We've had Johnny Griffin's title track Grab This! on jazzleadsheets for awhile. Today, on the anniversary of that recording we're adding Griff's Cherry Float from the same album. What a pleasure to hear Griffin's big tone! June 28 is also the recording anniversary of Ruby Braff's Here's Freddie and Bill Mobley's recording of James Williams' Mulgrew's Motif with James on piano. Check them out! You'll be glad you did.
Archives: June 2023
Today (June 27, 2023) is Elmo Hope's 100th Birthday, Happy Birthday Elmo!
June 18 was the 70th anniversary of Elmo's first trio recording as a leader, which also has special significance in 2023, because the other two members of Elmo's trio also have their 100th birthdays this year, legendary drummer Philly Joe Jones and legendary bassist Percy Heath.
Now all six of Elmo's originals from this important trio date are available on jazzleadsheets.com
Piano legend Cedar Walton is newly represented on jazzleadsheets.com with two songs from the repertoire of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. The uptempo Latin Mosaic is one of Cedar's compositions that have become standards. He recorded it with four very different instrumentations and arrangements. First was a quintet version on Clifford Jordan's 1961 album "Starting Time," also featuring Kenny Dorham. The Blakey version was recorded four months later, arranged for sextet. Cedar recorded Mosaic with his quartet Eastern Rebellion in 1990, and a trio version in 2000. We have parts for the quintet and sextet arrangements, and condensed scores for the quartet and trio versions. In addition, "as recorded" parts and score are available for a septet arrangement by Don Sickler, recorded on an all-star tribute to Blakey in 1993. Also check out two trio versions by rising star pianist Emmet Cohen, linked in the notes for Cedar's trio recording. There's even a vocal version - Life's Mosaic - with a lyric by John and Paula Hackett. It's been recorded in different keys and tempos by quite a few singers; we're featuring versions by Vanessa Rubin, Mark Murphy, Miles Griffith, and Kendra Shank.
Also originally from the Messengers' repertoire is Cedar's The Promised Land, a bouncy stop-time swinger whose form is like an extended blues with a bridge. We have a lead sheet and "as recorded" parts for the Blakey sextet version, a second lead sheet reflecting Cedar's slightly different 2001 quartet recording, and a new arrangement, not yet recorded, featuring the bass. This bass melody version works in a duo (with piano) or trio setting.
Of the six other recently added songs, three more are by master pianists. Rodgers Grant's Reconciliation is a rhapsodic, exquisitely detailed song, originally recorded (like his earlier Morning Star) by Hubert Laws. Rodgers' solo piano arrangement is available with exclusive audio and video by Kenny Drew, Jr. From Jack Wilson we have Herman's Helmet, an eclectic mix of stop-time, bossa, and swing with a relatively relaxed mood. The two recordings, Jack's original from 1968 and Blue Mitchell's in 1971, are quite different; a condensed score is available for the former, and full score and parts for the latter's sextet arrangement. Song Of Praise is a warm-toned ballad by Fritz Pauer, recorded in a duo setting with Art Farmer. Fritz's solo piano version is available but hasn't been recorded yet.
We also have two more songs by Justin Robinson. Lamentations For R & D is a tribute to pianist Ronnie Mathews and bassist Dwayne Burno. Like many of Justin's songs, it's a complete statement packed into a very simple, compact form. A transcription of his alto sax solo is available. A bit more involved is Jeremy Isaiah, an exciting medium swinger named for Justin's son. This one has a bit of rhythm section counterpoint shown in our combined piano and bass part.
Finally, Okay Blues is the only Harold Land composition on "Eastward Ho!," Harold's 1960 album featuring Kenny Dorham. It's a bouncy minor blues head with some slippery bebop-style lines and an unusual three-measure intro - a Harold Land classic.
June 7, 2023, is a special day for us at jazzleadsheets.com. It is the launch of Conn Selmer's first CONNECTION SESSIONS video, featuring Hank Mobley's Up, Over And Out. It's a fun video we hope you will all check out. The opening view is of NYC and the George Washington Bridge, then the camera pans to the roof of the Van Gelder Recording Studio. You can understand why it was so easy for great jazz musicians to get to the studio from NYC. They loved the opportunity to record in this incredible acoustic studio that Rudy Van Gelder created in 1959 in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. The video then takes you inside the studio where you meet our own Don Sickler and then Maureen Sickler (Rudy Van Gelder's assistant for 30 years, who Rudy entrusted with the studio). The video then introduces the musicians for the session, who perform Don Sickler's sextet arrangement of Hank Mobley's Up, Over And Out.
Thank you to Conn Selmer, and especially to all of their staff who helped in the creation of this video.