Gene Roland

  • 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

  • finally, new music! April 2011

    Una Mas - Kenny Dorham - A Kenny Dorham classic. Lead sheets and second parts from his Blue Note recording (complete with shout chorus). Also, solo piano arrangement by Ronnie Mathews.

    Only You - Kenny Drew - A beautiful ballad that pianist Kenny Drew also recorded later at a medium swing tempo. Check out his original chord voicings.

    A Night In Barcelona - Harold Land - A medium bossa with an interesting recurring bass line figure. Flute/Vibes part (Bobby Hutcherson recorded it) available.

    Fire One - Carl Perkins - Lots of twists and turns in this great question and answer melody by one of the unsung “groove” masters.

    Opus In Turquoise - Gene Roland - A beautiful, simple melody, orchestrated by a master. Kenton band backgrounds in C treble clef version.

  • Two new composers: Mal Waldron and Gene Roland

    Mood Malody by Mal Waldron This is the first Mal Waldron composition on jazzleadsheets.com. It was recorded by Mal on piano, on what was Jackie McLean’s first album as a leader, with a young Donald Byrd on trumpet in the front line. As far as we can determine, it’s Mal’s first recorded jazz composition. Melody and second parts available.

    Rat Race Blues by Gigi Gryce This composition definitely brings to mind the tension and discord of modern life in a big city. Although the melody starts out simply, it is eventually played simultaneously by three instruments, each in a different key. Gigi expanded the composition into a larger form for a film project, and it became the soundtrack of a prize-winning film. See details on jazzleadsheets.com.

    Same To You by Johnny Griffin A playful Johnny Griffin title that gives you a good technical workout. It was recorded by an unusual ensemble: tenor sax, drums, and two basses, on Johnny’s “Change Of Pace” album. This album is having its 50th anniversary this month.

    Good Old Soul by Tina Brooks We feel it’s very important that everyone has the opportunity to buy the original track. This arrangement appears twice (with an added alternate take) on the original Blue Note session, but they’re both long tracks. At iTunes, you have to get the whole album. Amazon makes longer takes available, so I’ve now added this arrangement to jazzleadsheets.com along with the other two shorter Tina Brooks compositions that we already have online. “True Blue” is a great album, played by an important cast of jazz artists assisting Tina Brooks: Freddie Hubbard, Duke Jordan, Sam Jones and Art Taylor. Latin bridge, swing solos. Great to play. Second parts available.

    Opus In Chartreuse by Gene Roland We have the honor of publishing quite a few Gene Roland gems. Opus In Chartreuse was an important mainstay of the Stan Kenton band. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to see this master, Gene Roland, at work, doing what he did best, which was write music. I can’t remember who called me, or exactly when it was, but it had to be sometime in the 1970s. I was living in New York, in the theater district, and I got a call to make a rehearsal band. When I arrived I was introduced to Gene Roland, who handed out a few charts, and we rehearsed. I knew who Gene was, and I knew he was a trumpet player, but at this rehearsal he also played tenor sax. After the rehearsal, we were asked if we could make another rehearsal in a week, and we all agreed to come back. The following week, to my utter amazement, Gene passed out a whole book, 20 or 30 complete arrangements for the band. It wasn’t a full big band, but there were seven or eight horns and rhythm section. Gene had not only written the entire book of arrangements that week, but he’d also written out all the parts himself. I was blown away!

    Enjoy the music. Don Sickler

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