Johnny Griffin

  • Happy birthday these composers: let's celebrate with new music!

    Jazzleadsheets.com’s calendar revealed some important birthdays the last week of April. Two composers are already on jazzleadsheets.com (Johnny Griffin and Tommy Turrentine). This is a perfect time to post another composition for each of them and to introduce the new ones.

    April 21, 1932 SLIDE HAMPTON One of the great trombonists who is also an important composer and arranger. Wikipedia calls Slide “A master composer, arranger and uniquely gifted trombone player.” Sister Salvation.

    April 22, 1928 TOMMY TURRENTINE Tommy was a great composer and trumpet player. His brother Stanley told me that he felt that Tommy was the real musical talent in the family. Tommy wrote this composition for his and Stanley’s sister, Bonnie.

    April 22, 1935 PAUL CHAMBERS The dominant bassist of his generation who was sought after by everyone, he played on over 350 session in his short life. He was also a master of creating melodies that could feature himself along with others in the group, like Ease It. In honor of Paul’s birthday, we’re announcing jazzleadsheets.com’s jazz Bass Corner which will be launched in full this summer. We are blessed to be involved with many great bass players. Paul and his music will get special attention this summer thanks to a unique Paul Chambers project I had the honor of working on with a truly gifted young bassist, Daryl Johns. Be sure to check out the two clips of Daryl playing “Ease It” when he was thirteen.

    April 24, 1928 JOHNNY GRIFFIN A true “Little Giant” of jazz with a captivating and uplifting personality, and incredible talent as a tenor saxophonist and composer. He wrote and performed this moving ballad for his tribute album to vocalist Billie Holiday, White Gardenia.

    April 27, 1917 DENZIL BEST A gifted pianist and trumpet player (also bassist) who became one of the important drummers of his generation, Denzil Best also composed several jazz standards. Try his Surgery.

  • new jazzleadsheets 2/21/11

    C.F.D. - Jack Wilson An exciting quartet piece (with vibes) that would be great for horns - technical but swinging - by the extremely elegant and meticulous West Coast pianist Jack Wilson. First and second parts.

    Fox Hunt - Bill Barron Recorded fifty years ago this month! Take a minute to explore the complexities and inner strengths of Bill Barron’s composition.

    Hipsippy Blues - Hank Mobley Everyone can enjoy this—swinging with the Jazz Messengers “live” at Birdland, “The Jazz Corner of the World.” Another Hank Mobley classic.

    Mo Is On - Elmo Hope Classic uptempo Elmo Hope. Recorded by Elmo’s trio, in 1953, on their first jazz trio recording together. In 1948 this same trio (Percy Heath on bass and Philly Joe Jones on drums) recorded as the rhythm section for Joe Morris’ R&B group. Challenging, but also great for horn players.

    Why Not? - Johnny Griffin Composer/saxophonist Johnny Griffin’s experiment in sound: 2 basses, tenor sax, French Horn, drums. Why Not? First and second parts. Another 50th Anniversary recording. French Horn players - there’s a part for you!

    I hope you enjoy these. Don Sickler

  • 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

  • New titles January 6, 2011

    For our first composition by tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin, we’re bringing you Sweet Sucker, which he wrote for himself and trombonist Bennie Green to play on Bennie’s “Glidin’ Along” recording for Jazzland in 1961. Vocalist and lyricist Judy Niemack loved the instrumental, and wrote and recorded a lyric version which we’re also making available (Dancin’ Like We Did Before), as well as an accompaniment-only mp3 of that track. Sweet Sucker - Johnny Griffin Dancin’ Like We Did Before - Johnny Griffin & Judy Niemack

    News For Lulu - Sonny Clark This is from Sonny Clark’s sextet recording “Sonny’s Crib” which featured the front line of Donald Byrd (trumpet), John Coltrane (tenor sax) and Curtis Fuller (trombone). The horns break into harmony in only a few places, so our lead sheet editions show just the melody, except for C treble clef. As usual, all the parts are indicated in the C treble clef lead sheet. If you would like to play this as originally recorded with your own sextet, the original Tenor Sax (2nd part) and Trombone (3rd part) are also available as well as the original detailed Bass part.

    Mox-Nix - Art Farmer [2 Art Farmer solos only] November Afternoon - Tom McIntosh [Art Farmer solo only] We want to present three more wonderful Art Farmer solos. The first solo on Mox-Nix is from a quintet recording, and is the earliest of the three solos. The next Mox-Nix solo and Art’s November Afternoon solo come from two different incarnations of The Jazztet. Most Jazztet arrangements are quite involved, and therefore not suitable to be represented by a lead sheet. They really require a full score and individual parts. Thanks to our new relationship with ejazzlines.com, these two Jazztet arrangements are available there, and we have Art’s solos here, at jazzleadsheets.com.

    The Jazztet arrived on the scene with their first album (“Meet The Jazztet”), recorded in February, 1960. This Art Farmer-Benny Golson sextet also featured Curtis Fuller on trombone, who told me that he actually gave the group its name. The rhythm section also featured a newcomer, pianist McCoy Tyner (on his second recording date). The composer and arranger of November Afternoon was also The Jazztet’s trombonist when “The Jazztet At Birdhouse” (Argo LP 688) was recorded, with Cedar Walton on piano.

    Try to celebrate the New Year with music. Jazz music. Don Sickler

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