Dexter Gordon

  • jazzleadsheets Mid-November additions

    Exciting news! We’re making some changes here at jazzleadsheets.com and we’d love to get your feedback on how things have been going so far. As we begin working on our website redesign (set to go live in Spring 2014), we’re hoping some of our valued customers would speak with our web developer to help him understand the customer experience so far. If you’d be willing to help us on this project, please email me.

    Meanwhile, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so here’s an update to give you a little something extra to be thankful for!

    If you’re in the mood for a nostalgic, emotive ballad, look no further than The Haunted Melody by Rahsaan Roland Kirk. While you may not be able to play it with two instruments at the same time as Rahsaan does on the featured recording, the beautifully tragic melody sings on just about any instrument.

    Pianists should be sure to check out Bobby Timmons’s One Mo’ — we’ve transcribed all six choruses of his magnificent solo! Bobby is without question the master of soul-jazz, and learning this solo can teach you bits of his melodic vocabulary as well as how to build energy over the course of a lengthy solo. The head itself is also not to be missed by any musician: the A section is hard-hitting and punctuated with rhythmic hits, while the B section gives way into longer lines that show Bobby’s versatility as a composer. This memorable piece may well get stuck in your head, but we think you probably won’t want it out!

    Feeling a little mischievous? How about some Hanky Panky? Dexter Gordon’s composition is pure fun with a bouncy, syncopated melody and a classic blues march bass line. For singers, we have Tina May’s lyric version, No More Hanky-Panky. Her lyric plays off the cheeky title of Dexter’s original. It’s sung from the perspective of a child who keeps getting into trouble. Regardless of what adults may say, exploring is too much fun: don’t give up the hanky-panky!

    If the wintery weather is getting you down, why not think forward to spring? Meredith d’Ambrosio’s Blame It All On Spring is a wistful ballad that showcases a wide portion of a vocalist’s range without being too difficult to master. We offer it in the original key of A-flat as well as a higher key of D-flat for mezzo-sopranos or sopranos. While it was originally written to suit Meredith’s tenor voice, it sits comfortably in the higher key as well. The enticing contours of the melody make this a great pick.

    Drummers, check out a transcription of Victor Lewis' drumming on Jonny King's Merry-Go-Round. See what a contemporary master’s contribution does to enhance a recording.

    Don Sickler phone 212-741-1175 email don@secondfloormusic.com

  • New at jazzleadsheets.com May 11, 2013

    Noting some anniversaries …

    I found it very interesting that on the same day, May 9, in two different years (1954 and 1966), Elmo Hope was in a studio, recording. Maybe So was recorded May 9, 1954. Roll On was recorded May 9, 1966 (Elmo’s last recording session).

    On May 12, 1964, organist Don Patterson recorded Up In Betty’s Room. This is the perfect time to introduce him to jazzleadsheets.com.

    Plus, the Drum Corner welcomes two new drummers, "Papa" Jo Jones and Billy Higgins. The first transcription of the legendary "Papa" Jo Jones is from the Jo Jones Trio recording of Ray Bryant’s Philadelphia Bound. The lead sheets for this blues are available, too.

    And, you can examine under your musical microscope the artistry of one of the truly great drummers: Billy Higgins. See what he plays behind the melody as well as his exchanges with Dexter Gordon on Dexter’s Benji’s Bounce (8s then 4s then 2s). The lead sheets are already posted.

    Jazzleadsheets.com is preparing for a website upgrade: we want an easy-to-use search engine and a smooth checkout experience on a faster server. Maybe video clips. If you have suggestions, let us know by emailing me at don@secondfloormusic.com.

    Thanks, Don Sickler www.jazzleadsheets.com and www.SecondFloorMusic.com phone 212-741-1175 email don@secondfloormusic.com

  • New songs, old year: songs for late December

    Jodi - Dexter Gordon A gorgeous ballad by a master of ballad playing.

