News

  • October 15, 2011 ballads and more

    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 WyandsWillow 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.

    --Don Sickler

  • New June 17, 2011

    NEWS from jazzleadsheets.com June 17, 2011

    We get quite a few orders from European musicians. European artists have certainly contributed greatly to the jazz world over the years, so I decided it would be fun to bring you two Belgian artists/composers from different generations, Bobby Jaspar and Jeanfrançois Prins.

    Flute Bob by Belgian-born flutist Bobby Jaspar, who was active in the 1950s and who recorded with American jazz legends JJ Johnson, Kenny Burrell, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Chet Baker, etc.

    My Main Man by Jeanfrançois Prins, Belgian-born guitarist, composer, producer, educator, active today in Europe and in the US.

    Two compositions by well-known artists, established composers at jazzleadsheets.com: Benji’s Bounce by Dexter Gordon and Afrodisia by Kenny Dorham.

    And a new composer and brilliant artist who played for a quarter of a century with the Duke Ellington Orchestra: Salute To Charlie Parker by Ellington clarinetist Jimmy Hamilton. In researching the biography of Jimmy Hamilton, I found some fascinating information in the Feather/Gitler Encyclopedia. I had remembered the name Frank Fairfax from reading about Dizzy Gillespie’s start in the jazz world, but I had no idea until I read Feather/Gitler that there were three young trumpet players in the Fairfax band. Dizzy, Charlie Shavers and Jimmy Hamilton, before he started his illustrious career on clarinet and tenor sax. Wow, what a trumpet section! That really perked my interest about the Frank Fairfax band, so in today’s world I thought all I’d have to do is Google Frank Fairfax and I’d find lots of info. Well, all I basically found was that reference to the three young trumpeters. Can anybody help me with more information about Frank Fairfax and his group?

    --Don Sickler

  • Five new composers May 28, 2011

    As I’m sure you’ve been able to see, we publish for a lot of great composers. This week we’re adding five new ones to jazzleadsheets.com. Except for Eddie Costa, who died five years before I got to New York, I’ve had the honor of knowing them personally.

    Of these additions, guitarist Chuck Wayne was the first on the jazz scene. He emerged in the early 1940s and contributed greatly to the new music that was being called bebop. His composition Slightly Dizzy will bring you right back to the energy of the bebop era. It illustrates a favorite device of composers and improvisers, borrowing and enhancing the chord changes of an American standard: this time, How High The Moon.

    Pianist Norman Simmons arrived on the recording scene in the early 1950s. Early on, he wrote a hit for prominent Chicago tenor saxophonist Paul Bascomb. This helped ensure a steady gig for his trio at important Chicago clubs that brought in guest artists, which in turn provided Norman the opportunity to accompany Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Wardell Grey and many more of the jazz greats. Norman has written many wonderful compositions that we’ll be exploring in the months to come. I decided to start your introduction to him with Stiffed, Norman’s clever composition based on the changes of Just Friends.

    Eddie Costa (piano and vibes) also emerged in the 1950s. He was the Down Beat Critics poll winner on both instruments in 1957. Unfortunately, he was killed in a car accident at thirty-one years of age, and he hadn’t spent much time writing his own original compositions. He did write a few, however, and we’ll be exploring them in the months to come. For now, enjoy his Blues Plus Eight.

    I miss bassist/composer Charles Fambrough, who died this past January, 2011. Charles had a long bout battling kidney failure. He loved music, and we always had beautiful conversations about music and musicians. Charles was still in his twenties when he wrote and recorded One For Honor with McCoy Tyner. He was not only one of the foremost bassists of his generation, but also a marvelous composer.

    Cecilia Coleman is the youngest of our five new composers, but she’s been on the NYC scene now for over a decade. She is originally from California, where she did some recording and composing before coming to New York. She’s a marvelous pianist/composer with a broad composing palette. If her name already looks familiar to you at jazzleadsheets.com, it’s because she’s the pianist on many of the tracks we’ve recorded for jazzleadsheets.com. Her own first composition to be posted is an interesting 3/4 adventure called Pearl.

