I’m a sucker for a great ballad, and this time three out of the five new compositions on jazzleadsheets are exactly that, ballads. They’re written by three great pianists, from three different generations, who are all known for their sensitivity as artists. It’s not surprising that the music is wonderful. I encourage everyone to check out our audio excerpts.
Because the excerpts start at the beginning of the melodies, you don’t get an indication of the form of the compositions. Renaissance Lovers by James Williams is a beautiful continuously developing 12-measure melody. Richard Wyands’ Willow Tree spins out over 24 measures (ABA form), as does Cecilia Coleman’s 32-measure (AABA) Posie.
If you listen to the intro of the recording of Charles Fambrough’s Alycia, where pianist Kenny Kirkland plays the C section of the AABC melody in a rubato ballad style, you could easily think that it’s also going to be a ballad, but Charles conceived it as a bossa. Of course, it could be performed as a ballad, as well.
Our last composition this time is Ray Bryant’s Pawn Ticket, which is definitely not a ballad. It’s full of Ray’s wit and energy and will definitely put a smile on your face.