Dena DeRose

  • We'd never trick you: here are some new treats from your favorite composers

    We’re back this week to add to our collection of “incredible music” (a customer’s phrase!) with some great instrumental and vocal lead sheets.

    To kick off this week, a hard bob title from Sonny ClarkSONNY’S CRIB. The bluesy head is the perfect foundation for incredible solos (check out Coltrane’s blowing on the recording featured here!) and its clean simplicity is undeniably appealing.

    If you’d like something a bit more exotic, check out Bob Brookmeyer’s BLUE CHINA, a fun send-up of Chinese-style music. A cultural collision comes forth in the B section, when the Chinese-style melodies of the piano and horns break into full American swing. It’s an unexpected twist that really makes this piece pop! The extraordinary communication between flugelhornist Clark Terry and trombonist Bob Brookmeyer is natural, seemingly effortless and totally delightful.

    Rounding out our instrumental selections is a Freddie Redd composition, WALTZIN’ IN. This bouncy waltz recalls a couple gliding across a ballroom floor, but the driving rhythmic pulse keeps the piece edgy and modern.

    For vocalists, we have three different takes on that classic theme, love. Meredith d’Ambrosio’s MELODIOUS FUNK reflects on love lost, lamenting the end of a relationship and the lonely feelings that just won’t go away. The sultry, laid-back swing vibe keeps it from getting too dark, though, and the blues-inflected melody is supremely catchy.

    If you’re feeling romantic, look no further than WITHOUT YOU, Shelley Brown’s lyric version of Renee Rosnes’s Malaga Moon. This meditative ballad has a haunting, ethereal melody that draws the listener in. The poetic lyric compares a lover to the stars and moon—without him, there is only the darkness of night. Both words and music are nothing short of beautiful! Accompaniment-only audio available.

    Our final vocal selection is another ballad—the wistful, dreamy IN THE GLOW OF THE MOON, with music by Dena DeRose and lyric by Meredith d’Ambrosio. This waltz has a strong rhythmic pulse that makes it work best at a medium tempo, so it’s a great choice for singers looking for a ballad that isn’t too slow. It also showcases a variety of different ranges and techniques of the singer’s voice as it travels to distant keys and back again. Both composer and lyricist have recorded this song, so we offer transcriptions of both their renditions—it’s a great comparison tool as you can study how to make a gorgeous song like this your own while still staying true to the already-lovely melody.

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