Gigi Gryce

  • Seven new charts plus Minus You audio for each one.

    We're ending the 2016 year with more classic music from KENNY DORHAM, who is not just the composer of the jazz standard Blue Bossa, but also a man whose music made innovative, often magical use of all of his rhythm section players: check out Escapade and Night Watch

    GIGI GRYCE: Another composer of jazz standards such as Minority, his music set Paris on fire during the 1950s and 1960s. We're bringing you further explorations of Gigi's classic Nica's Tempo along with Stupendous-Lee.

    Also three more from FREDDIE REDD: Sometimes so underground he's hard to find, his composing voice is easy to identify and his music lifts everyone's spirits. The Jolly Minor - Midnight Blue - There I Found You

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    Minus You charts and audio let you rehearse whenever you want!

  • New Dorham, Gryce, Redd and Hope lead sheets and audio tracks

    Five great new titles plus further explorations of four songs through new editions and recordings. Plus, all nine now have Minus You audio tracks, providing fun and valuable learning opportunities for all instrumentalists.

    Take a little time to explore our Minus You editions and tracks. Our tracks give every member of the group an individual audio track minus their instrument: you can be an essential member of the group playing along with professional artists in your own practice room. Minus Melody, Minus Piano, Minus Bass, Minus Drums, and often a track with just Bass & Drums, so Piano/Vibes/Guitar can play the melody, or a soloist can work, a la Sonny Rollins, without harmonic accompaniment. Click on FEATURES, click the Minus You heading, then click on FOR INSTRUMENTALISTS.

    KENNY DORHAM: One of the magical things that sets Kenny Dorham apart from other composers is his emphasis on specific roles for each rhythm section player. His independent instrumental parts mandate delicate interplay between all ensemble members, hence our project title The K.D. Challenge. We've made each rhythm section part double-staved, showing a smaller melody staff above each line, and we've also indicated other rhythm section cues to make it clear how everything fits together.

    BACK ROAD by Kenny Dorham: With its bluesy melody and rhythm section stop-time, this song is quintessential K.D. Second parts from the Joe Henderson/Kenny Dorham "Our Thing" album are available, plus our K.D. Challenge version has Minus You tracks for all instruments.

    PEDRO'S TIME by Kenny Dorham: A classic Dorham song with a 12-measure form that's not quite a blues. Our K.D. Challenge version has Minus You tracks for all instruments; second parts like saxophonist Joe Henderson played with Kenny on the classic "Our Thing" album are available.

    FREDDIE REDD: A pianist/composer who got early recognition from the his role in "The Connection" play and movie, Freddie is a master of hard bop. Our Freddie Redd Project recordings, with Minus You audio tracks, brings his music into a new zone.

    1:00 A.M. STANDARD TIME by Freddie Redd:  Starting the melody with an even-8th line which becomes its own important motivic element, this song essentially has a classic hard-bop sound, with stop-time figures in the head and a constantly evolving melody and chord progression. Our exclusive version has Minus You tracks for all instruments as well as second parts

    BLUE HOUR by Freddie Redd: A harmonic workout in the unique Freddie Redd style. Recorded twice by Freddie in a trio format, our exclusive Freddie Redd Project quintet recording is available with Minus You tracks for all instruments, plus second parts, bass part & condensed score.

    FAREWELL TO SWEDEN by Freddie Redd: A tribute to his 1956 trip to Sweden is a laid-back, bittersweet medium swinger. In addition to the original trio recording, a new quintet version is available with Minus You tracks.

    GIGI GRYCE: Gigi Gryce was a fine altoist in the 1950s, but it was his writing skills, both composing and arranging that were considered most notable. We have Minus You versions of some of his best songs.

    MINORITY by Gigi Gryce: Gigi's standard is represented by three different recordings. Art Blakey's in 1954, Gigi's own in 1960, and our version recorded in 1999, featuring Gigi's pianist Richard Wyands and alto/tenor soloists Bobby Porcelli and Ralph Moore. Minus You audio and more!

    SALUTE TO BIRDLAND by Gigi Gryce is written on I'll Remember April changes. Our new Gigi Gryce Project version is available with Minus You audio tracks for all instruments. Perfect for an audition tape.

    SOCIAL CALL by Gigi Gryce has been covered by many artists. Check out the four versions we have posted: Art Farmer/Gigi Gryce, Art Blakey and a nonet, Donald Byrd/Gigi Gryce, and our own version with Minus You tracks from The Gigi Gryce Project recording.

