Archives: December 2010

  • 12/29/10 new from jazzleadsheets.com

    Prince Albert - Kenny Dorham A classic melody by Kenny Dorham based on the chord progression of the standard All The Things You Are, plus classic solos (transcribed) by Kenny Dorham and Hank Mobley from the classic Blue Note recording of the then-new quintet ready to explode on the scene in 1955. The Jazz Messengers, with Horace Silver on piano, Doug Watkins on bass, and Art Blakey on drums.

    Reflections In Blue - James Williams Pianist James Williams was part of Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in 1978, (actually he was a Jazz Messenger from 1977 through 1981.) The 1978 Messengers also featured trumpeter Valery Ponomarev, saxophonists Bobby Watson and David Schnitter, and bassist Dennis Irwin. Williams wrote this composition to feature the “patented” Art Blakey shuffle.

    Lite-Flite - Kenny Drew This was recorded with Thad Jones on cornet and Bob Berg on tenor sax, George Mraz on bass, Jimmy Cobb on drums, and, of course, Kenny Drew on piano. Besides an exciting uptempo tune to play, I think of it as a great etude for working on “changes” (see my notes).

    Meant To Be! - Ray Bryant & Fleurine (vocal) The vocal version of Ray Bryant’s Chicken An’ Dumplins, with lyric by Dutch vocalist/lyricist Fleurine. Our version is performed by vocalist Tina May and the composer himself, Ray Bryant, on piano. The only time Ray has ever recorded his own composition—and the complete MP3 recording is available only here.

    De Critifeux - Jack Wilson After giving you the blistering tour de force of Jack Wilson’s Jackleg a few weeks ago, we want to next introduce you to the medium up tempo side of this marvelous piano/composer. Lead sheets plus piano arrangement.

    Happy Holidays! Don Sickler

  • 12/17/10 jazzleadsheets.com additions

    B’s A Plenty - Elmo Hope This is another great Elmo composition, the opening track on his classic 1959 Elmo Hope Trio album. We’re not really sure what the title means. However, a few nights ago I saw Bertha Hope while I was performing at the Jazz Standard. Bertha’s not sure, but during the period when B’s A-Plenty was written, Elmo was naming quite a few of his titles for her, like Minor Bertha. Bertha always thought the “B” meant her. When I saw Bertha I was playing in a special tribute to Johnny Griffin with pianist/composer Norman Simmons and the Fiftieth Anniversary Big Soul Band. This special evening included an on-stage phone call to the original trumpeter on the 1960 Big Soul Band recording: Clark Terry, who that day was celebrating his 90th birthday. Look for titles by Johnny Griffin and Norman Simmons soon, on jazzleadsheets.com.

    Dark Days - Robert Watson Bobby Watson is, for me, another easily recognizable composer who has created a wide variety of beautiful music over the years, all with his own distinctive stamp. I’ve always loved his ballads. Bobby is a very sensitive person, and when he is moved by something, he makes a powerful musical statement. The music tells you how he feels about Dark Days.

    Just Plain Talkin’ - Tadd Dameron This composition comes from Tadd’s Magic Touch album, where he arranged for larger groups. Just Plain Talkin’ was written for a nine-piece ensemble. Now, everyone can learn and play this great melody. If you’re familiar with Tadd’s writing, you’ll immediately recognize that this has to be a Tadd composition. Read more about this composition in the Historical Notes.

    WE’VE ALSO ADDED SOMETHING NEW - a new relationship with ejazzlines.com

    As most of you are probably aware, Second Floor Music has many combo and big band arrangements available through Hal Leonard. In addition to this relationship, we’re going to be able to make more product available through a new relationship with ejazzlines.com. We’re giving them permission to publish a Don Sickler Jazz Lines Edition series.

    This new series will give me the opportunity to make more arrangements available as they were recorded. The Don Sickler Jazz Lines Edition series will include full scores and recorded parts for compositions where the arrangements, especially because of the complexity of rhythm section parts, make it impossible to represent the music correctly as just a lead sheet.

    Since we’re also getting lots more requests for transcribed solos, this new relationship with ejazzlines gives us the opportunity to often make both a solo and the original arrangement available, and there will be links on both sites to help you connect the editions.

    I can see this can easily get confusing, so I’m going to immediately show you how this works: Jazzleadsheets.com has two more great Hank Mobley solos: Hank’s solo on Late Show and his solo on Deciphering The Message.

    Both titles are from the second edition of The Jazz Messengers, when Donald Byrd replaced Kenny Dorham. Second Floor Music has had two other arrangements available from this important recording session for years. Since the whole quintet recording session is now available as an album mp3 download (or as individual titles), we thought that, in addition to our new transcribed solos, we should make three more arrangements available from this recording session. Here are two links to the whole album: from Amazon or from iTunes.

    Here are links to the quintet arrangements that are available: Deciphering The Message Late Show Hank’s Symphony Infra-Rae Weird-O

    Let music make your holiday season more fun. Especially jazz music. Don Sickler

  • Two new composers 12/10/10

    —- Jackleg - Jack Wilson If you aren’t familiar with Jack Wilson, listen to our audio excerpt. There’s only a small handful of jazz pianists with technique like Jack! This isn’t his only side, and we’ll be exploring more of his great compositions in the near future. For now, check out his dexterity at the keyboard and try his composition for yourself. Obviously, it works great at a slower tempo, too. We also have his transcribed piano solo available.

    —- La Villa - Kenny Dorham Kenny Dorham is one of the true masters of rhythm section writing. Because of that, many of his compositions can’t be reduced to a single line lead sheet: often, each member of the rhythm section requires their own individual part. Although La Villa has a counter melody bass part, we’ve decided to incorporate that bass part into our C treble clef lead sheet. We’re also putting out two editions: the first, as recorded on Kenny’s Afro-Cuban album (1955), and the second, from his Jazz Contrasts album (1957). You can read more about these specific arrangements by clicking on the link above.

