Lucky Thompson

  • Chambers, Drew, Hargrove, Thompson: new titles

    Visitation - Paul Chambers March 2 marks the 60th anniversary of Paul Chambers' own recording of his classic bass feature composition, Visitation. Paul was a true "young lion" at age 20 when he recorded this on his first album as a leader (March 2, 1956). In addition to lead sheets, his transcribed bass solo is available from that recording. We also have two different exclusive audio recordings available; each of them have Minus You audio tracks as well. The bassist on both of our recordings is Daryl Johns (who was 13 years old at the time of both recordings). Both are quartet recordings, but very different: the first is a standard quartet (trumpet/piano/bass/drums}; the second quartet is multiple basses (four basses--all performed by Daryl Johns).

    Context - Kenny Drew This is a classic Kenny Drew composition, and we're giving you four different performances to explore. Two of the performances include trumpeter Art Farmer videos, so you can now see him play as well as check out his solos in our transcribed solo editions.

    Soppin' The Biscuit - Roy Hargrove A great groove head - this one will definitely put a smile on your face and get your head bobbin'. Fun to play. Roy originally recorded it with tenor great Stanley Turrentine.

    Tom-Kattin' - Lucky Thompson We're going to get more deeply into "rhythm changes" in the coming months, so this is a good one to get started with. You can also check out Lucky's transcribed tenor sax solo for more rhythm changes ideas.

  • New titles in February, 2016

    These titles were originally recorded in the month of January, various years.

    DEEP PASSION by Lucky Thompson. A classic ballad by one of the masters of ballad writing and playing, on tenor sax. Lucky recorded this one twice, once in a quartet format with pianist Hank Jones, bassist Oscar Pettiford and drummer Osie Johnson; and once with the Oscar Pettiford Orchestra. We're providing lead sheets (the same for both recordings) as well as Lucky's Melody and Solo Transcriptions from both recordings. A perfect opportunity to examine in depth the melodic and rhythmic artistry of this great artist and composer. Our own Elijah Shiffer and pianist Isaiah Thompson demonstrate their version on video.

    A LADY'S VANITY by Lucky Thompson. Lucky Thompson's exploration of the two sides of a woman, body and soul, in music. Lucky improvised this track over the standard's changes. Take a look at his improvisation; available in B-flat and C.

    Here are three more compositions from pianist David Hazeltine's album, The Classic Trio Volume 2. These obviously all work great in a trio context, but try them featuring front line instruments for a real treat.

    David's FACE TO FACE uptempo trio swinger, lead sheet complete with two shout sections for soloist send offs, which on the recording is where David and master drummer Louis Hayes face off.

    Another one from David, FROM HERE TO THERE: 3/4 swing, melody floating over the momentum, tension-producing chords to resolve. A trip begging to be taken.

    TOO SWEET TO BEAR, also from David Hazeltine. Medium tempo, even eighths, no key center, fascinating to solo over. David's Solo Piano Arrangement is also available so you can get inside all of his voicings.

    McGheeHoward_DavisMiles

    And out of the past, a very important trumpeter player and composer coming to jazzleadsheets.com for the first time. Howard McGhee's READY FOR LOVE features Howard playing his melody as a set up for the great tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins' solo. If you're not familiar with Howard McGhee, all you need is one look at this picture of Miles Davis looking on as Howard plays to understand Howard's importance. Starting as a master in the swing era, he joined Charlie Parker in the bop world and then continued to grow in the hard bop world and beyond. One of the few artists who transitioned successfully through many jazz styles.

  • DEEP PASSION In Depth

    Unlike many of his contemporaries who looked to American Songbook standards for the ballad portion of their repertoire, saxophonist Lucky Thompson wrote several of his own ballads. One of the most beautiful and heartfelt of these is Deep Passion, which we are now making available on jazzleadsheets.com. Lucky recorded this song twice: first with a quartet in January 1956, and then with Oscar Pettiford's 12-piece big band in June of the same year, arranged by Lucky himself. Both versions feature Lucky as a soloist.

    For both of these recordings, we have transcriptions of not only his solos, but also his interpretations of the melody. Lucky was a master interpreter of ballads, both standard and original, so we feel it's important to present his own ballads exactly as he played them. The Melody Transcriptions highlight the rhythmic alterations and fills with which he embellishes the melody; they show both the "in" and "out" heads. The Solo Transcriptions include some substitute chords that Lucky's lines imply, notated below the staff. Both transcriptions show his articulations clearly; note that many passages in these solos lack slurs/phrase markings because each note is lightly tongued.

    With these transcriptions, you can analyze Lucky's melodic and harmonic technique and let it serve as an inspiration for your own interpretation of this song.

