new composers

  • New, new and more new.

    Since launching the new look of jazzleadsheets.com a couple of months ago (June 1), we've been creating and posting both a weekly Recording Anniversary Video and a weekly Birthday video. We hope you've had time to check these out. Each week they can be found by clicking on the dots under the NEW ARRIVALS slide on the HOME page.

    This week's Birthdays include four of our composers who have already been on jazzleadsheets.com for some time (Steve Nelson, Eddie Costa, Carl Perkins and Mal Waldron). This week also celebrates the birthdays of two of our composers who are new to jazzleadsheets.com. You may not be familiar with them: arranger/saxophonist Leon Mitchell and pianist Steve Corn.

    Once you've heard their music, however, you'll see why they're part of our family, and their birthdays give us a double reason to celebrate their music.

    Because we wouldn't have known about Steve Corn and his great music without composer/pianist Steve Allee, we thought this would also be the perfect week to introduce Steve Allee's wonderful music to jazzleadsheets.com. We feel it's also very important to see artists perform, so we're also posting a video of Steve performing his Morning Glory (solo piano - recorded at the Rudy Van Gelder studio). Now that we have the ability to include video on our site, we're also posting a video of Steve Allee telling you more about Steve Corn on Steve's Who May Climb The Mountain page.

    To round out this week's New Arrivals, we're celebrating trumpeter Ryan Kisor's recording anniversary with two more of his compositions.

    STEVE ALLEE: Morning Glory A medium up Latin with a comfortable background for a beautiful melody STEVE CORN: Who May Climb The Mountain An elastic and floating bossa RYAN KISOR: The Dream and Panic Attack A lyrical waltz and a challenging uptempo swing LEON MITCHELL: Late Spring A medium swing from Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers book, with second parts

  • New standards to play all summer

    Summer is heating up -- and with new lead sheets and arrangements, things are hotter than ever at jazzleadsheets.com. This week, we're welcoming new composer Sara Cassey, whose beautiful pieces are a favorite of those in the know. Be sure to check out our Recording Anniversaries video to hear the great music we're celebrating every day this week. And if you're looking for a piece to play with your quintet or sextet, check out our Quintet/Sextet list, which you can navigate to by clicking FEATURES then "Quintet/Sextet."

    JAMES WILLIAMS: Alter Ego A subtle, classic bossa nova

    SARA CASSEY: Windflower A subdued & meditative minor blues variation. Full arrangement available.

    BOOKER LITTLE: Bee Vamp A vamp-based uptempo swing. Full arrangement available.

    BOOKER LITTLE: Aggression Open-ended and forward-thinking.

    KENNY DREW: Callin' A hard bop swinger with a short form.

    Plus, celebrate Philly Joe Jones with a special treat! When you visit his composer page, you can hear a clip of Philly Joe telling his favorite joke.

  • New composers and new music all summer long

    We hope you're enjoying the new website. With our reboot behind us, we're back to focusing on what matters the most: the music. To start the summer off right, we're releasing new music every week. This week, we're proud to welcome composers Adriano Acea, Jon Gordon and John Webber to the site. We also have lead sheets and transcriptions of trumpeter Art Farmer, pianist Geoffrey Keezer and drummers Bill Stewart and Carl Allen to round out a selection that has something for everyone. Don't forget to check out our homepage for new videos and other featured content -- click the dots under the slider to see all the new material, updated weekly.

    Here's what's new on jazzleadsheets.com:

    Art Farmer - Flashback Get inside this medium swing, featuring Art Farmer's solo transcription, Geoff Keezer's piano solo and melody comping transcriptions, and Carl Allen's drum comping transcription

    Tom McIntosh - With Malice Toward None Appealing, adaptable with a touch of soul. Available in two different keys.

    Jon Gordon - Shape Up Intricate, contemporary and rhythmically complex. With Bill Stewart's drum comping and solo transcriptions and a video of Bill.

    Jon Webber - So Young An introspective and quirky ballad with second parts.

