Author Archives: Don Sickler

  • Ten new arrivals from seven of our established composers.

    First, David Hazeltine pays tribute to fellow pianist Bill Evans with his playful composition For Bill, and then another gorgeous ballad Catherine's Fantasy (both with Solo Piano Arrangements). Next we hear from four of our great tenor saxophonists: Grant Stewart provides some great energy first with his tribute to Jackie McLean, Shades Of Jackie Mac, with subtler inspiration for two of Grant's other heros, Sonny Rollins and Sonny Stitt with 3 For Carson and Systems. Another three of Grant's tenor sax heros are next with their own compositions—Lucky Thompson: Open Haus; Johnny Griffin: Grab This; and Bill Barron: Blast Off. This edition of our new arrivals closes out with Fritz Pauer's Fairytale Countryside (plus a video to watch of Fritz playing it with Art Farmer) and Roy Hargrove's Into Dawn. Quintet parts available on Fairytale Countryside, 3 For Carson and Systems.

  • New Roy Hargrove titles, plus an opportunity: Catch up to Herbie Nichols!

    Check out early quintet titles from Roy HargroveDepth and A New Joy  Then, try to get conversant with an exceptional pianist/composer, Herbie Nichols. Probably unknown to many jazz musicians, this immensely talented composer will be explored many times on jazzleadsheets.com throughout his Centennial year, which starts on his 100th birthday (January 3, 2019). We're starting next year's celebration now, letting you explore Herbie's first recorded composition Who's Blues. Herbie's grand nephew has given jazzleadsheets.com access to Herbie's unrecorded manuscripts, so stay in touch for more!

  • Bruce Barth and David Berkman: new to jazzleadsheets.com

    Bruce Barth and David Berkman are two more great jazz artist composer/pianists that are newly added to jazzleadsheets.com. Both are active performers (and composers) and both are also important teachers; David Berkman heads the jazz department at Queens College in NY, and Bruce Barth teaches at Columbia University in NYC and Temple U in Philadelphia. Check out their music!

  • Jon Davis: innovative, impressive, memorable

    Jazzleadsheets.com is excited to release music from three recording sessions featuring pianist and composer Jon Davis. The first of these was recorded on September 4, 2010, at the Van Gelder Studio, with Daryl Johns on bass (who was 14 years old at the time), and his father Steve Johns on drums. Ten Jon Davis compositions were recorded at this session, and as they are added to jazzleadsheets.com they will appear in Rhythm Section Workshop format with Minus You tracks for piano, bass, and drums. This is a great opportunity to get into Jon's compositions in detail.

    In addition to lead sheets and Rhythm Section Workshop piano, bass, and drum parts, most of these songs have a Melody Transcription available which shows exactly how Jon plays the melodies on these recordings. Jon always finds new ways to interpret his own songs, constantly re-imagining the melodic and rhythmic material; the transcriptions may inspire you to come up with your own expressive interpretation of these songs.

    On May 26, 2012, Jon came to the Van Gelder Studio again, this time by himself, and recorded solo piano versions of six of the same songs, as well as several others. These solo piano recordings also have melody transcriptions, which show further ways to interpret these melodies. Videos are available from this session so you can literally see how he plays.

    Plus, check out the August 24th, 2011, session of Jon Davis and Daryl Johns duo. A jazz piano master and a kid? Not so!

  • Kenny Dorham: Ten Feet Tall!

    After extensive research on trumpeter/composer Kenny Dorham's life and career, journalist Kahron Spearman has published a fascinating article on K.D. in the Austin Chronicle. You can celebrate and promote this extraordinary musician by playing his music, available only on jazzleadsheets.com. Check out all the compositions available now on his composer's page; they cover many years of his composing and recording life. His music is so compelling we created The K.D. Challenge, a great collection of K.D. titles that have Minus You audio tracks to help you master his complexity. Kenny wrote for the whole band so every musician had a specific part to play. The Minus You tracks allow you to become part of the band.

  • K.D.'s WINDMILL joins the K.D. Challenge!