    About Lucky Thompson, from Noal Cohen's Jazz History website:

    Thompson has been described as enigmatic, elusive and underrated but there is no disputing his brilliance, originality and importance in the evolution of modern jazz. During his three decades on the international jazz scene, he worked and recorded with just about every giant: Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Kenton, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus and Thelonious Monk to name just a few. He transcended stylistic and geographical barriers playing in a wide variety of settings on the East and West Coasts of the U.S. and for extended periods in Europe.

  • Celebrate these birthdays & anniversaries

    The temperatures are rising in New York and we're ready for a summer full of hot music. This week, we're wishing happy birthday to Eli "Lucky" Thompson, who would have turned 91 on this Tuesday, June 16, and Billy Drummond, who turns 55 on Thursday, June 19. We're also celebrating some anniversaries of a few recording sessions we love that feature compositions from our catalog: Grant Stewart's "More Urban Tones" (June 15, 1995), Hank Mobley's "Dippin'" (June 18, 1955), Benny Golson's "Gone With Golson" (June 20, 1959), and Nat Adderley's "Good Company" (June 20 & 21, 1994). There's no better way to celebrate than releasing some new lead sheets, transcriptions, and arrangements!

    Check out these new additions to jazzleadsheets.com:

    ELI "LUCKY" THOMPSONTo A Mornin' Sunrise master this sensitive ballad with lucky's own melody transcription

    GRANT STEWARTManhattan Bridge a moody post-bop ballad

    CURTIS FULLERBit Of Heaven a bit of your own jazz heaven -- try the Fuller-Golson two horn arrangement for yourself

    RAY BRYANT:  Staccato Swing a minor medium up swing with parts for tenor, trombone, & piano

    ROB BARGAD: Rob's New Song distinctive soulful flair & powerful changes

    ROB BARGADWar Zone a driving uptempo swing

    HANK MOBLEYThe Break Through NEW for drums - Billy Higgins drum transcription

    Psst! Did you know you can see all of our transcribed solos in one place? Check out this tour of the Transcribed Solos page!

    Enjoy the music, Don Sickler and the jazzleadsheets.com team

  • A better jazzleadsheets.com is coming. Stay tuned.

    We’ve grown so much over the last few years that our current website literally can’t handle us anymore: we can’t add any new composers or albums! So we’re keeping our fingers crossed that March will be the month we can unveil the new look and features of the new jazzleadsheets.com. The expanded and enriched new site has been close to three years in the making, and while it’s been a long road, the final product will be worth the wait.

    Fortunately, we still have more great charts from albums and composers that are already on our current site, so here are seven new additions.

    LUCKY THOMPSONN R #1 An angular blues with an unusual form, this quirky Lucky Thompson piece is pure fun. The melody twists through the blues scale in unexpected patterns, creating a memorable, modern sound. Sleek and sophisticated.

    LUCKY THOMPSONN R #2 The unusual name of this piece and N R #1 might imply that the two go together, but you’ll hear that they couldn’t be more different. It has a classic sound with Lucky’s charming melodic style. Lead sheets and second parts available.

    VALERY PONOMAREVMirage A contrast in snappy, punctuated riffs and long, lyrical lines. The striking interplay of the bold A theme and the soft B theme creates appealing drama. Lead sheets and second parts available.

    KENNY DREW, JR.: Passionata An evocative, masterful bossa which evolved from a manuscript fragment by Kenny Drew, Sr.,  completed by his son. We’re featuring two different clips of this tender bossa, both from the same album: one is Kenny Drew Jr.’s opening trio rendition and the other is his album-closing version with strings.

    NORMAN SIMMONS: Good Humors A laid-back, supremely cool swing from Norman Simmons. The call-and-response between the persistent groove in the rhythm section and the contrasting melody in the horns creates a great conversation. Lead sheets and second parts available.

    STEVE NELSONFor Wes A beautiful ballad dedicated to quitarist Wes Montgomery, from composer/vibist Steve Nelson. He performs the solo section with a double time feel a la Wes Montgomery. Wistful and heartfelt, the melody of this ballad is simply gorgeous.

    VALERY PONOMAREVMeans Of Identification Another Valery Ponomarev piece to expand your repertoire! This brassy piece is in 3/4 and combines hard-bop vocabulary and a hint of Latin influence. Valery sets a bright horn melody over a rich rhythmic background.

    Check out our new charts today!

  • 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!

  • Add some fall spice to your repertoire with these charts.

    Hey jazz lovers,

    Have you missed us? We know it’s been a while! We’ve been hard at work putting together the beautiful new website. Soon, it will be easier than ever to find the music you love and to discover new gems you never knew you were missing.

    Until then, we’ve got some great compositions by some fantastic composers to tide you over until the new site goes live.