    ELMO HOPE and MINOR BERTHA: Our first Rhythm Section Workshop edition. It's definitely a real workout for rhythm section players, demanding everyone's full attention at all times. Listen to Elmo's original recording and you'll see it was also a workout for his rhythm section. Try it on your own with our Minus You tracks or challenge your own group.

  • The Gigi Gryce Project and more

    Introducing The Gigi Gryce Project. We're excited to be releasing the first two tracks from The Gigi Gryce Project, Evening In Casablanca and Satellite. Lead sheets for ten of the Gryce compositions we recorded are already available on jazleadsheets.com, but now we'll be able to add minus you tracks for all twelve of these wonderful compositions. Plus, we're expanding our editions to cover other Gryce recordings of the compositions and adding transcribed solos, giving you the opportunity for further insight into these great compositions and great soloists.

    In 1960, when Gigi started recording again as a leader, his rhythm section was centered around pianist Richard Wyands. The Gigi Gryce Project was also centered around Richard, with Gryce devotee Kenny Washington on drums and bassist Peter Washington rounding out the rhythm section. I elected to change Gigi's basic quintet front line of trumpet/alto sax to alto sax/tenor sax, using two of my favorite musicians, Bobby Porcelli on alto and Ralph Moore on tenor.

    With minus you tracks for every instrument, all musicians can have the experience of being part of the session. Stay tuned: we'll be releasing new titles and minus you tracks every week or so.

    With the recent online and DVD release of "Jaco: The Film" bringing renewed and well deserved attention to the late bassist Jaco Pastorius, we want to introduce pianist Jon Davis's beautiful tribute to the great musician, titled Ballad for Jaco. Jon had the honor of playing and recording with Jaco. Jon writes, "It was a life altering experience in that Jaco's musical inspiration and influence was such a powerful force." To premiere the ballad as a piano/bass duo he chose young bassist Daryl Johns, who was just 15 at the time of the recording and video of the session. Lead sheets and Rudy Van Gelder's exclusive audio of the duo are available.

    Geoffrey Keezer wrote Personal Space the day before the session for "Waiting In The Wings," his first album as a leader, recorded when he was only 17. Some years later, Geoffrey was the pianist accompanist for the 2009 Thelonious Monk International Bass Competition, where another young musician, 13-year-old bassist Daryl Johns, was one of the semifinalists. I got the two musicians together in 2011 for a duo session at Rudy Van Gelder's Studio. Geoffrey revisited Personal Space with Daryl playing the melody rubato for the first chorus. Piano solos from both versions are available, along with exclusive audio and video of the duo session.

    Vocalist/lyricist/composer Judy Niemack has Something To Say, and we have a lovely video of her singing it in the jazzleadsheets.com studio with guitarist Jeanfrançois Prins. Judy's complete track and a minus you track without vocal are both available in C minor

    TIP: You can find minus you titles by clicking on FEATURES in the top menu bar of every page and scrolling down to Minus You, then choosing For Instrumentalists or For Vocalists. Or type minus you in the search box at the top of every page (instrumental titles only). We'll be adding more in the coming weeks.

    Thanks for keeping the music alive! Don Sickler and the jazzleadsheets.com team

  • Transcriptions, vocals, and much more

    This diverse update has a bit of something for everyone. If you've been waiting for new vocal music, this is your week! We're excited to add new pieces by Sergio Mihanovich and Ruby Braff for voice this week. Instrumentalists can enjoy these pieces as well, of course -- as well as the other six new additions this week. With a solo transcription of Art Farmer, David Hazeltine's own solo piano arrangement, and new original quintet arrangements, these new titles have it all.

    SERGIO MIHANOVICHSometime Ago A wistful classic for singers and instrumentalists. Art Farmer's solo transcription available, as is a vocal lead sheet.

    AL COHNSomething For Lisa Medium swing in a cool jazz style. Chet Baker's quintet arrangement available.

    GIGI GRYCEExhibit A A rhythm changes head with a twist on the bridge. Try Gigi's own arrangement.

    DAVID HAZELTINEAnn's Mood Tonal and beautiful with a cyclical form.

    DAVID HAZELTINEPentimento Charming post-bop bossa. Solo piano arrangement available.

    RUBY BRAFFWe're All Through A sultry medium swing with a lyric describing a relationship's end. Vocal lead sheet available.

