Albert Ammons

  • 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.

  • Winter is here, and so are these new composers!

    It's another update jam-packed with old favorites and new composers alike! Starting out with the familiar faces:

    HANK MOBLEY’S STRAIGHT AHEAD This title comes from Hank Mobley’s “The Turnaround” album, which was unusual in that in combined two dates that are separated by two years. Quintet parts available. The drummer was the fantastic Billy Higgins and we’re offering a transcription of his drumming on the track.

    THELMA’S HEART by BILLY PIERCE A great quartet piece with a seemingly simple melody, but the key-defying harmony makes the composition irresistibly complex.

    And our NEW composers:

    New composer ALBERT AMMONS and CHANGES IN BOOGIE WOOGIE This is a special treat for pianists. This transcription for solo piano comes from a recording made on January 6, 1939—the very first session for Blue Note Records! Our transcription includes not only all the notes, but the articulation and phrasing as well, so you can try to play it just like Albert himself.

    THE LOVE WE HAD YESTERDAY by PAMELA BASKIN-WATSON, a composer new to jazzleadsheets.com. This beautiful composition was first recorded instrumentally by Bobby Watson, Pamela’s husband, in 1986, on his album “Love Remains.” Betty Carter recorded it in 1992, and our version, by vocalist Rachel Bronstein, was recorded this year. An accompaniment-only track is also available.

    Check out our video of Rachel singing in our office studio!

    And finally, new composer SHEILA JORDAN's THE CROSSING. If you’re feeling inclined towards folk this week, try out this legendary vocalist’s signature song. The folk-inspired piece is usually performed as a duet with voice and bass and is played very freely, allowing the vocalist to explore his/her voice without limitation. The lyric is inspirational advice from Sheila about reaching a higher plane of mindfulness through loving music.

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