Meredith d'Ambrosio

  • jazzleadsheets Mid-November additions

    Exciting news! We’re making some changes here at jazzleadsheets.com and we’d love to get your feedback on how things have been going so far. As we begin working on our website redesign (set to go live in Spring 2014), we’re hoping some of our valued customers would speak with our web developer to help him understand the customer experience so far. If you’d be willing to help us on this project, please email me.

    Meanwhile, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so here’s an update to give you a little something extra to be thankful for!

    If you’re in the mood for a nostalgic, emotive ballad, look no further than The Haunted Melody by Rahsaan Roland Kirk. While you may not be able to play it with two instruments at the same time as Rahsaan does on the featured recording, the beautifully tragic melody sings on just about any instrument.

    Pianists should be sure to check out Bobby Timmons’s One Mo’ — we’ve transcribed all six choruses of his magnificent solo! Bobby is without question the master of soul-jazz, and learning this solo can teach you bits of his melodic vocabulary as well as how to build energy over the course of a lengthy solo. The head itself is also not to be missed by any musician: the A section is hard-hitting and punctuated with rhythmic hits, while the B section gives way into longer lines that show Bobby’s versatility as a composer. This memorable piece may well get stuck in your head, but we think you probably won’t want it out!

    Feeling a little mischievous? How about some Hanky Panky? Dexter Gordon’s composition is pure fun with a bouncy, syncopated melody and a classic blues march bass line. For singers, we have Tina May’s lyric version, No More Hanky-Panky. Her lyric plays off the cheeky title of Dexter’s original. It’s sung from the perspective of a child who keeps getting into trouble. Regardless of what adults may say, exploring is too much fun: don’t give up the hanky-panky!

    If the wintery weather is getting you down, why not think forward to spring? Meredith d’Ambrosio’s Blame It All On Spring is a wistful ballad that showcases a wide portion of a vocalist’s range without being too difficult to master. We offer it in the original key of A-flat as well as a higher key of D-flat for mezzo-sopranos or sopranos. While it was originally written to suit Meredith’s tenor voice, it sits comfortably in the higher key as well. The enticing contours of the melody make this a great pick.

    Drummers, check out a transcription of Victor Lewis' drumming on Jonny King's Merry-Go-Round. See what a contemporary master’s contribution does to enhance a recording.

    Don Sickler phone 212-741-1175 email don@secondfloormusic.com

  • We'd never trick you: here are some new treats from your favorite composers

    We’re back this week to add to our collection of “incredible music” (a customer’s phrase!) with some great instrumental and vocal lead sheets.

    To kick off this week, a hard bob title from Sonny ClarkSONNY’S CRIB. The bluesy head is the perfect foundation for incredible solos (check out Coltrane’s blowing on the recording featured here!) and its clean simplicity is undeniably appealing.

    If you’d like something a bit more exotic, check out Bob Brookmeyer’s BLUE CHINA, a fun send-up of Chinese-style music. A cultural collision comes forth in the B section, when the Chinese-style melodies of the piano and horns break into full American swing. It’s an unexpected twist that really makes this piece pop! The extraordinary communication between flugelhornist Clark Terry and trombonist Bob Brookmeyer is natural, seemingly effortless and totally delightful.

    Rounding out our instrumental selections is a Freddie Redd composition, WALTZIN’ IN. This bouncy waltz recalls a couple gliding across a ballroom floor, but the driving rhythmic pulse keeps the piece edgy and modern.

    For vocalists, we have three different takes on that classic theme, love. Meredith d’Ambrosio’s MELODIOUS FUNK reflects on love lost, lamenting the end of a relationship and the lonely feelings that just won’t go away. The sultry, laid-back swing vibe keeps it from getting too dark, though, and the blues-inflected melody is supremely catchy.

    If you’re feeling romantic, look no further than WITHOUT YOU, Shelley Brown’s lyric version of Renee Rosnes’s Malaga Moon. This meditative ballad has a haunting, ethereal melody that draws the listener in. The poetic lyric compares a lover to the stars and moon—without him, there is only the darkness of night. Both words and music are nothing short of beautiful! Accompaniment-only audio available.

    Our final vocal selection is another ballad—the wistful, dreamy IN THE GLOW OF THE MOON, with music by Dena DeRose and lyric by Meredith d’Ambrosio. This waltz has a strong rhythmic pulse that makes it work best at a medium tempo, so it’s a great choice for singers looking for a ballad that isn’t too slow. It also showcases a variety of different ranges and techniques of the singer’s voice as it travels to distant keys and back again. Both composer and lyricist have recorded this song, so we offer transcriptions of both their renditions—it’s a great comparison tool as you can study how to make a gorgeous song like this your own while still staying true to the already-lovely melody.

  • 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.

  • 1/21/11 new from jazzleadsheets

    Ronnie Mathews’s medium swing waltz Lament For Love. This composition was recorded as a trio by Ronnie in 1992, but the MP3 versions currently available for download are from two other CDs: Roy Hargrove’s “Family,” and Louis Hayes’ “Blue Lou.” Get Ronnie’s solo piano arrangement, too.

    Ode To An Earth Girl by Bill Barron—a beautiful complex ballad by an important but often overlooked composer and tenor saxophonist. This recording was Bill Barron’s younger brother’s (pianist Kenny Barron) introduction to the recording world.

    So Very Glad, a bossa with hip lyrics and sentiments, by composer/vocalist/lyricist Rachel Gould. A master of vocal phrasing, Rachel’s delivery offers insights into interpretation, with attitude. Vocal transcription also available.

    Have You Noticed? by composer/vocalist/lyricist Meredith d’Ambrosio. A consummate musician, Meredith’s compositions are rich with subtleties and details. In addition to the leadsheet, a transcription of Meredith’s recorded version is also available, as well as an accompaniment-only MP3.

    Something Unusual, music and lyric by Sergio Mihanovich. This gentle, swinging dissection of the early days of a love affair captivates audiences. Mihanovich’s compositions all sound like jazz standards. With accompaniment-only MP3.

    There are so many great compositions - take time to listen to a few new ones. Thanks, Don Sickler

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