    Adriano Acea - Little Leona An enticing Latin/swing hybrid.

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

  • Welcome to the new jazzleadsheets.com!

    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.

    RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRKSerenade To A Cuckoo A sunny and whimsical swing featuring a video of Rahsaan Roland Kirk on flute.

    SLIDE HAMPTONFrame For The Blues This sultry slow blues is a classic. See three moving video performances.

    ROY HARGROVEMental Phrasing A fusion of modern jazz, hard bop, and Latin.

    JIM MCNEELY: Over The Edge A versatile samba with video of Jim McNeely & Stan Getz. Solo piano arrangement and exclusive audio track available.

    DON SICKLER: Tempo di Max A Don Sickler original with Minus You audio and a solo piano arrangement. See a 13 year-old Daryl Johns play at lightning speeds!

    RICHARD WYANDSYes It Is A syncopated swinger with exclusive audio and video.

    DOUG WATKINSBet Bass and trumpet play this medium swing melody. There's Minus You audio for every instrument.

    JIM ROTONDIMiller Time A cool and relaxed hard bop.

    BILL BARRONTone Colors Modern and striking!

    AL COHNThe Note Uptempo swing from a melodic master. This chart comes from the Al Cohn/Zoot Sims book -- make your own arrangement with our 1st and 2nd parts.

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

  • Hot this summer: new composers and big changes

    We’re gearing up for some exciting new changes. In late summer/early fall 2014, you’ll be seeing an entirely new look for jazzleadsheets.com, with completely new, intuitive browsing features; a modern, responsive design; and best of all, mobile capabilities — so you can find the music you love no matter where you are! Don’t worry about your account information: it will be migrated over to the new website. We can’t wait to see you over there!

    In order to maintain the quality of service you’ve come to expect from us, we’ll be raising our prices with the launch of the new website. We’ve always tried to keep our prices low so as many musicians as possible can enjoy playing our music. But as we keep expanding, we’ve outgrown our current website and need the resources to continue growing and developing this wonderful music. The increase in prices will also support our composers and allow us to start initiatives to promote and produce jazz in new ways while still maintaining accurate, clear, and beautiful lead sheets at a price everyone can enjoy. This fall, keep an eye out for new practice tools, exclusive audio releases, and a rhythm section workshop. With all these great resources and ways to share them, there’s never been a better time to be a jazzleadsheets.com supporter.

    What’s hot this summer?

    The temperature has been blazing at our office and the music has been just as steamy. We've got three new composers joining our roster, adding to our growing list of contemporary jazz artists with exciting modern music. Of course, it wouldn’t be a true jazzleadsheets.com update without a nod to our classic composers, so start off your summer sets with a pick from the venerable J.J. Johnson: Commutation.

    Wayne Escoffery The newly appointed winner of Downbeat’s Critic’s Poll for Rising Star Tenor Saxophonist joins us with a unique and enrapturing composition. Tell Me Why is sure to renew your set list with its elaborate layers that combine to create a beautiful, sweeping exploration.

    Grant Stewart Hot enough for you? Maybe it’s time to sip on a bit of this Scotch Thing, a supremely cool, relaxed, slow swing. Our editions include lead sheets from two recordings so you can see how the composition adapts to different arrangements. Why not try them both and compare?

    David Hazeltine Our last update welcomed two members of the hard-bop collective One For All, Eric Alexander and Jim Rotondi. Now their accomplished pianist joins us with two exciting compositions. Intended to be played in unison, both One For Peter and Pete’s Sake will challenge your combo to coordinate and work together on quick, bop-influenced lines. Get ready for a wild ride!

    Focus On Bass

    Are you a bass player, or do you know one who’s looking to get some shedding? Our two David Hazeltine pieces were inspired by the great Peter Washington and both feature full transcriptions of everything he plays on the tracks. Any bass lover should be sure to check out One For Peter and Pete’s Sake! Not enough bass for you? Scotch Thing has a bass solo transcription of Peter Washington as well!

