Drum Corner

  • Celebrate these birthdays & anniversaries

    The temperatures are rising in New York and we're ready for a summer full of hot music. This week, we're wishing happy birthday to Eli "Lucky" Thompson, who would have turned 91 on this Tuesday, June 16, and Billy Drummond, who turns 55 on Thursday, June 19. We're also celebrating some anniversaries of a few recording sessions we love that feature compositions from our catalog: Grant Stewart's "More Urban Tones" (June 15, 1995), Hank Mobley's "Dippin'" (June 18, 1955), Benny Golson's "Gone With Golson" (June 20, 1959), and Nat Adderley's "Good Company" (June 20 & 21, 1994). There's no better way to celebrate than releasing some new lead sheets, transcriptions, and arrangements!

    Check out these new additions to jazzleadsheets.com:

    ELI "LUCKY" THOMPSONTo A Mornin' Sunrise master this sensitive ballad with lucky's own melody transcription

    GRANT STEWARTManhattan Bridge a moody post-bop ballad

    CURTIS FULLERBit Of Heaven a bit of your own jazz heaven -- try the Fuller-Golson two horn arrangement for yourself

    RAY BRYANT:  Staccato Swing a minor medium up swing with parts for tenor, trombone, & piano

    ROB BARGAD: Rob's New Song distinctive soulful flair & powerful changes

    ROB BARGADWar Zone a driving uptempo swing

    HANK MOBLEYThe Break Through NEW for drums - Billy Higgins drum transcription

    Psst! Did you know you can see all of our transcribed solos in one place? Check out this tour of the Transcribed Solos page!

    Enjoy the music, Don Sickler and the jazzleadsheets.com team

  • New composers and new music all summer long

    We hope you're enjoying the new website. With our reboot behind us, we're back to focusing on what matters the most: the music. To start the summer off right, we're releasing new music every week. This week, we're proud to welcome composers Adriano Acea, Jon Gordon and John Webber to the site. We also have lead sheets and transcriptions of trumpeter Art Farmer, pianist Geoffrey Keezer and drummers Bill Stewart and Carl Allen to round out a selection that has something for everyone. Don't forget to check out our homepage for new videos and other featured content -- click the dots under the slider to see all the new material, updated weekly.

    Here's what's new on jazzleadsheets.com:

    Art Farmer - Flashback Get inside this medium swing, featuring Art Farmer's solo transcription, Geoff Keezer's piano solo and melody comping transcriptions, and Carl Allen's drum comping transcription

    Tom McIntosh - With Malice Toward None Appealing, adaptable with a touch of soul. Available in two different keys.

    Jon Gordon - Shape Up Intricate, contemporary and rhythmically complex. With Bill Stewart's drum comping and solo transcriptions and a video of Bill.

    Jon Webber - So Young An introspective and quirky ballad with second parts.

    Adriano Acea - Little Leona An enticing Latin/swing hybrid.

    Enjoy the music, Don Sickler and the jazzleadsheets.com team

  • New in March

    We’re back with another batch of new releases! This week, we’re featuring the compositions of some of our favorite pianists of yesterday and today. From hard bop to modern jazz, these pieces are sure to inspire and excite you, no matter what instrument you play.

    LOW TIDE by Elmo Hope: An unconventional swing with an easy melody but a surprising harmonic progression over eight bars. Available as a lead sheet, quintet edition, or solo piano arrangement.

    STAIRWAY TO THE STEINWAY by Freddie Redd: Get ready for some fun on this whirlwind head — a little bit of this sunny, upbeat piece will be sure to take away any residual winter blues.

    BEAUTY WITHIN by James Williams: Celebrate your own beauty within! This magnificent ballad has such unusual soloing changes that it’s bound to bring out the best in your improvisation. Available as a lead sheet or solo piano arrangement — plus an exclusive audio track featuring Kenny Drew Jr.!

    SONG FROM WITHIN by Michael Cochrane: A lyrical, meditative ballad that will have you humming for days. Available as a lead sheet or solo piano arrangement.

    Plus, a bonus! Sevens by Roland Alexander — as a lead sheet or a drum transcription of the incomparable Charli Persip!

    We hope you love these charts as much as we do! Let us know how you like them by tweeting us — @jazzleadsheets.

  • It's cold out there -- stay in and practice!

    Hello again, jazz fans! It’s been colder than ever at our New York office, but that’s not slowing us down — in fact, we’re back with another update this week.

