• Blue Spring Shuffle: The K.D. Challenge

    "The K.D. Challenge" is our hint that Kenny Dorham compositions are not only challenging, they're intriguing, great-and-fun-to-play masterworks. They are some of the most unique and important small group compositions in jazz. We've added the swinging, relaxed Blue Spring Shuffle this week.

    One of the things that sets Kenny Dorham apart from other composers is his emphasis on the specific roles of the individual rhythm section players. The often-distinctive role of each rhythm section player is part of the composition, not just part of an arrangement. The independent instrumental parts combine in an interplay that is more than the sum of the parts. To help each individual player, because everyone has to know what's happening,  we've made each rhythm section part double-staved, showing a smaller staff with the melody above each part. You'll find it's very helpful to see the melody in relation to your own part. Often we'll also indicate other rhythm section cues so you can really see how everything fits together.

    Try our Minus You audio tracks (click on the Minus You tab for each title): every rhythm section player can have his/her own audio track,  minus their instrument, to practice with. You can master your role while also accompanying recorded soloists. Melody players will have a great rhythm section behind them for the melody and also for soloing.

    Many fans have said, "K.D. is the cat!" Jerry the Jazz Musician wrote: "His music remains more than basically satisfying to his listeners. It smokes!"

  • Lucky Thompson tribute composer Adam Brenner debuts with his compositional tribute to the great saxophonist/composer Lucky Thompson, titled Lucky Thompson. Adam details his meeting with Lucky, in a park in Savannah, Georgia, in the historical notes, and the motivation behind the song.

  • Freddie Redd "And Time Marches On"

    A delightful, infectious and bluesy march from the star of The Connection. Freddie's own 1991 recording is featured, along with a recent treatment by our team. Our Minus You tracks and parts let you be part of the action.

  • Five new!

    Five new compositions, all with C treble clef, C bass clef, B-flat and E-flat lead sheet versions, plus more.

    Waltz for Marilyn is a beautiful ballad written by the late Don Friedman, originally recorded on Don's 2007 album of the same name. Available recordings include a piano/bass duo with bassist Daryl Johns playing with Don at the Van Gelder Studio, captured on video. Plus Don's Solo Piano Arrangement, played by Kenny Drew, Jr. and also recorded by Rudy Van Gelder.

    In honor of his June 16 birthday, two Lucky Thompson titles entitled Dancing Sunbeam and Mister Man. These tunes were originally recorded by Lucky and legendary bassist Oscar Pettiford and both serve as strong bass features, rich with bebop vocabulary. Check out Lucky's transcribed Tenor Sax solo on Dancing Sunbeam (in B-flat and C editions). Our own quartet made a new recording of both songs so Minus You audio tracks are also available for each instrument (Minus Melody, Minus Piano, Minus Bass, Minus Drums). Just click on the Don Sickler Quartet album cover, pick a song, then click on the Minus You tab. Summer intern Jack Aylor demonstrates the Minus Melody track (and Minus Bass, since both Thompson titles feature the bass playing the melody) in a Dancing Sunbeam video filmed at the studio.

    Lastly, two tunes from the album The Things We Need by saxophonist Jon Gordon are being released: Stapleton (a grooving bluesy track with great, stepwise changes to blow over) and Minor Dues (a swinging minor blues).

  • Griffin's When We Were One and Rolling On with Elmo Hope

    Captivate your audience with saxophonist Johnny Griffin's incredible ballad, When We Were One. Two versions, both recorded by Johnny, along with his Solo Piano Arrangement. Then scramble to get your breath as you play along with the Minus You tracks of Elmo Hope's Roll On (Minus You tracks for all instruments!). Hear exclusive audio of NY saxophonist Bobby Porcelli recorded by Rudy at Van Gelder's Studio, along with the Seattle-based New Stories trio.

  • Celebrating Tadd Dameron's 100th!

    We were able to put up two new Tadd Dameron compositions on the day of his 100th birthday (February 21, 2017), and now we've finished the editions and the notes for five new Tadd Dameron instrumentals and three vocals. As you'll hear, Dameron's composing is always identifiable as Tadd and always delightful. Check these out, and we know you'll enjoy playing them.