    Keep playing the music!

    photo credit: ataferner via photopin cc

  • Spring is in full swing at jazzleadsheets.com

    Several years ago, Second Floor Music started putting out sextet arrangements that were recorded by the exciting group “One For All.” Two of the prominent writers in that group are Eric Alexander and Jim Rotondi who started recording together in 1996, a year before “One For All” officially recorded its first album. Eric and Jim have enjoyed writing compositions together over the years, and Biru Kirusai is one of at least seven of these collaborations.

    Quiet Fire is the second Donald Brown composition that we’re making available on jazzleadsheets.com. If you’re not familiar with this marvelous composer, this is a good place to start. Neither the melody or the solo chord progression is difficult. The first eight-measure phrase of the melody sets you up for adding eight measures of “colors” before resuming with twelve more measures of melody leading into a different “colors” section. It’s an added treat to hear the “colors” of Donald’s piano and the vibes of Steve Nelson on this recording.

    Steve Nelson is also another one of our marvelous composers, and Song For Justine is a constantly evolving melodic tour de force as it develops over its eighty-measure form.

    For those of you who only know the great bluesy and funky sides of Gene Ammons, we want to Sock you with one of his more swinging boppish heads.

    Lonnie Hillyer was one of our great trumpet players, and a good composer who unfortunately didn’t get to record his own compositions. Lonnie got to play Soft Shoulder on some gigs as a member of Charlie Rouse’s quintet, but unfortunately that group never got to record. I think everyone is going to enjoy playing it. I certainly know I have.

    Jazz lives if we play it!

  • New lead sheets in April

    Ready for some exciting news? As you might remember, our last group of leadsheets brought on two new composers to jazzleadsheets.com. It was such a hit that we’re keeping the new artists coming with two more this week: MELBA LISTON and ROY HARGROVE!

    Melba Liston, trombone virtuoso and composer-arranger extraordinaire, joins the roster with the gorgeous ballad Just Waiting. Honest, plaintive, and emotional, this composition is everything a ballad should be. We’re offering it in the original key of E-flat as well as the recorded key of C for maximum playing options — take your pick or try them both, and check out our audio excerpts in both keys.

    Also new to jazzleadsheets.com is the modern hard-bop pioneer Roy Hargrove, joining us with Dream Traveler. This Cuban-jazz hybrid has a strikingly modern harmonic progression and an appealing Latin groove — no surprise, given that it comes off the album that won Roy the 1998 Grammy for best Latin Jazz Performance!

    Hoping to see more of your favorite composers? We’ve got more from them, too! Ray Bryant is back this week with a classic, 18th Century Ballroom. This charming medium-up swing was first recorded by Cannonball Adderley, and it’s easy to see why he chose the chart: it’s a memorable, tuneful, upbeat, and immensely catchy melody that is sure to brighten your spirits. Just a few months later, it was recorded again by Toots Thieleman, so we’re offering arrangements from both recordings to double the possibilities.

    It’s been a while since we’ve featured saxophonist Harold Vick, so we’re bringing him back with his composition Night Flight. This lightning-speed chart is a real adrenaline rush and a whole lot of a fun to play. Our lead sheet includes suggested background voicings on the solos to take your arrangement to the next level.

    Finally, we’ve got our first instrumental composition from Rob Bargad. We’ve featured him before with beautiful vocals like Another World and All Because Of You, but you’ll see him in a whole new light after hearing Little J.J., a high-energy composition full of anticipation and syncopation. It’s an unusual piece — it has an unexpected form and harmonic structure — and it’s sure to invigorate your next set. Although it was originally recorded as a trio, we’ve made it available with a quintet arrangement as well.

  • 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.

  • Lots of news for the new year!

    Have you noticed all the latest developments on jazzleadsheets.com? 2014 has barely begun, but it’s already proving to be a huge year for us! If you haven’t been on our site in a while, check it out — you’ll see some new categories, with even more exciting changes to come as the year goes on.