    LUCKY THOMPSON: Little Tenderfoot Looking for that perfectly classic sound? After an A section melody over rhythm changes, this charming, cheerful head takes some harmonic detours. The familiar changes make it a breeze to solo over and Lucky Thompson’s impeccable melodic writing is not only lovely to hear, but great fun to play.

    ROY HARGROVE: Ballad For The Children From the Grammy award-winning album HABANA, this Latin ballad is deeply emotional. Try the lead sheet on its own or get the full transcription of everything this jazz superstar plays — both the melody and the solo! Learn ballad phrasing from Roy Hargrove himself by studying exactly what he does.

    STEVE NELSON: Kirk’s New Delight' Go on a musical journey with Steve Nelson. Kirk’s New Delight is a laid back swing with a melody that tells a story through its developing melodic themes. A little extra flair comes from Steve’s embellishments on the melody, which we’ve included on all editions of the lead sheets.

    GRANT STEWART: Cyclops Angular and unflinching, Cyclops is equal parts bebop and modern jazz. Grant Stewart peppers the melody with #11ths and major sevenths that delight the ear. The harmonic progression is easy to pick up, which makes this a great choice to work on soloing over chord extensions.

    VALERY PONOMAREV: Fifteenth Round Don’t miss this explosive powerhouse! Your audience will be rapt with toe-tapping attention after the first line of this hard-bop infused quintet. We’ve made the second parts available as well as a concert condensed score for rhythm section players.

    Don’t settle for standards. Try something new at jazzleadsheets.com.

  • It's cold out there -- stay in and practice!

    Hello again, jazz fans! It’s been colder than ever at our New York office, but that’s not slowing us down — in fact, we’re back with another update this week.

    Our [minus-you] tracks for Brian Lynch’s Unsung Heroes project were such a hit that we thought we’d release some more! Musicians of any instrument can play along with a professional ensemble on our [minus you] series, with custom tracks for each instrument. This week, we’re releasing The Plain But The Simple Truth, a quirky and catchy Lucky Thompson blues. If you’re looking to kick back with a great recording, be sure to also check out our exclusive audio track of rising bass star Daryl Johns, recorded specially for jazzleadsheets.com.

    This week, we’re celebrating the collaboration between Blue Note and legendary trumpeter Kenny Dorham with two K.D. releases: Philly Twist and K.D.’s Motion. Philly Twist, from the “Whistle Stop” album and written for Philly Joe Jones, is distinctive for the strong rhythmic drive in the head that’s propelled by the syncopated rhythm section hits. K.D.’s Motion, from the “Afro-Cuban” album, is a more laid-back take on the blues, but like Philly Twist, it shows what a genius Dorham was at writing unusual, intriguing rhythms for his melodies.

    If you’re looking for a pick-me-up to your winter blues, try Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s My Delight. As the title suggests, this medium-up swing is sweet, happy, and thoroughly appealing. A contrasting Latin groove in the B section adds some intrigue to the head, making it an all-around winner.

    Vocalists, check out Baby, I’m Coming Home, a charming blues with music and lyric by guitar master Chuck Wayne. If you’re looking for a piece with a classic sound but are sick of overdone standards, you’ll love this chart!

    Finally, we have another transcription for our drummersBilly Drummond on A Peck A Sec from trumpeter Jim Rotondi’s recording of the Hank Mobley classic. This chart shows Billy’s mastery of the straight-ahead tradition and his fantastic soloing as evidenced on the trading section. On this recording, Billy really locked in with bassist Dwayne Burno, who very tragically passed away in December. Listening to this recording again reminded us how talented and special Dwayne was. He is sorely missed by the jazz community.

  • April celebrations: Birthdays and anniversaries from composers old and new

    We want to add more titles from composers who are already on jazzleadsheets.com, but we’re also trying to add more composers to the site. Looking at the calendar this month we found birthday anniversaries of two new-to-jazzleadsheets.com artist/composers, and we also found some recording anniversaries. We’re celebrating the middle week of April with these:

    April 16, 1923: Trombonist Bennie Green’s 90th birthday. Listen to his B.G.’s Groove Two.

    April 18, 1925: Celebrate baritone saxophonist Leo Parker’s 88th birthday with Glad Lad.

    April 19, 1958: Art Farmer recorded his end-of-session blues. Hear how he relaxes with Back In The Cage [trumpet solo only, B-flat and C editions].

    April 19, 2000: The 49th anniversary of Lucky Thompson’s 1964 recording of Prey Loot, being celebrated with violinist Regina Carter’s new recording.

    April 20, 1956: The first recording of pianist Barry Harris’s High Step, on a piano-less recording with John Coltrane, Pepper Adams, Curtis Fuller, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones.

    We’re also finishing up more drum transcriptions: check out Charli Persip’s drumming on his recording with Rahsaan Roland Kirk: Three For The Festival.

    In case you haven’t seen Charli talk about his experiences, check out our YouTube channel.

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