    Smooth As The Wind - A Blue Time - I Remember Love

    Never Been In Love Minus You track available - I'm Never Happy Anymore

    Wonderful lyrics have been added to three of these instrumentals by either Georgie Fame or Irving Reid, and we hope singers will check them out.

    There's No More Blue Time (vocal, lyric by Georgie Fame)

    Never Been In Love (vocal, lyric by Irving Reid) Minus You track available

    I'm Never Happy Anymore (vocal, lyric by Irving Reid)

    Hear a sample of our Minus You tracks on our YouTube channel.

  • Seven new charts plus Minus You audio for each one.

    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!

  • New Dorham, Gryce, Redd and Hope lead sheets and audio tracks

    Five great new titles plus further explorations of four songs through new editions and recordings. Plus, all nine now have Minus You audio tracks, providing fun and valuable learning opportunities for all instrumentalists.

    Take a little time to explore our Minus You editions and tracks. Our tracks give every member of the group an individual audio track minus their instrument: you can be an essential member of the group playing along with professional artists in your own practice room. Minus Melody, Minus Piano, Minus Bass, Minus Drums, and often a track with just Bass & Drums, so Piano/Vibes/Guitar can play the melody, or a soloist can work, a la Sonny Rollins, without harmonic accompaniment. Click on FEATURES, click the Minus You heading, then click on FOR INSTRUMENTALISTS.

    KENNY DORHAM: One of the magical things that sets Kenny Dorham apart from other composers is his emphasis on specific roles for each rhythm section player. His independent instrumental parts mandate delicate interplay between all ensemble members, hence our project title The K.D. Challenge. We've made each rhythm section part double-staved, showing a smaller melody staff above each line, and we've also indicated other rhythm section cues to make it clear how everything fits together.

    BACK ROAD by Kenny Dorham: With its bluesy melody and rhythm section stop-time, this song is quintessential K.D. Second parts from the Joe Henderson/Kenny Dorham "Our Thing" album are available, plus our K.D. Challenge version has Minus You tracks for all instruments.

    PEDRO'S TIME by Kenny Dorham: A classic Dorham song with a 12-measure form that's not quite a blues. Our K.D. Challenge version has Minus You tracks for all instruments; second parts like saxophonist Joe Henderson played with Kenny on the classic "Our Thing" album are available.

    FREDDIE REDD: A pianist/composer who got early recognition from the his role in "The Connection" play and movie, Freddie is a master of hard bop. Our Freddie Redd Project recordings, with Minus You audio tracks, brings his music into a new zone.

    1:00 A.M. STANDARD TIME by Freddie Redd:  Starting the melody with an even-8th line which becomes its own important motivic element, this song essentially has a classic hard-bop sound, with stop-time figures in the head and a constantly evolving melody and chord progression. Our exclusive version has Minus You tracks for all instruments as well as second parts

    BLUE HOUR by Freddie Redd: A harmonic workout in the unique Freddie Redd style. Recorded twice by Freddie in a trio format, our exclusive Freddie Redd Project quintet recording is available with Minus You tracks for all instruments, plus second parts, bass part & condensed score.

    FAREWELL TO SWEDEN by Freddie Redd: A tribute to his 1956 trip to Sweden is a laid-back, bittersweet medium swinger. In addition to the original trio recording, a new quintet version is available with Minus You tracks.

    GIGI GRYCE: Gigi Gryce was a fine altoist in the 1950s, but it was his writing skills, both composing and arranging that were considered most notable. We have Minus You versions of some of his best songs.

    MINORITY by Gigi Gryce: Gigi's standard is represented by three different recordings. Art Blakey's in 1954, Gigi's own in 1960, and our version recorded in 1999, featuring Gigi's pianist Richard Wyands and alto/tenor soloists Bobby Porcelli and Ralph Moore. Minus You audio and more!

    SALUTE TO BIRDLAND by Gigi Gryce is written on I'll Remember April changes. Our new Gigi Gryce Project version is available with Minus You audio tracks for all instruments. Perfect for an audition tape.

