “The Waiting Game” session, and I’m sure Johnny Coles loved this one. Dhyana is soulful and definitely swinging.

    Thanks for visiting jazzleadsheets.com! --Don Sickler

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