    Please, Let Me Share This With You - Dexter Gordon (music) / Rachel Gould (lyric) Lyrist/singer Rachel Gould’s touching lyric creates a new valuable addition to the singer’s repertory.

    Blue Wail - Kenny Drew A great addition to your blues repertory: an intriguing melody with lots of rhythmic variety.

    Minor Scene - Gene Roland Another great medium up swinger by an often overlooked great composer/arranger.

    Later For You - Elmo Hope A challenging head based on standard jazz changes.

    Now, news about next year. We’ll be making some additions to the “Features” column.

    One addition will be ETUDES, which doesn’t mean you have to have new specially written music. Some heads also make great etudes. For me, Later For You is a perfect example, and I’ll tell you how I think you can best use it to your benefit: follow Charlie Parker’s advice: “Be able to play every melody in any key.” Elmo Hope’s Later For You exercises both your ears and your technical chops. Here is what I suggest:

    B-flat instruments: (1) Play the melody in A-flat concert (use your regular instrumental lead sheet). Trumpet players will play the B-flat lead sheet melody down an octave, except for one measure before D. (2) Next play the melody from the E-flat lead sheet: you’ll be learning the melody in the key of F. (3) Next play the melody from the C treble clef lead sheet: now you’ll be playing it in the key of A-flat.

    After you have the melody together in those three keys, pick any other key. Using your “ear,” see if you can play it in that new key. If you’ve really disciplined yourself in three keys, the next key should be a lot easier,

    If you already play a concert key instrument, then you should learn the melody in B-flat (from the B-flat lead sheet) and in E-flat (from the E-flat lead sheet).

    E-flat instruments, learn the melody in the B-flat instrumental key and the concert version key.

    Another useful category I’m working on is SAME CHANGES, where we’ll list the standard changes titles are based on. For example, Later For You is based on the chord progression of “All God’s Chillun Got Rhythm.”

    And here’s a link I love to browse: the album covers, all on one page.

    Happy New Year!

    Don Sickler phone 212-741-1175 email don@secondfloormusic.com

  • Dexter Gordon, Tom McIntosh and more

    Clubhouse (Dexter Gordon) This is another Dexter Gordon gem, featuring horns and drums in the melody. Read about my personal experience with legendary drummer Billy Higgins, who was on the original recording, in the notes. Dexter’s transcribed tenor sax solo is also available in both B-flat and C concert editions. My transcriptions document the creative “fingerprints” of the artist: the notes he plays as well as the articulations, which account for so much of Dexter’s magic as a soloist.

    Cup Bearers (Tom McIntosh) This is an important and classic jazz composition by master composer/arranger/trombonist Tom McIntosh. It’s one of those compositions with great “changes” that can lead you into new ways of thinking and playing. Our lead sheet comes from the first recording in 1962 by James Moody. Soon after, in the same year, trumpeter Blue Mitchell recorded his version, and in the following year Dizzy Gillespie recorded it. “Cup Bearers” became a required composition on the hip jazz scene. This year, 2012, is the 50th anniversary of the first recording, and it’s still hip! A couple of years ago, when I brought it to the attention of Jon Irabagon, the winner of the last Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition, he was quick to record it.

    Crazy (Elmo Hope) One more challenge from Elmo Hope! I’m thrilled to be able to bring more and more of Elmo’s great music to jazzleadsheets.com. This one will challenge anyone, but it’s well worth the musical effort. Take a listen to Bertha Hope, Elmo’s widow, as she talks about Elmo with saxophonist/composer Jerry Dodgion and bassist/composer Putter Smith:

    Outa Sight (Jack Wilson) A great example of “It doesn’t have to be hard to be good.” I’m always looking for material recorded by jazz artists that can also be recommended to inexperienced performers. This is a good one: simple, not a rangy melody, not a lot of solo changes to deal with. The solo section has some rhythm section hits that will help you add variety to your own solo.