    --Don Sickler

  • new May titles

    Dexter Gordon’s Le Coiffeur, a title with echoes of 1950s TV, but hipper

    Ronnie Mathews’s Dorian, an exploration of the dorian mode, along with Ronnie’s solo piano arrangement

    Basheer’s Dream by Gigi Gryce, from Kenny Dorham’s Afro-Cuban album

    Sound Within An Empty Room, a beautiful ballad by Fritz Pauer, played by Art Farmer and Pauer. Pauer’s solo piano arrangement available, too.

    The vocal version of Pauer’s instrumental ballad, with lyric by vocalist Mark Murphy, titled Empty Room

    Enjoy the music. Make time to play new music every week! Don Sickler

  • finally, new music! April 2011

    Una Mas - Kenny Dorham - A Kenny Dorham classic. Lead sheets and second parts from his Blue Note recording (complete with shout chorus). Also, solo piano arrangement by Ronnie Mathews.

    Only You - Kenny Drew - A beautiful ballad that pianist Kenny Drew also recorded later at a medium swing tempo. Check out his original chord voicings.

    A Night In Barcelona - Harold Land - A medium bossa with an interesting recurring bass line figure. Flute/Vibes part (Bobby Hutcherson recorded it) available.

    Fire One - Carl Perkins - Lots of twists and turns in this great question and answer melody by one of the unsung “groove” masters.

    Opus In Turquoise - Gene Roland - A beautiful, simple melody, orchestrated by a master. Kenton band backgrounds in C treble clef version.

  • new jazzleadsheets 2/21/11

    C.F.D. - Jack Wilson An exciting quartet piece (with vibes) that would be great for horns - technical but swinging - by the extremely elegant and meticulous West Coast pianist Jack Wilson. First and second parts.

    Fox Hunt - Bill Barron Recorded fifty years ago this month! Take a minute to explore the complexities and inner strengths of Bill Barron’s composition.

    Hipsippy Blues - Hank Mobley Everyone can enjoy this—swinging with the Jazz Messengers “live” at Birdland, “The Jazz Corner of the World.” Another Hank Mobley classic.

    Mo Is On - Elmo Hope Classic uptempo Elmo Hope. Recorded by Elmo’s trio, in 1953, on their first jazz trio recording together. In 1948 this same trio (Percy Heath on bass and Philly Joe Jones on drums) recorded as the rhythm section for Joe Morris’ R&B group. Challenging, but also great for horn players.

    Why Not? - Johnny Griffin Composer/saxophonist Johnny Griffin’s experiment in sound: 2 basses, tenor sax, French Horn, drums. Why Not? First and second parts. Another 50th Anniversary recording. French Horn players - there’s a part for you!

    I hope you enjoy these. Don Sickler

  • Two new composers: Mal Waldron and Gene Roland

    Mood Malody by Mal Waldron This is the first Mal Waldron composition on jazzleadsheets.com. It was recorded by Mal on piano, on what was Jackie McLean’s first album as a leader, with a young Donald Byrd on trumpet in the front line. As far as we can determine, it’s Mal’s first recorded jazz composition. Melody and second parts available.

    Rat Race Blues by Gigi Gryce This composition definitely brings to mind the tension and discord of modern life in a big city. Although the melody starts out simply, it is eventually played simultaneously by three instruments, each in a different key. Gigi expanded the composition into a larger form for a film project, and it became the soundtrack of a prize-winning film. See details on jazzleadsheets.com.

    Same To You by Johnny Griffin A playful Johnny Griffin title that gives you a good technical workout. It was recorded by an unusual ensemble: tenor sax, drums, and two basses, on Johnny’s “Change Of Pace” album. This album is having its 50th anniversary this month.

    Good Old Soul by Tina Brooks We feel it’s very important that everyone has the opportunity to buy the original track. This arrangement appears twice (with an added alternate take) on the original Blue Note session, but they’re both long tracks. At iTunes, you have to get the whole album. Amazon makes longer takes available, so I’ve now added this arrangement to jazzleadsheets.com along with the other two shorter Tina Brooks compositions that we already have online. “True Blue” is a great album, played by an important cast of jazz artists assisting Tina Brooks: Freddie Hubbard, Duke Jordan, Sam Jones and Art Taylor. Latin bridge, swing solos. Great to play. Second parts available.