    At the beginning of this month, we celebrated the 75th anniversary of Blue Note Records’ first session with the releases of Melancholy and Solitude, both from that historic January 6, 1939 date. But our celebration of the long partnership between our composers and Blue Note Records is far from complete! We’re introducing our Blue Note collection. Now you can easily find all of the compositions that have been featured on Blue Note releases throughout the years. But even more good news — we’ll be adding to this collection every month to celebrate more anniversaries throughout the year!

    This release, we have several anniversaries to celebrate, which means of course another set of top quality lead sheets. January 19th saw the 46th anniversary of a great Hank Mobley session that culminated with the release of “Reach Out!” In honor of Hank (and all of his fans at jazzleadsheets.com), we’re commemorating this anniversary with Lookin’ East, a laid-back medium groove piece with a bit of Latin flavor. Second parts available.

    The next day, January 20th, marked the 52nd anniversary of a lesser-known release: saxophonist Ike Quebec’s “Easy Living,” featuring Congo Lament by Bennie Green. This composition also has a Latin influence — maybe a touch more than Lookin’ East — and features a nice bluesy lick for the melody. Second parts available.

    Just a few days later we celebrated the 64th anniversary of the recording of Kenny Drew’s Fuguetta (Jan. 23rd, 1950). Originally recorded by trumpeter Howard McGhee, Fuguetta is an unexpected combination of Baroque and bebop, which go together surprisingly well. Try it for yourself and see!

    With all that celebrating, we thought we’d add a couple of ballads to cool us off. First, we’re introducing J.J. Johnson to the jazzleadsheets.com family with his classic ballad Enigma. Many musicians are familiar with the way Miles Davis recorded it, but only at jazzleadsheets.com can you find the original leadsheet, drawn from J.J.’s own manuscript and notated the way he first heard it. We’re very excited to offer this exclusive look inside such a tender, lyrical ballad.

    Finally, a treat for vocalists and their accompanists: Rob Bargad’s Another World. This sensitive, dreamy 20-bar ballad comes complete with an accompaniment-only track so singers can practice along with a professional ensemble to back them up. After you hear Dena DeRose’s plaintive rendition of it, we’re sure you’ll want to try it yourself.

  • Happy 75th Birthday, Blue Note Records!

    On January 6, 1939, Blue Note Records was born when Alfred Lion brought pianists Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis into the recording studio (probably WMGM Studio in NYC) and recorded 19 tracks. The first pressings on the Blue Note label became part of a 12” 78 rpm series. The very first pressing (BN-1) was Meade Lux Lewis’ solo performances of Melancholy on side 1A and Solitude on side 1B. On the 75th anniversary of these important recordings, jazzleadsheets.com is proud to make available piano transcription editions of these important Meade Lux Lewis works.

    Of course, music recorded in 1939 sounds very different from the music of today. However, in 1939, these two much in demand young pianists (in their early 30s) surely felt they were recording cutting edge music for the new young record producer in town, 30-year-old Alfred Lion. This experience took over Alfred Lion’s life and became the foundation for one of the most significant jazz record companies ever.

    Both of Meade Lux Lewis’ compositions explore the softer, slower side of boogie-woogie. The contrasts in textures, dynamics and techniques within each of these compositions is truly stunning, and we’ve captured it all here in our detailed piano transcriptions.

    Albert Ammons’ Changes In Boogie Woogie from this same historic session is also on jazzleadsheets.com. It’s a seven-chorus solo piano blues journey through six keys.

    1939 may have been 75 years ago, but with these transcriptions, you can relive history right at your own piano. So celebrate Blue Note’s 75th with us and check out these two historic compositions — we’re sure they won’t disappoint.

    P.S.: For our New York City area friends, be sure to check out Blue Note’s own celebratory concert on Wednesday, January 8, at Town Hall, featuring two innovative contemporary pianists, Robert Glasper and Jason Moran. Tickets are available here.

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