    SOCIAL CALL by Gigi Gryce has been covered by many artists. Check out the four versions we have posted: Art Farmer/Gigi Gryce, Art Blakey and a nonet, Donald Byrd/Gigi Gryce, and our own version with Minus You tracks from The Gigi Gryce Project recording.

    ELMO HOPE and MINOR BERTHA: Our first Rhythm Section Workshop edition. It's definitely a real workout for rhythm section players, demanding everyone's full attention at all times. Listen to Elmo's original recording and you'll see it was also a workout for his rhythm section. Try it on your own with our Minus You tracks or challenge your own group.

  • Great new music to play

    Get Away Blue - Chris Swansen Chris Swansen, a talented, innovative and fearless composer, comes to with his delightful and challenging Get Away Blue. Replete with time signature changes, its even phrases and relatively simple changes make it (sort of) easy to follow and definitely fun to play.

    Karita - Robert Watson One of Watson's most engaging titles, this Latin melody is based on a syncopated line, developed in the bridge. Rhythm hits are shown in all lead sheet editions.

    One For Liam – Jon Gordon Jon's modal blues was first recorded by alto sax and piano. Modern, with complex melodies and rhythms, it's great as a duo but it could get really interesting as a trio (adding either bass or drums) or why not as a quartet . . .

    Soft Impressions - Hank Mobley A minor blues with that unmistakable Mobley funk. Recorded in 1966, trumpet and tenor sax mostly in unison, this is a ball for any ensemble to play.

    Wildwood - Gigi Gryce This is a swinging early Gryce song that's been recorded surprisingly many times, including several live versions by Stan Getz. We feature four of Getz' recordings here.

  • ELMO HOPE honored with ELMO HOPE WAY


    Update: see a short movie about the naming of ELMO HOPE WAY

    Elmo Hope, one of the forerunners of the Be-Bop style of Jazz, will be honored with a sign unveiling ceremony on Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 11 :00 am, when Lyman Place, Bronx, New York, will be co-named Elmo Hope Way - Jazz Pioneer. The sign unveiling will be on Lyman Place between Freeman Street and East 169th Street/Rev. James Polite Avenue. Immediately following, the Bronx Music Heritage Center, founded by Bobby Sanabria and Elena Martinez, will host a reception. The Jazz Foundation of New York is sponsoring the musical performance at BMHC by jazz pianist and educator, Bertha Hope, who will perform Elmo's compositions with her band, Nu-Trio.


    Elmo Hope was born on June 27, 1923 and named "St. Elmo," after the patron saint of sailors. He was the first child born to Ida Gertrude and Simeon Hope, West Indian immigrants who settled at 1358 Lyman Place to raise him, together with his six brothers and two sisters. As a youth Elmo won many piano competitions, including prizes at Carnegie Hall recitals. He began writing jazz compositions at a young age and practiced incessantly with his childhood friends Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk.

    Elmo traveled throughout the United States and Canada playing with territory bands. In 1953, Lou Donaldson invited him to record with Clifford Brown, Elmo's first recording for the Blue Note label. Elmo became a member of the Chet Baker Ensemble and moved to California, where he enjoyed many wonderful experiences with local musicians Harold Land and Curtis Counce. Throughout this period Elmo wrote exemplary compositions that endure to this day and are included in several university curricula across the country and in Europe.

    Elmo met his wife-to-be, Bertha Rosemond - a pianist of some standing in her own right - at a club in Los Angeles one evening. A few years later they married and had three children, Monica, Kevin and Daryl. Once back in New York, they settled again on Lyman Place and Elmo reconnected with band mates Frank Foster and Jimmy Heath, as well as Blue Mitchell. Landed a wide array of performing and recording dates with musicians such as Charlie Parker, Jackie McLean, Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon and Jimmy Cobb among many others.

    While Elmo's untimely death from a heart attack on May 19, 1967, left a great void in the heart of his family and the jazz community, his contributions as composer, leader, arranger and sideman on more than 70 albums is significant. A great deal of his music as bandleader is available on and iTunes and Elmo's compositions are available as lead sheets at, with Second Floor Music's combo arrangements at Bertha Hope's compositions are also on

Items 11 to 20 of 112 total