    Opus In Chartreuse by Gene Roland We have the honor of publishing quite a few Gene Roland gems. Opus In Chartreuse was an important mainstay of the Stan Kenton band. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to see this master, Gene Roland, at work, doing what he did best, which was write music. I can’t remember who called me, or exactly when it was, but it had to be sometime in the 1970s. I was living in New York, in the theater district, and I got a call to make a rehearsal band. When I arrived I was introduced to Gene Roland, who handed out a few charts, and we rehearsed. I knew who Gene was, and I knew he was a trumpet player, but at this rehearsal he also played tenor sax. After the rehearsal, we were asked if we could make another rehearsal in a week, and we all agreed to come back. The following week, to my utter amazement, Gene passed out a whole book, 20 or 30 complete arrangements for the band. It wasn’t a full big band, but there were seven or eight horns and rhythm section. Gene had not only written the entire book of arrangements that week, but he’d also written out all the parts himself. I was blown away!

    Enjoy the music. Don Sickler

  • end-of-January music from jazzleadsheets

    Click on the links to get more info and to hear the music.

    Bevan’s Birthday - Tadd Dameron Another Tadd Dameron composition from the famous Magic Touch album - a lilting melody enhanced by Tadd’s complex harmonies that starts Latin and then goes into swing.

    Early Bird - Carl Perkins An easy-going and fun swinger from the talented, unfortunately short-lived composer/pianist Carl Perkins.

    Hank’s Tune - Hank Mobley Recorded by Horace Silver, with Hank on tenor and Donald Byrd on trumpet.

    Splittin’ - Ray Bryant Three different C treble clef lead sheets for a very popular Ray Bryant title: two from trio recordings where Ray was the pianist, and the third from a quintet recording with Hank Jones on piano. Melody and second parts for horns.

    Transition Blues - Hank Mobley Hank Mobley’s tribute to the Transition label finally gets the correct title. Check the Historical Notes to read about it.

    Thanks! Don Sickler

  • 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

  • New titles January 6, 2011

    For our first composition by tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin, we’re bringing you Sweet Sucker, which he wrote for himself and trombonist Bennie Green to play on Bennie’s “Glidin’ Along” recording for Jazzland in 1961. Vocalist and lyricist Judy Niemack loved the instrumental, and wrote and recorded a lyric version which we’re also making available (Dancin’ Like We Did Before), as well as an accompaniment-only mp3 of that track. Sweet Sucker - Johnny Griffin Dancin’ Like We Did Before - Johnny Griffin & Judy Niemack

    News For Lulu - Sonny Clark This is from Sonny Clark’s sextet recording “Sonny’s Crib” which featured the front line of Donald Byrd (trumpet), John Coltrane (tenor sax) and Curtis Fuller (trombone). The horns break into harmony in only a few places, so our lead sheet editions show just the melody, except for C treble clef. As usual, all the parts are indicated in the C treble clef lead sheet. If you would like to play this as originally recorded with your own sextet, the original Tenor Sax (2nd part) and Trombone (3rd part) are also available as well as the original detailed Bass part.

    Mox-Nix - Art Farmer [2 Art Farmer solos only] November Afternoon - Tom McIntosh [Art Farmer solo only] We want to present three more wonderful Art Farmer solos. The first solo on Mox-Nix is from a quintet recording, and is the earliest of the three solos. The next Mox-Nix solo and Art’s November Afternoon solo come from two different incarnations of The Jazztet. Most Jazztet arrangements are quite involved, and therefore not suitable to be represented by a lead sheet. They really require a full score and individual parts. Thanks to our new relationship with ejazzlines.com, these two Jazztet arrangements are available there, and we have Art’s solos here, at jazzleadsheets.com.

    The Jazztet arrived on the scene with their first album (“Meet The Jazztet”), recorded in February, 1960. This Art Farmer-Benny Golson sextet also featured Curtis Fuller on trombone, who told me that he actually gave the group its name. The rhythm section also featured a newcomer, pianist McCoy Tyner (on his second recording date). The composer and arranger of November Afternoon was also The Jazztet’s trombonist when “The Jazztet At Birdhouse” (Argo LP 688) was recorded, with Cedar Walton on piano.

    Try to celebrate the New Year with music. Jazz music. Don Sickler

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