Judy Niemack

  • New Hank Mobley and more . . .

    A new one from saxophonist Hank Mobley: UP OVER AND OUT, a 16-measure blues with Mobley's signature swing and groove. Guitarist George Benson and the rhythm section establish an infectious vamp figure that the horn melody further elevates before swinging out the last eight measures of the head. A great energy opener or closer!

    Pianist Elmo Hope's NIETA has an unusual 32-measure form (eight bars of the same chord progression repeated three times under the melody). Elmo sets off the melody with a Latin intro and adds a tutti rhythmical interlude at the end of the melody to set up each soloist. First and second parts are available, plus a Concert Condensed Score for the rhythm section.

    Trombonist Curtis Fuller's ability to write music that sounds (and is) simply fun to play is demonstrated in his SYMPTOMS. Recorded by Curtis and tenor saxophonist Benny Golson, second parts are available for all instruments as well as a Concert Condensed Score for the rhythm section.

    Pianist Milton Sealey, new to jazzleadsheets.com, is represented by his BLACK DIAMOND, a lilting, delightful 3/4 romp recorded first by multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk. An Easy Solo Piano Arrangement by Don Sickler is available, plus lead sheets.

    Now for additions to our Singers' Corner: Transformed into a dark, haunting tale, Sealey's Black Diamond became THE DRAGONFLY AND THE PEARL with lyric added by vocalist Roberta Gambarini and lyricist Bebe Herring.

    ICE WHITE BLUES, by Judy Niemack and Jeanfrançois Prins, shows one side of breaking up that feels like two: ice and fire. A blues with a bridge, the melody is notated as Judy performed it. Exclusive complete track and minus-you audio available, plus a video of the composers performing it together.

  • April showers bring new composers

    It’s a new month, a new batch of lead sheets, and most exciting of all, two new composers added to our roster!

    We’re very excited to be welcoming GEOFFREY KEEZER and VALERY PONOMAREV to the jazzleadsheets.com family. These two virtuosos represent all that is great about the jazz scene today — not only are they two of the most talented musicians on their respective instruments, but their compositions are out of this world. We’re starting off with one piece from each of their first solo releases.

    Geoffrey Keezer’s first album as a leader was recorded when he was only 17 — a fact that is all the more incredible when you hear his complex, edgy, irresistible composition Babes In McCoyland. With elements of Latin, rock, and gospel all mixed together, this piece is nothing short of addictive.

    Valery Ponomarev’s first solo release came a bit later in life, but his composition Take Care is equally impressive. It fits in perfectly with many of our hard-bop compositions even though it was recorded years later — that’s how much soul and style Valery has as both a composer and a player.

    But the new releases from our other composers are just as enticing. If it’s a ballad you need, look no further than Myles. This sensitive, haunting composition by Billy Pierce is simply breath-taking. If it happens to make you tear up a bit on the first listen, you’re in good company.

    It’s been a while since we’ve treated you with a composition from maestro Al Cohn, and there’s no better piece to come back with than Danielle . This versatile composition (recorded as a bossa, slow swing, or ballad) has a plaintive, nostalgic quality to it and a melody so lovely you’ll be humming it for days.

    And singers: we’ve got a great pick for you, too! Over The Brink comes from Judy Niemack’s fantastic tutorial book, Hear It And Sing It: Exploring The Blues, but it’s a great chart in its own right. The instrumental composition, Push Come To Shove, is by Julian Priester, and Julian and Judy make quite a team. Over The Brink is a sultry, unusual, exciting blues (complete with a minus you audio track) that will push your ear and really work your chops.

  • Introducing MINUS YOU: a brand new way to practice

    It’s been busy here in our New York office — on Monday, January 6, we celebrated Blue Note’s 75th anniversary with two Meade Lux Lewis piano transcriptions (Melancholy / Solitude) which comprised BN-1, the actual first Blue Note release. On Wednesday, January 8, we celebrated the anniversary of the recording of Kenny Burrell’s classic Blue Note album Midnight Blue. Today we’re back with another round of great charts — and a new collaboration with a new series of audio editions!

    In addition to making leadsheets and arrangements available, jazzleadsheets.com is starting a new series of instrumental audio play-a-long editions for every member of the recorded ensemble. We call it our [minus you] editions. We've long offered practice tracks of our Singer's Corner compositions so vocalists could sing with a professional ensemble, but with our [minus you] series, we're taking it to the next level. We're now offering tracks of the highest caliber musicians with options for each part removed -- so you can practice with professionals.

    I’m starting this new series with the help on one of my old friends, fellow trumpet player, Brian Lynch. We’ve always had the  common quest to pay tribute to very important trumpet player/composers who haven’t received their due. Several years ago Brian came up with his “Unsung Heroes Project” recording concept and came to us to get some music by three of their mutual heroes: Idrees Sulieman, Tommy Turrentine and Joe Gordon.