    ERIC ALEXANDERLittle Lucas A modal composition with great flexibility.

    IDREES SULIEMANTell Me What's Your Name  A thoughtful, tender ballad.

  • Three new composers. One big update.

    We're back with another big update! This week, we're welcoming three new composers to the site: tenor saxophonist Paul Quinichette, cornetist Ruby Braff and bassist Santi Debriano. Our Recording Session Anniversaries this week celebrates the anniversary of the first recording of Gigi Gryce's Capri with new lead sheets in the original key -- including two Clifford Brown trumpet solos; the recording sessions for Kenny Drew Jr.'s album "A Look Inside" (Alhambra, A Look Inside); Ray Bryant's legendary performance at Montreaux; and Ruby Braff's recording session for his album "Braff!" on which Here's Freddie was recorded.

    We're also celebrating birthdays: vocalist Rachel Gould, pianist Elmo Hope and bassist Santi Debriano. Join us in marking all of these anniversaries and birthdays with great music!

    Check out this week's new music:

    GIGI GRYCECapri  Now available in the original key with two Clifford Brown trumpet solos

    KENNY DREW JRAlhambra A lyrical, flowing bossa

    KENNY DREW JR: A Look Inside A cheerful & bubbly medium swing

    RAY BRYANT: Blues #3 Master the blues in G with this three-chorus piano solo transcription

    RAY BRYANT: Blues #2 A blues tour-de-force: seven choruses of piano solo transcription

    PAUL QUINICHETTE: Prevue A simply & catchy medium swing that makes a great choice for vocalists. Paul Quinichette's tenor sax solo transcription available.

    RUBY BRAFF: Here's Freddie Classic, laid-back mainstream jazz

    SANTI DEBRIANO: Abra Cadabra A bright Latin piece

    Have you seen our new inline audio player? It's a simple blue box that appears in our text notes whenever we want to feature a sample in the middle of text. If you come across a blue box with a triangle on it like this , click it and listen to the music!

    Make sure to click on the dots under the home page slider; we've put some fun ways to look at this week's music there. 
    Enjoy the music!
  • Swing in the new year with new charts galore

    It’s been a great year here at jazzleadsheets.com: we celebrated Blue Note’s 75th Anniversary, launched our Minus You audio features, and introduced handfuls of new composers and more great music. We’re still working with our developer on the improved version of jazzleadsheets.com which will feature a more visually-exciting interface and a better checkout experience. To keep you swinging into 2015, we’re topping you off with one last group of lead sheets for the year with some picks we know you’ll love.

    GIGI GRYCE: Boxer’s Blues A different type of altered blues! This Gigi Gryce piece moves back and forth from a double time groove to a laid-back swing. Gigi’s intriguing quintet arrangement is captured in each of our lead sheet editions; his original recording featured trumpet and alto sax alternating lines, but both are notated in all editions so you can choose how you want to approach it.

    TINA BROOKS: Miss Hazel A bright, brassy Tina Brooks composition full of fun II-V changes. This uptempo swing is also available as a quintet arrangement; we have a concert condensed score available (featuring the melody, counter-melody and rhythm section hits), lead sheets for all instruments and second parts.

    LUCKY THOMPSON: Once There Was A perfect example of Lucky Thompson’s masterful ballad writing and interpretation. To show both sides of Lucky’s talent, composing and performing, all editions include a transcription of everything he plays on the form: the head in, a short solo over the bridge, and the last A section out.

    WALTER DAVIS, JR.: Scorpio Rising “Walter Davis, Jr., loved to play this piece to get his adrenaline going,” remembers Don Sickler. This wild medium-up swing with a strong rhythmic pulse will get you going, too!

    KENNY DREW, JR.: Nelson Avenue Morning A light, breezy, constantly evolving medium swing melody from a virtuoso pianist-composer. This unusual ABABC form of this piece is a refreshing twist on typical song forms — the way Kenny only uses four measures of the B section when it returns and the unexpected new themes at the end keep everyone on their toes.

    ROY HARGROVE: The Mountaings Keep things spicy with this Cuban son-jazz hybrid. The 2/3 clave groove gives The Mountaings an authentic Cuban vibe, but Roy Hargrove’s melody is modern jazz-oriented. This composition comes from Roy’s Grammy-winning album HABANA and is sure to be a winner for you, too.

