Archives: January 2024

  • J.J. Johnson's Centennial!

    January 22, 2024, is the centennial of legendary trombonist and composer J.J. Johnson. To celebrate, we're making two transcriptions available from his 1966 big band album "The Total J.J. Johnson". Say When and Short-Cake are concise, lyrical songs originally recorded as melody and solo features for J.J. Our transcriptions show his melody and solo as well as a few notable lead lines of the big band arrangement.

    We have six more J.J. Johnson compositions currently available on, with many more coming soon. Two of these come from his 1956 quintet album "J Is For Jazz": Cube Steak, a bright uptempo blues with a pedal point interlude, and Naptown U.S.A., a simple head on the changes of the standard Indiana. Also based on a standard is Commutation, a riff on Charlie Parker's Confirmation that J.J. recorded twice, the second time as a drum feature. NWPT and Tromboniums In Motion, both "rhythm changes" heads, were first recorded by J.J.'s two-trombone quintet with Kai Winding. These and the two from "J Is For Jazz" are all available in quintet arrangements with 1st and 2nd horn parts. Finally, we have Enigma, originally recorded in 1953 by Miles Davis and one of J.J.'s most memorable ballads.

  • Herbie Nichols: The First 6

    January 3, 2024, is the 105th anniversary of Herbie Nichols' birth. We are very excited to celebrate his birthday by making the first six songs available from our Herbie Nichols Centennial Project: 24 previously unrecorded Herbie Nichols compositions, performed on solo piano. In 2019, Herbie's centennial year, we had 23 different pianists record solo versions of these songs at the Van Gelder Recording Studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, on the same piano Herbie had recorded on for his Blue Note trio sessions in 1955 and 1956 at Rudy Van Gelder's original studio in Hackensack. We're releasing the first 6 of these recordings.

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