    We’re starting this marriage of jazzleadsheets.com and Brian’s Hollistic Music with one composition each by these important trumpet/composer giants: Big Red (Tommy Turrentine) Terra Firma Irma (Joe Gordon) Orange Blossoms (Idrees Sulieman)

    Big Red was recorded as a quintet by Brian. Terra Firma Irma was as a sextet by Brian, and also originally recorded by Joe Gordon as a quintet. Orange Blossoms was recorded by Brian in a quartet context. Judy Niemack also wrote a lyric to this beautiful ballad, which required a new title for the lyric version: With You.

    The written music is available in separate editions: go to each song page for a list of what is available.

    Transcribed trumpet solos are also available for Terra Firma Irma (for Brian and Joe) and Big Red (Brian only). Specific [minus you] editions are also available: you can substitute yourself for any instrument in the ensemble!

    "Front line" is the term used to signify the melody player along with anyone else in "the front line" playing harmony parts, as in a quintet or sextet. Our [minus you] editions for front line players feature them as the only soloists; they play in the ensemble for the melodies.

    Solos for front line players: On the original recordings there are often various soloists. On our [minus you] front line editions, you are the only soloist. Rhythm section players play with the whole original recorded track.

  • 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.

  • jazzleadsheets in early October

    It’s a big update from us this week — eight new charts with exciting options for singers and instrumentalists alike! With so much to choose from, there’s no way you won’t be able to find something that catches your interest.

    We have three new compositions by former Jazz Messengers, starring with composer/pianist Donald Brown’s stunning ballad Dorothy, dedicated to his wife. Not only is it a romantic, complex ballad in and of itself, but we also offer transcriptions of Donald’s comping behind the melody and his solo for pianists who want to learn more about his signature style. Studying Donald’s artistic harmonic voicings in his comping and the way he gives meaning and purpose to each note in his solo is a great exercise for pianists to improve their own skills.

    We’re introducing another new composer, saxophonist Bill Pierce, with his Chuck’s Groove. Like many of Bill’s compositions, this piece features a memorable, tuneful melody and sets it over an unusual chord progression. It’s a great choice for musicians of any instrument or skill level!

    We were so excited about Hank Mobley’s The Turnaround (quintet parts) that we had to make it available for both musicians and singers. It’s a funky, bluesy and fun piece that is easy to master for beginners but really soars when played by masters like Hank and Freddie Hubbard (who are featured on the instrumental recording). Chris Caswell’s playful lyric version, I Found The Turnaround, is expertly recorded by Karrin Allyson. Take a listen and try it out yourself with our vocal lead sheet; the small range of the melody makes it perfect for most voice types.

    Take a trip to South America with Jon Burr’s Sea Breeze. This laid-back, soothing bossa nova features a lyric by the composer himself that reflects the simple joy of relaxing by the sea. We offer this lead sheet in two keys — one for altos and one for sopranos. Full track and accompaniment-only audio available.

    Rachel Gould’s No More Fire (Over You) is another bossa nova with a bit more of an edge. The lyric describes getting over a lover and finally being able to move on. In addition to the vocal lead sheet, we also offer a transcription of Rachel’s recording so singers can learn from her expert phrasing.

    Singers looking to add more waltzes to their repertoire should look no further than Like A Butterfly, Judy Niemack’s lyric version to Ronnie Mathews’s Jean-Marie. This delicate, breezy waltz is a good choice for sopranos since it features the upper register of a vocalist’s range. Full track and accompaniment-only audio available.

    Rounding out our vocal selections is Swinging My Life Away, a vocal version of Ray Bryant’s Tonk with a lyric by Tina May. It’s a fun, upbeat song that celebrates jazz, swing, and being yourself — a message we couldn’t agree with more! Full track and accompaniment-only audio available.

    A tip: if you’re printing from Adobe Acrobat, make sure you specify “none” for print scaling in the dialog. We’ve already made sure the margins are correct. If you let Acrobat print automatically, it might reduce the music a bit.

  • A special vocal-only update

    This week we have five fantastic vocal pieces, including vocal transcriptions of legendary singers Anita O’Day, Chris Connor and Rachel Gould!

    If the rainy fall weather has got you down, we have a light, sunny bossa from Gloria Cooper with a lyric by Ira Gitler that immediately transports you back to the summer: Reveling In The Beat.

    For a good dose of Latin funk, check out Lonely Man, a vocal setting of Ray Bryant’s Erewhon with a lyric by Tina May. With a sassy lyric and appealing groove, it’s hard not to love.