    Our [minus-you] tracks for Brian Lynch’s Unsung Heroes project were such a hit that we thought we’d release some more! Musicians of any instrument can play along with a professional ensemble on our [minus you] series, with custom tracks for each instrument. This week, we’re releasing The Plain But The Simple Truth, a quirky and catchy Lucky Thompson blues. If you’re looking to kick back with a great recording, be sure to also check out our exclusive audio track of rising bass star Daryl Johns, recorded specially for jazzleadsheets.com.

    This week, we’re celebrating the collaboration between Blue Note and legendary trumpeter Kenny Dorham with two K.D. releases: Philly Twist and K.D.’s Motion. Philly Twist, from the “Whistle Stop” album and written for Philly Joe Jones, is distinctive for the strong rhythmic drive in the head that’s propelled by the syncopated rhythm section hits. K.D.’s Motion, from the “Afro-Cuban” album, is a more laid-back take on the blues, but like Philly Twist, it shows what a genius Dorham was at writing unusual, intriguing rhythms for his melodies.

    If you’re looking for a pick-me-up to your winter blues, try Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s My Delight. As the title suggests, this medium-up swing is sweet, happy, and thoroughly appealing. A contrasting Latin groove in the B section adds some intrigue to the head, making it an all-around winner.

    Vocalists, check out Baby, I’m Coming Home, a charming blues with music and lyric by guitar master Chuck Wayne. If you’re looking for a piece with a classic sound but are sick of overdone standards, you’ll love this chart!

    Finally, we have another transcription for our drummersBilly Drummond on A Peck A Sec from trumpeter Jim Rotondi’s recording of the Hank Mobley classic. This chart shows Billy’s mastery of the straight-ahead tradition and his fantastic soloing as evidenced on the trading section. On this recording, Billy really locked in with bassist Dwayne Burno, who very tragically passed away in December. Listening to this recording again reminded us how talented and special Dwayne was. He is sorely missed by the jazz community.

  • The holidays are here at jazzleadsheets.com

    The holidays are just around the corner, and it’s been getting snowy here in New York. We’re celebrating the season through great charts — check them out and join in our holiday revelry!

    Kicking off our new additions is a swing/Latin hybrid by Elmo Hope - Abdullah. The minor melody is tuneful and memorable — it might just get stuck in your head. Since Elmo originally recorded this composition with his quintet, we have the original parts available to try out with your own quintet (alternate parts are also available). If you want to play it solo or try out your own arrangement, we offer a regular leadsheet as well. Either way, it’s a strong addition to any set.

    On the slower side of Latin is Los Milagros Pequenos, a mysterious and alluring piece by Norman Simmons. The melody of this chart is slow and meditative; it floats over a repeating bass line that anchors the piece. Norman originally recorded this chart with his quintet, but also wrote a solo piano arrangement for it. The piano arrangement is a great choice for intermediate pianists looking to brush up on their Latin skills — it’s not simplified at all, but isn’t too tricky either. To go along with the piano arrangement, we have an exclusive audio track featuring Kenny Drew Jr. It’s a great example of how to play this beautiful composition.

    If you’re looking for something with a bit more pep, look no further than Ray Bryant’s Bebop Irishman. This chart is as whimsical and fun as the name suggests — it has a jig-like pace with long bebop lines set over a simple folk-like chord progression. This is a good pick to feature the piano, since the long chromatic lines showcase pianistic dexterity. This is not to say that this piece is only for pianists. On a Buddy Rich recording, both flute and vibes are added to the melody, and George Shearing added guitar as well as vibes to the melody. We also have horn editions as well. For drummers, though, we have Evan Hughes’s transcription of Jo Jones’ playing. The transcription includes the drum introduction, time over the in head, trading fours with the piano, and the out chorus. The brushwork on this piece is so incredible that many drummers regard this recording as a sort of bible for brush playing. Now you don’t have to guess what Jo Jones was playing — you can try it all out yourself with this meticulously detailed transcription!

    For singers, we’re releasing the vocal version of the Gigi Gryce jazz standard Social Call. Jon Hendricks’s clever lyric is the perfect foil for the unforgettable melody, making the vocal version a popular choice for decades of singers. Try this chart out for yourself and join the ranks of Ernestine Anderson, Betty Carter, Earl Coleman, Karrin Allyson, Diane Reeves and Cecile McLorin Salvant — all of whom have recorded this classic composition.

