Archives: January 2014

  • Lots of news for the new year!

    Have you noticed all the latest developments on jazzleadsheets.com? 2014 has barely begun, but it’s already proving to be a huge year for us! If you haven’t been on our site in a while, check it out — you’ll see some new categories, with even more exciting changes to come as the year goes on.

    At the beginning of this month, we celebrated the 75th anniversary of Blue Note Records’ first session with the releases of Melancholy and Solitude, both from that historic January 6, 1939 date. But our celebration of the long partnership between our composers and Blue Note Records is far from complete! We’re introducing our Blue Note collection. Now you can easily find all of the compositions that have been featured on Blue Note releases throughout the years. But even more good news — we’ll be adding to this collection every month to celebrate more anniversaries throughout the year!

    This release, we have several anniversaries to celebrate, which means of course another set of top quality lead sheets. January 19th saw the 46th anniversary of a great Hank Mobley session that culminated with the release of “Reach Out!” In honor of Hank (and all of his fans at jazzleadsheets.com), we’re commemorating this anniversary with Lookin’ East, a laid-back medium groove piece with a bit of Latin flavor. Second parts available.

    The next day, January 20th, marked the 52nd anniversary of a lesser-known release: saxophonist Ike Quebec’s “Easy Living,” featuring Congo Lament by Bennie Green. This composition also has a Latin influence — maybe a touch more than Lookin’ East — and features a nice bluesy lick for the melody. Second parts available.

    Just a few days later we celebrated the 64th anniversary of the recording of Kenny Drew’s Fuguetta (Jan. 23rd, 1950). Originally recorded by trumpeter Howard McGhee, Fuguetta is an unexpected combination of Baroque and bebop, which go together surprisingly well. Try it for yourself and see!

    With all that celebrating, we thought we’d add a couple of ballads to cool us off. First, we’re introducing J.J. Johnson to the jazzleadsheets.com family with his classic ballad Enigma. Many musicians are familiar with the way Miles Davis recorded it, but only at jazzleadsheets.com can you find the original leadsheet, drawn from J.J.’s own manuscript and notated the way he first heard it. We’re very excited to offer this exclusive look inside such a tender, lyrical ballad.

    Finally, a treat for vocalists and their accompanists: Rob Bargad’s Another World. This sensitive, dreamy 20-bar ballad comes complete with an accompaniment-only track so singers can practice along with a professional ensemble to back them up. After you hear Dena DeRose’s plaintive rendition of it, we’re sure you’ll want to try it yourself.

  • Introducing MINUS YOU: a brand new way to practice

    It’s been busy here in our New York office — on Monday, January 6, we celebrated Blue Note’s 75th anniversary with two Meade Lux Lewis piano transcriptions (Melancholy / Solitude) which comprised BN-1, the actual first Blue Note release. On Wednesday, January 8, we celebrated the anniversary of the recording of Kenny Burrell’s classic Blue Note album Midnight Blue. Today we’re back with another round of great charts — and a new collaboration with a new series of audio editions!

    In addition to making leadsheets and arrangements available, jazzleadsheets.com is starting a new series of instrumental audio play-a-long editions for every member of the recorded ensemble. We call it our [minus you] editions. We've long offered practice tracks of our Singer's Corner compositions so vocalists could sing with a professional ensemble, but with our [minus you] series, we're taking it to the next level. We're now offering tracks of the highest caliber musicians with options for each part removed -- so you can practice with professionals.

    I’m starting this new series with the help on one of my old friends, fellow trumpet player, Brian Lynch. We’ve always had the  common quest to pay tribute to very important trumpet player/composers who haven’t received their due. Several years ago Brian came up with his “Unsung Heroes Project” recording concept and came to us to get some music by three of their mutual heroes: Idrees Sulieman, Tommy Turrentine and Joe Gordon.

    We’re starting this marriage of jazzleadsheets.com and Brian’s Hollistic Music with one composition each by these important trumpet/composer giants: Big Red (Tommy Turrentine) Terra Firma Irma (Joe Gordon) Orange Blossoms (Idrees Sulieman)

    Big Red was recorded as a quintet by Brian. Terra Firma Irma was as a sextet by Brian, and also originally recorded by Joe Gordon as a quintet. Orange Blossoms was recorded by Brian in a quartet context. Judy Niemack also wrote a lyric to this beautiful ballad, which required a new title for the lyric version: With You.

    The written music is available in separate editions: go to each song page for a list of what is available.

    Transcribed trumpet solos are also available for Terra Firma Irma (for Brian and Joe) and Big Red (Brian only). Specific [minus you] editions are also available: you can substitute yourself for any instrument in the ensemble!

    "Front line" is the term used to signify the melody player along with anyone else in "the front line" playing harmony parts, as in a quintet or sextet. Our [minus you] editions for front line players feature them as the only soloists; they play in the ensemble for the melodies.

    Solos for front line players: On the original recordings there are often various soloists. On our [minus you] front line editions, you are the only soloist. Rhythm section players play with the whole original recorded track.

  • 51 Years Ago Today: "Midnight Blue"

    January 8, 1963: Kenny Burrell’s “Midnight Blue” album was recorded in Rudy Van Gelder’s Englewood Cliffs studio, featuring the title track which was an instant classic, Midnight Blue. Rudy says, “I built the studio for music like that, where people are comfortable playing and the music fits the space that they’re playing in.”

  • Happy 75th Birthday, Blue Note Records!

    On January 6, 1939, Blue Note Records was born when Alfred Lion brought pianists Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis into the recording studio (probably WMGM Studio in NYC) and recorded 19 tracks. The first pressings on the Blue Note label became part of a 12” 78 rpm series. The very first pressing (BN-1) was Meade Lux Lewis’ solo performances of Melancholy on side 1A and Solitude on side 1B. On the 75th anniversary of these important recordings, jazzleadsheets.com is proud to make available piano transcription editions of these important Meade Lux Lewis works.

    Of course, music recorded in 1939 sounds very different from the music of today. However, in 1939, these two much in demand young pianists (in their early 30s) surely felt they were recording cutting edge music for the new young record producer in town, 30-year-old Alfred Lion. This experience took over Alfred Lion’s life and became the foundation for one of the most significant jazz record companies ever.

    Both of Meade Lux Lewis’ compositions explore the softer, slower side of boogie-woogie. The contrasts in textures, dynamics and techniques within each of these compositions is truly stunning, and we’ve captured it all here in our detailed piano transcriptions.

    Albert Ammons’ Changes In Boogie Woogie from this same historic session is also on jazzleadsheets.com. It’s a seven-chorus solo piano blues journey through six keys.

    1939 may have been 75 years ago, but with these transcriptions, you can relive history right at your own piano. So celebrate Blue Note’s 75th with us and check out these two historic compositions — we’re sure they won’t disappoint.

    P.S.: For our New York City area friends, be sure to check out Blue Note’s own celebratory concert on Wednesday, January 8, at Town Hall, featuring two innovative contemporary pianists, Robert Glasper and Jason Moran. Tickets are available here.

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