    You, Judy Niemack’s lyric to Bob Brookmeyer’s composition Hum, is nothing short of charming. If you’re looking to add something classic to your repertoire without turning to overdone standards, this is the one for you.

    Rachel Gould’s ethereal, fanciful ballad My Magic Ring captures childlike wonder and melodic sophistication at the same time. To better understand how to interpret a free ballad like this one, we offer a vocal transcription of how Rachel sings it on the recording.

    Finally, a special treat: two versions of Al Cohn’s Night Bird by two powerhouse vocalists, Anita O’Day and Chris Connor. The Anita O’Day recording, featuring an arrangement by Gary McFarland, marries classical-inspired dissonance with true swing. Chris Connor’s version is arranged by Al Cohn himself, and has a mysterious Latin feel. We’ve transcribed the way both singers phrase the melody, and also offer a lead sheet for vocalists to try their own hand at it. Both recordings are truly out of this world, but the song itself is also a real gem with a poetic lyric by Kitty Malone.

    To stay up-to-date on our latest vocal lead sheets, be sure to check out Singer's Corner page!

    Just a note for those who like to sing or play along with accompaniment-only tracks: three of the new titles have accompaniment-only versions, and Judy Niemack’s delightful You is available exclusively on jazzleadsheets.com.

  • new August 22, 2012

    New titles for vocalists and everyone else. Instrumentalists, don’t let these great compositions go by without trying them. The accompaniment-only tracks are wonderful to practice with. Great composers. Try a few!

    A Something In A Summer’s Day (Kirk Nurock and Emily Dickinson) [vocal] A classy, and classic, ballad (or bossa). Sensitive performance by composer Kirk Nurock and vocalist Janis Siegel.

    A Shot Of Blues Juice (Norman Simmons and Judy Niemack) [vocal] A great way to involve an audience - “Let’s start with a shot of Blues Juice!” Relax and learn to swing with Judy Niemack and Norman Simmons.

    If You Believe (Ray Bryant and Tina May) [vocal] A Ray Bryant composition with lyric by Tina May. Learn the Latin/calypso feeling with the master, Ray on piano with bass & drums. No better way to practice.

    Garden In The Sand (Hank Mobley and Bebe Herring) [vocal] A haunting Hank Mobley bossa with a lyric to intrigue.

    Try As I May (Meredith d’Ambrosio) [vocal] Listen to Meredith’s graceful and moving performance, then make your own version.

  • new August 17, 2012

    Bel-Aire (Ray Bryant) Another great Ray Bryant head which challenges you to fly over your instrument. A must for any trumpet players who think they can play anything.

    Gayle’s Groove (Mickey Bass) An interesting ten-measure followed by fourteen-measure form. Originally recorded in a two horn quintet format so second part editions are also available.

    T.H.E. Blues (Steve Davis) An unusual form: 15 measure blues in a challenging key (A-flat minor).

    Ka-Link (Philly Joe Jones) It starts out as a cute Latin blues head and develops into a larger AABCAD format, with alternations from Latin to swing. Soloing on the record was just blues choruses. The expanded head format can open you up to exploring different soloist formats.

    Listen To Mister Jones (Philly Joe Jones / Rachel Gould) [vocal] If you’re a vocalist, and have a drummer you want to feature, this is for you. It’s the lyric version of Ka-Link, with Rachel’s complete track and an accompaniment-only track (MP3).

    other new vocal titles:

    Do You Feel What I Feel? (Rachel Gould) [vocal] A beautiful, evocative exploration recorded by a voice/bass duo.

    He’s A Man (Curtis Fuller / Judy Niemack) [vocal] Judy’s lyric to the Fuller instrumental Sagittarius explains what that Zodiac sign means in a delightful way. Judy’s own performance, as well as an accompaniment-only MP3, are available. Also, Judy’s new publication, Hear It and Sing It: Exploring the Blues is now in print and can be purchased from Hal Leonard and Amazon.com. Some really great new blues to sing! Hear It and Sing It! is a fun and effective method.

    I’ll Blame It On The Samba (Ray BryantTina May) [vocal] Tina May’s lyric to Ray’s Samba Elegante, it’s a fun song to sing. Tina’s recording, with Ray Bryant himself on piano, and the accompaniment-only MP3 are available.

    Just A Little Boy (Sergio Mihanovich) [vocal] A beautiful ballad with a charming lyric. Simple and easy to customize to your own style. Gloria Cooper’s recording as well as an accompaniment-only version are available.

    Miracle Of Spring (Meredith d’Ambrosio) [vocal] A lyrical melody full of Meredith’s optimism. A vocal transcription of Meredith’s interpretation, plus an accompaniment-only MP3 track.

  • 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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