    One of the slickest of Kenny Dorham's titles, Windmill is illustrated by three different recordings (Dorham with saxophonists Hank Mobley and Clifford Jordan, Don Sickler with saxophonist Jimmy Heath) and our new K.D. Challenge version with Minus You tracks. Based on Sweet Georgia Brown changes, it's easy to solo on; our exclusive audio will help  you get the head together.

  • Alter Ego by James Williams has Minus You tracks, plus more Harold Land

    An alumni of the Art Blakey academy, James was a very influential "young lion." He often visited the jazzleadsheets studio, for rehearsals and to work with Don Sickler on his music. Tragically, he died before we really got the website off the ground. Let us introduce you to his ALTER EGO, in a new key, with Minus You accompaniment tracks. Get into the groove!

    While you're here, Harold Land's The It's Where It's At was originally recorded in a big band format, but also works great for any one instrument playing the melody in a quartet format, etc. This uptempo swinger has changes of dynamics, vamps and lots more to explore in your own way.

  • Tadd Dameron's 101th Birthday

    New Tadd Dameron ballads to celebrate his 101th birthday, in both instrumental and vocal versions! Introducing the unforgettable voice of vocalist Richard Allen, singing two never-before heard Dameron vocals, with lyrics by Bernie Hanighen, writer of the 'Round Midnight lyric. Check out his voice! Tadd Dameron Songbook featuring Richard Allen. And reminding you of vocalist Rachel Gould's artistry, on the Tadd Dameron Songbook featuring Rachel Gould

    Plus we have jazzleadsheets.com founder Don Sickler's instrumental interpretations of all three titles, playing both muted trumpet and flugelhorn, to inspire your own performances. You can play along with the Minus You audio tracks! I Remember Love also recorded by trumpeter Benny Bailey -- Never Been In Love  two different keys -- Sweet Life also recorded by saxophonist Houston Person

  • Rhythm Section Workshop updates

    We're adding new titles to our Rhythm Section Workshop series. It's a great way to learn new music that will sharpen your ensemble skills.  Cecilia Coleman's So You Say (a piano/bass duo version is also available), Jonny King's Gnosis and new-to-jazzleadsheets.com composer David Kikoski's Cecilia are the newest additions. Each title has exclusive Minus You audio tracks so  you can practice and perfect your part while playing along with the other instruments. Some titles have slower versions also, like Carl Perkins' Mia and So You Say.

  • Joe Farrell & Bobby Porcelli: flute & sax mastery


    Eighty years ago today (December 16, 1937), two great jazz saxophonists were born: Joe Farrell and Bobby Porcelli. They both played most of the saxes, but Joe's main instrument was tenor sax, while Bobby's is alto sax. They're also both great flute players as well, so I also couldn't resist on their joint birthday putting up a composition of Bobby's that he wrote and arranged for two flutes, That's Good. I wish I also had a recording of both of them playing the flute parts together, but, ironically, neither one recorded it on flute.

    Joe Farrell's name might be known to many jazz fans since he played on albums that were widely distributed (Chick Corea). Unfortunately, Joe died in 1986. But who is Bobby Porcelli? If you don't know the answer to this question, you're in for a real treat.

    Bobby has been highly regarded in the Latin and Latin-Jazz world for many years. That's great, but for some of us, Bobby is much more than that. If you check out his straight ahead jazz playing, you'll realize he is also one of the greatest jazz soloists around: he's instantly recognizable.

    I'm very excited that jazzleadsheets.com can give you the opportunity to check out  Bobby Porcelli. He's already present on over 30 of the recordings found on jazzleadsheets.com, and very soon we will be releasing more of his solo transcriptions. If you've ever talked to me about Bobby Porcelli, you know that as far as I'm concerned, musically, Bobby can do no wrong!

    Here are links to the new titles related to these two birthday celebrants:

    -- Farrell's Ultimate Rejection, recorded by Maynard Ferguson

    -- Porcelli's That's Good (the two-flute feature) and his lyrical Rejuvenate which has been recorded by Ralph Moore and T.S. Monk, along with a vocal version, It's All In The Mind. A heretofore unreleased-to-the-public recording of Bobby playing Rejuvenate with me at a 1977 rehearsal is available.

    Don Sickler and the jazzleadsheets.com team

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