Eddie Costa

  • May 17, 2013: More anniversaries & birthdays to celebrate

    The week of May 13th we’re celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Johnny Griffin and Matthew Gee album “Soul Groove,” recorded for Atlantic Records in two sessions (May 14 and May 16, 1963). I couldn’t decide which one of Matthew Gee’s great soulful groove compositions to put up. Since Renee was recorded on the May 14 session and Here on the May 16 session, we can celebrate both.

    Six years before that, (on May 14, 1957) flutist Herbie Mann recorded Eddie Costa’s composition Here’s That Mann with Eddie on vibes in a sextet format. Herbie played tenor sax, unusual for him. Although it can be played in a quartet (or even trio) format, Eddie’s original arrangement is preserved, with the addition of separate Vibes and Guitar parts as well (the original sextet recording featured Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Vibes, Guitar, Bass and Drums).

    May 15th and 16th are birthdays for two more of our composers: trumpeter Joe Gordon (May 15, 1928) and trombonist Eddie Bert (May 16, 1922).

    In honor of Joe Gordon’s birthday, listen to his beautiful ballad Heleen. Joe was a very important trumpet player whose peers thought would help take the trumpet to another level. Sadly, he died far too young at the age of 35. Trumpeter Brian Lynch in his recent Unsung Heroes project pays a beautiful tribute to Joe, also recording Heleen.

    Transcribed Solo editions: Both Joe Gordon’s and Brian Lynch’s solos and melody treatments are available in separate B-flat and C treble clef editions. An unusual and rewarding opportunity to see how both of these great trumpet artists interpret the same ballad.

    Losing Eddie Bert this last year was a blow to many of us. For his birthday I’m giving everyone the chance to hear Eddie’s trombone victoriously attacking one of his great blues melodies (Ripples). The audio excerpt teases with the beginning of his aggressive solo.

    Plus, the second drum transcription of master drummer Charli Persip: six pages of detail, including Dizzy Gillespie and Charli’s exchanges on the famous recording of The Eternal Triangle.

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

  • Five new composers May 28, 2011

    As I’m sure you’ve been able to see, we publish for a lot of great composers. This week we’re adding five new ones to jazzleadsheets.com. Except for Eddie Costa, who died five years before I got to New York, I’ve had the honor of knowing them personally.

    Of these additions, guitarist Chuck Wayne was the first on the jazz scene. He emerged in the early 1940s and contributed greatly to the new music that was being called bebop. His composition Slightly Dizzy will bring you right back to the energy of the bebop era. It illustrates a favorite device of composers and improvisers, borrowing and enhancing the chord changes of an American standard: this time, How High The Moon.

    Pianist Norman Simmons arrived on the recording scene in the early 1950s. Early on, he wrote a hit for prominent Chicago tenor saxophonist Paul Bascomb. This helped ensure a steady gig for his trio at important Chicago clubs that brought in guest artists, which in turn provided Norman the opportunity to accompany Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Wardell Grey and many more of the jazz greats. Norman has written many wonderful compositions that we’ll be exploring in the months to come. I decided to start your introduction to him with Stiffed, Norman’s clever composition based on the changes of Just Friends.

    Eddie Costa (piano and vibes) also emerged in the 1950s. He was the Down Beat Critics poll winner on both instruments in 1957. Unfortunately, he was killed in a car accident at thirty-one years of age, and he hadn’t spent much time writing his own original compositions. He did write a few, however, and we’ll be exploring them in the months to come. For now, enjoy his Blues Plus Eight.

    I miss bassist/composer Charles Fambrough, who died this past January, 2011. Charles had a long bout battling kidney failure. He loved music, and we always had beautiful conversations about music and musicians. Charles was still in his twenties when he wrote and recorded One For Honor with McCoy Tyner. He was not only one of the foremost bassists of his generation, but also a marvelous composer.

    Cecilia Coleman is the youngest of our five new composers, but she’s been on the NYC scene now for over a decade. She is originally from California, where she did some recording and composing before coming to New York. She’s a marvelous pianist/composer with a broad composing palette. If her name already looks familiar to you at jazzleadsheets.com, it’s because she’s the pianist on many of the tracks we’ve recorded for jazzleadsheets.com. Her own first composition to be posted is an interesting 3/4 adventure called Pearl.

    --Don Sickler

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