    GEOFFREY KEEZER: Pierce On Earth A personal, sensitive ballad written for saxophonist Bill Pierce. Geoff weaves together contemporary jazz idioms with soulful licks in this tender composition. Geoff’s own solo piano arrangement is also available.

    DONALD BROWN: The Moment You’ve All Been Waiting For This stately ballad features an unusual abbreviated form with just four measures for the A sections and three measures for the B. The dramatic sustained chords under the main theme define the character of this Donald Brown composition.

    Start your 2015 the right way with jazzleadsheets.com!

  • 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.

  • New! EASY PIANO for beginning jazz lovers!

    If you love jazz piano, but aren’t quite at the level of our solo transcriptions, we’re releasing arrangements of our classics to accommodate pianists of all ages and abilities! These arrangements aren’t watered-down—they stay true to the original melody and harmonies—but aren’t overly intimidating, either. They make a great introduction for new students, classical pianists, or even someone looking to just have fun playing music.

    Three arrangements by site founder/trumpeter/arranger Don Sickler FOCUS by James Williams

    SOCIAL CALL by Gigi Gryce

    UH HUH by Hank Mobley

    One arrangement by vocalist/pianist/composer Pamela Baskin-Watson JOY RIDE by Bobby Timmons

    Two arrangements by pianist/composer Cecilia Coleman PECKIN’ TIME by Hank Mobley

    BOOTIN’ IT by Sonny Clark

    And some play-along tutorials featuring BOOTIN’ IT on our YouTube channel: BOOTIN' IT slowed down to practice

    BOOTIN' IT at full speed

    Check out our PIANO CORNER where all the above plus more can be found under EASY PIANO ARRANGEMENTS.

  • 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 December lead sheets

    Here are some new titles:

    400 Years Ago Tomorrow - Walter Davis Jr.

    I was asked several months ago for this lead sheet, so first of all I apologize for the delay. Walter was such a great composer, always with his own distinctive voice. As I’m sure you can tell from the audio clip, this is a great one! Pianists, note that Geoff Keezer’s Solo Piano Arrangement is also available, along with a recording by Kenny Drew, Jr.

    Focus - James Williams

    The first recording of Focus, a duo recording with bassist Dennis Irwin, was made before James started recording as a Jazz Messenger with Art Blakey. I discuss the four recordings James made of this composition in my notes, and I’m now on a mission to see if I can get James’ last duo recording (in 2000) made available as a download.

    Pensive - Al Cohn

    This beautiful ballad is the first of many compositions by Al Cohn that we’ll be bringing to jazzleadsheets.com.

    Sadly, I attended trombonist and composer Eddie Bert’s memorial service at St. Peters Church in NYC on December 17, 2012. Eddie was a great musician and a good friend. I played and toured with him many times over the years, and of course heard great stories from him, and about him. As you can learn from his bio on jazzleadsheets, and from the notes on his composition Speedster, Eddie was an accomplished musician.

    Since we’re making Speedster available, I see it’s a perfect time to add a new and beautiful Gigi Gryce composition, In A Meditating Mood, because Eddie recorded it as well.

    If you read my notes for these lead sheets you’ll get the picture, and you’ll see there are some unanswered questions. Was Eddie on this Gryce session? If we could see Eddie’s “session cards” (he made notes of every session he was on), I’m sure we’d have answers.

    Another thing that’s confusing to many of us: this isn’t the album title we know! We know it as “Like Cool.”

    After trombonist/bandleader Art Baron’s rehearsal at my studio over this last weekend, he overheard me talking to saxophonist Jerry Dodgion about Eddie Bert, and he wanted to know if we wanted to hear one of his Eddie Bert stories? Of course we said yes. It turns out the very first jazz record Art was ever given was Eddie’s “Like Cool” album, a later reissue of the “Let’s Dig Bert” album. It was the beginning of Art’s passion for jazz. He showed me his album, which had a cover with icicles on it, when he played at the Memorial service.

    Like Art, I was introduced to Eddie’s recording from a “Like Cool” reissue. I forgot to show Art my copy, but I think mine (which had an image of ice cubes on the cover) was an even later reissue than his. Are there more reissues with different covers? I now know about four covers for the same album: “Let’s Dig Bert (Eddie, That Is)” with the steam shovel or a portrait of Eddie playing trombone; “Like Cool” with icicles in a forest or ice cubes with a trombone. I hope one of you might have, or know someone who has, the original Essex issue so I can confirm the first cover. Email me (don@secondfloormusic.com) what you know.

    --Don Sickler

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