    Bob T’s Blues (Julian Priester) Another nice blues to add to your repertoire.

    --Don Sickler

  • new December 28, 2011

    If You Could Love Me - Norman Simmons A beautiful Norman Simmons composition, with lyrics by Norman. Sung in a slow Latin tempo by Carmen McRae, later, at different tempos by other vocalists. You can also gain interesting insight into Carmen’s phasing from our vocal transcription of her performance, available separately. Email us (don@secondfloormusic.com) for different keys!

    Juliano - Julian Priester Lead sheets and his trombone solo are available from his first recording as a leader, the KEEP SWINGIN’ album on Riverside Records. An energetic ABCD form composition. The melody is constantly modulating as it evolves.

    Valse Robin - Dexter Gordon Dexter Gordon’s beautiful waltz for his daughter Robin, a 64-measure expanded AABA form. Recorded on THE PANTHER! album.

    Harbor Freeway 5 P.M. - Jack Wilson Two separate lead sheet treatments. First recorded as an uptempo sizzler to feature the drums, it later became a beautiful laid back composition. Compare Jack’s interpretations.

    Out Of Joe’s Bag (Hank Mobley) - Philly Joe Jones drum transcription Evan Hughes’ transcription of Philly Joe Jones’ performance on the ANOTHER WORKOUT album. Includes solo drum introduction, playing behind the in and out melodies, and Philly Joe’s solo. More valuable insight into this phenomenal drummer!

    Don Sickler jazzleadsheets.com & secondfloormusic.com phone 212-741-1175 email don@secondfloormusic.com

  • New June 17, 2011

    NEWS from jazzleadsheets.com June 17, 2011

    We get quite a few orders from European musicians. European artists have certainly contributed greatly to the jazz world over the years, so I decided it would be fun to bring you two Belgian artists/composers from different generations, Bobby Jaspar and Jeanfrançois Prins.

    Flute Bob by Belgian-born flutist Bobby Jaspar, who was active in the 1950s and who recorded with American jazz legends JJ Johnson, Kenny Burrell, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Chet Baker, etc.

    My Main Man by Jeanfrançois Prins, Belgian-born guitarist, composer, producer, educator, active today in Europe and in the US.

    Two compositions by well-known artists, established composers at jazzleadsheets.com: Benji’s Bounce by Dexter Gordon and Afrodisia by Kenny Dorham.

    And a new composer and brilliant artist who played for a quarter of a century with the Duke Ellington Orchestra: Salute To Charlie Parker by Ellington clarinetist Jimmy Hamilton. In researching the biography of Jimmy Hamilton, I found some fascinating information in the Feather/Gitler Encyclopedia. I had remembered the name Frank Fairfax from reading about Dizzy Gillespie’s start in the jazz world, but I had no idea until I read Feather/Gitler that there were three young trumpet players in the Fairfax band. Dizzy, Charlie Shavers and Jimmy Hamilton, before he started his illustrious career on clarinet and tenor sax. Wow, what a trumpet section! That really perked my interest about the Frank Fairfax band, so in today’s world I thought all I’d have to do is Google Frank Fairfax and I’d find lots of info. Well, all I basically found was that reference to the three young trumpeters. Can anybody help me with more information about Frank Fairfax and his group?

    --Don Sickler

  • new May titles

    Dexter Gordon’s Le Coiffeur, a title with echoes of 1950s TV, but hipper

    Ronnie Mathews’s Dorian, an exploration of the dorian mode, along with Ronnie’s solo piano arrangement

    Basheer’s Dream by Gigi Gryce, from Kenny Dorham’s Afro-Cuban album

    Sound Within An Empty Room, a beautiful ballad by Fritz Pauer, played by Art Farmer and Pauer. Pauer’s solo piano arrangement available, too.

    The vocal version of Pauer’s instrumental ballad, with lyric by vocalist Mark Murphy, titled Empty Room

    Enjoy the music. Make time to play new music every week! Don Sickler

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