    Finally, we have an exotic 7/4 blues from Julian Priester and Judy Niemack. Eros, Judy’s lyric version to Julian’s instrumental Blues for Eros, is a sexy musical retelling of the Greek myth of Eros and Psyche.  Eros, the son of the goddess Aphrodite, seduced Psyche until she figured out his godly identity. He abandoned her, forcing Psyche to seek counsel from Aphrodite, who sent her on a difficult quest to win back her love. Judy draws out the theme of blind passion so strong it verges on desperation; this theme is amplified by the seductive melody by Julian and the driving odd-meter pulse of the bass.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Get low with these bass features

    The bass player is very important in all these new compositions, so they also add to our growing Bass Corner repertoire.

    Both Bass-ment by Kenny Drew and The Fuzz by Bobby Jaspar feature the bass playing the melody. Important bass lines that hold the whole arrangement together are found in Bill Hardman’s Jazz Messengers classic Politely and Bobby Watson’s Lemoncello.

    Bertha Hope’s Book’s Bok starts with the bass doubling the melody with the piano, and then moves into an important rhythmic accompaniment line. Bertha’s solo piano arrangement is available, as is a recording of it by pianist Glenn Zaleski.

    Drummer Billy Drummonds opening 7/4 bass line had been going over in his head for quite some time before the rest of his composition Dubai came to him. As Billy is one of the gifted drummers who is included in our Drum Corner, we explore both a transcription of his playing behind the melody sections and his soloing over the ending bass line vamp. We also have some 7/4 exercises and groove patterns available.

    Check out this video of Billy talking about and playing Dubai! Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more exclusive interviews of composers sharing their perspectives as well as tutorials and performances.

  • Birthday and anniversary megapost: 10 new products!

    This week (more precisely May 20 through May 24) has important anniversaries we want to honor so we’ve expanded our usual five new entries this week to cover ten celebrations.

    May 20 is the birthday of drummer/composer Victor Lewis (born in 1950 in Omaha, Nebraska). In honor of Victor’s birthday, here’s his great composition Seventh Avenue . For the drummers among you, in our Drum Corner, you can take a special look at some 7/4 “groove” patterns that Victor used on two different recordings.

    When we showed Victor what recordings of jazzleadsheets.com music took place on his birthday over the years, he was blown away. What great birthday presents master drummers gave him, unknowingly, by recording their music on his birthday. Were they omens or just subliminal influences, for a young man who has certainly become one of the great modern drummers?

    Here are Victor’s “birthday presents” that we want to share with you.

    Ittapnna by drummer Walter Bolden, a new composer to jazzleadsheets: on Victor’s third birthday: May 20, 1953, Walter recorded this on “Howard McGhee, Vol. 2” (Blue Note).

    On Victor’s fourth birthday, drummer Art Blakey recorded his Mercury album “Blakey,” (May 20, 1954) featuring these three Gigi Gryce compositions: Minority and Salute To Birdland by Gigi Gryce. The lead sheets have been available for some time but now you can explore Gigi Gryce (alto sax) and Joe Gordon (trumpet) solos for both titles. Plus a new title from that session, Hello, a beautiful ballad.

    For Victor’s tenth birthday, May 20, 1960, drummer Philly Joe Jones recorded his album “Philly Joe’s Beat” (Atlantic). Lead sheets for Joe’s Got To Take Another Chance have been available, but now you can check out Philly Joe’s drum transcription.

    Another drum master, Louis Hayes, recorded his album “The Real Thing,” on Victor’s 27th birthday, May 20, 1977. This session included Ronnie Mathews’ tour-de-force composition Loose Suite (lead sheet editions plus Ronnie’s solo piano arrangement edition).

    I couldn’t stop there, because on May 21, Cleo’s Blues (written and performed by tenor giant Paul Gonsalves) celebrates its 50th recording anniversary.

    And on May 22 bassist/composer Jon Burr celebrates a big one, his 60th birthday, joining jazzleadsheets.com. He has a perfect composition for our upcoming Bass Corner: Smokin’ O.P.’s.

    And finally, also on May 22 (or maybe it was May 24, the recording info on the liner notes doesn’t specify) pianist James Williams recorded his composition Mr. Day’s Dream (lead sheet editions and James’ Solo Piano Arrangement plus recording by Kenny Drew, Jr.).

    Celebrate! Don Sickler www.jazzleadsheets.com and www.SecondFloorMusic.com 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

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