    Max Roach, the drummer on the Jazz Contrasts album, continued to perform La Villa with his own groups. In 1958, he recorded it with Booker Little, trumpet; George Coleman, tenor sax; and Ray Draper, tuba. This recording is available on a Clifford Brown / Max Roach compilation and is mistitled as "Villa" on iTunes. The trumpeter is incorrectly listed as Clifford Brown instead of Booker little. On Amazon the composition is titled correctly, but the artist is listed again as Clifford Brown. Max made two recordings of La Villa in 1960, both featuring Julian Priester (trombone) and the two Turrentine brothers, Tommy (trumpet) and Stanley (tenor sax). On this session, La Villa is mistitled as "The Villa." Here is another example of La Villa mistitled agai, this time as "Stop Motion." These three great recordings are at true Max Roach tempos (fast!). The 1958 performance increases the tempo of the quarter note to approximately 356, and the other recordings are only a little more relaxed.

    More great Hank Mobley and Bobby Timmons and Ray Bryant

    Pat’N Chat - Hank Mobley I’ve had several requests for this one, so here it is. This has always been one of my favorites to play myself. One of the most interesting things to me about Hank Mobley’s composing is that he wrote his music for the specific musicians on the date. I know this for a fact, because Hank told me this personally. It’s most evident by examining the drummer on the date. From jazzleadsheets.com alone, just check out, for example, the obviously-for-Philly-Joe titles = Workout, Out Of Joe’s Bag, the No Room For Squares album, A Peck A Sec, etc. Then there are the obviously-for-Art-Blakey titles = the Soul Station album, the Roll Call album, High Modes, this week’s Chicken An’ Dumpins, etc. With his Turnaround album, Hank starts a recording relationship with a new (and very important to him) drummer, Billy Higgins. Billy had come to New York from his native California in the early 1960s. He’d recorded with many of Hank’s friends, but not yet with Hank. Pat ‘N Chat was the first track they recorded together, and immediately you can tell Hank is writing for an entirely different drum voice: obviously-for-Billy-Higgins. I’ll be telling you more about Hank and Billy as we release more of their collaborations.

    —- A Little Busy - Bobby Timmons Here are two different arrangements by Timmons: his trio arrangement and the sextet arrangement he did for Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers. These arrangements were recorded in different keys, and believe it or not, were recorded only one day apart by two entirely different groups (except for Bobby). Bobby’s incredible piano solo from the trio recording is also available.

    —- Chicken An’ Dumplins - Ray Bryant Another great arrangement, written for Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers by Ray Bryant. Ray’s good friend and fellow Philadelphia pianist Bobby Timmons introduced this one to Blakey. Ray’s solo piano arrangement as well as Kenny Drew, Jr.’s recording of the solo is also available.

    I hope you enjoy playing these new titles. Don Sickler

  • Three new composers

    Hello, music fans. For this week’s jazzleadsheets.com releases, I decided it would be fun to compare compositions by two gifted pianist/composers from Second Floor Music. The compositions start out with some definite similarities, but develop very differently. A Touching Affair by James Williams (first recorded in 1984) vs. Flamands by Don Friedman (first recorded in 1995)

    —- melodic similarities Both composers love the minor key, and they both started their compositions with a vamping piano/bass figure. Another striking similarity is the rhythmic shape and melodic contour of the opening phrase of each melody. This is where the similarity ends. Don’s opening G minor melodic phrase moves from the 5th up to the minor 7th then down to the 11th, while James’ opening F-sharp minor melodic phrase moves from the root up to the minor third then down to the minor 7th. —- melodic phrase development Don repeats the opening phrase melody, then keeps the melody almost intact, but in F minor. James develops his opening phrase over twelve measures. Interestingly, Don’s melody was originally spread over twelve measures when he first recorded it on his “Almost Everything” session. On his “Straight Ahead” session it’s developed over sixteen measures.

    You Never Leave My Mind by James Williams and Marc Ostrow This is the lyric version of A Touching Affair. It’s in a different, female friendly key. In addition to the vocal lead sheet, an accompaniment-only track is available, complete with full chorus (long form) solo section. Besides being a great composer and pianist, James Williams was also a champion for many other artists. He introduced me to Bobby Watson, Billy Pierce (and the other musicians on “Alter Ego”) and later, Donald Brown, Geoff Keezer and many other great artists.

    Horizon Reassembled by Bobby Watson The “Horizon Reassembled” CD reunites the exact same personnel that recorded together in 1991 and 1993. You can find more info about Horizon in the Historical Notes for this composition. Also, I want to mention that Second Floor Music has quite a few Bobby Watson “Horizon” combo arrangements available. Search by Recording Leader for "Bobby Watson & Horizon" on SecondFloorMusic.com. I’ve always loved Bobby’s music. He definitely has a strong compositional voice that is easy to recognize. Look for more of his compositions on jazzleadsheets.com soon.

    Sunset by Kenny Drew Kenny Drew is probably most known as one of the great rhythm section pianists. It’s hard to find artists that he didn’t record with. He’s also a gifted composer, and we’re introducing him on jazzleadsheets.com with one of his beautiful ballads. Kenny Drew is also the father of another exceptional pianist/composer, Kenny Drew, Jr., who is already represented in jazzleadsheets.com. Obviously, two Kenny Drew’s can be confusing, but we’ll try to make that confusion worthwhile as we bring you more of their great music.

    Thanks for visiting jazzleadsheets.com Don Sickler

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