After extensive research on trumpeter/composer Kenny Dorham's life and career, journalist Kahron Spearman has published a fascinating article on K.D. in the Austin Chronicle. You can celebrate and promote this extraordinary musician by playing his music, available only on jazzleadsheets.com. Check out all the compositions available now on his composer's page; they cover many years of his composing and recording life. His music is so compelling we created The K.D. Challenge, a great collection of K.D. titles that have Minus You audio tracks to help you master his complexity. Kenny wrote for the whole band so every musician had a specific part to play. The Minus You tracks allow you to become part of the band.
We're adding new titles to our Rhythm Section Workshop series. It's a great way to learn new music that will sharpen your ensemble skills. Cecilia Coleman's So You Say (a piano/bass duo version is also available), Jonny King's Gnosis and new-to-jazzleadsheets.com composer David Kikoski's Cecilia are the newest additions. Each title has exclusive Minus You audio tracks so you can practice and perfect your part while playing along with the other instruments. Some titles have slower versions also, like Carl Perkins' Mia and So You Say.
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
Minus You charts and audio let you rehearse whenever you want!
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
The wait is over . . . it's here!
The big day has finally come: our new website is live on jazzleadsheets.com!
Visit us now to see the brand new look and new features -- and new composers and music! Our new website includes an easy search function always at the top right of every page, embedded videos, expanded instrumental sections, new payment options (now including PayPal), and a mobile-friendly design. We now feature special content on our homepage, so be sure to click the dots at the bottom of the new arrivals graphic to browse this week's exclusive videos.
We hope you enjoy this revamp as much as we do. If you have any suggestions, click here to let us know what you think. We'd love to hear from you. It wouldn't be a news update from jazzleadsheets.com without new music. Here are our first releases of the summer.
Enjoy the music, Don Sickler and the jazzleadsheets.com team
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.
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 drummers — Billy 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.
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.
It's another update jam-packed with old favorites and new composers alike! Starting out with the familiar faces:
HANK MOBLEY’S STRAIGHT AHEAD This title comes from Hank Mobley’s “The Turnaround” album, which was unusual in that in combined two dates that are separated by two years. Quintet parts available. The drummer was the fantastic Billy Higgins and we’re offering a transcription of his drumming on the track.
And our NEW composers:
New composer ALBERT AMMONS and CHANGES IN BOOGIE WOOGIE This is a special treat for pianists. This transcription for solo piano comes from a recording made on January 6, 1939—the very first session for Blue Note Records! Our transcription includes not only all the notes, but the articulation and phrasing as well, so you can try to play it just like Albert himself.
THE LOVE WE HAD YESTERDAY by PAMELA BASKIN-WATSON, a composer new to jazzleadsheets.com. This beautiful composition was first recorded instrumentally by Bobby Watson, Pamela’s husband, in 1986, on his album “Love Remains.” Betty Carter recorded it in 1992, and our version, by vocalist Rachel Bronstein, was recorded this year. An accompaniment-only track is also available.
Check out our video of Rachel singing in our office studio!
And finally, new composer SHEILA JORDAN's THE CROSSING. If you’re feeling inclined towards folk this week, try out this legendary vocalist’s signature song. The folk-inspired piece is usually performed as a duet with voice and bass and is played very freely, allowing the vocalist to explore his/her voice without limitation. The lyric is inspirational advice from Sheila about reaching a higher plane of mindfulness through loving music.
This week we have five fantastic vocal pieces, including vocal transcriptions of legendary singers Anita O’Day, Chris Connor and Rachel Gould!
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.
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