• 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

  • New music plus new composers

    Saxophonist Jon Gordon's SICILY is shown in three different settings: sextet, trio and quintet, with a transcription of Jon's alto solo from the live quintet version available (plus a video of his performance). First part lead sheet editions and second and third part editions for various instruments plus concert condensed score and Solo Piano Arrangement are available.

    Lucky Thompson's composition TRANSLATION takes you on a laid-back medium swing journey, presenting an entirely different way to explore What's New changes. Great for one person to play the melody. His original tenor sax/trombone two-horn front line arranged parts are also available.

    PATIENCE is bassist Santi Debriano's beautiful 3/4 melody over pedal-point harmonies, originally recorded by guitarist Larry Coryell.

    Saxophonist Don Lanphere is new to this week. He's probably best known for his recordings with trumpeter Fats Navarro and drummer Max Roach in the early days of bebop, but also had a second career as a recording artist and educator starting in the 1980s. We look at his composition STOP from two recordings: 1949 and 1986. Lead sheets and Fats Navarro's trumpet solo (master and alternate take) available.

    Bassist Yuriy Galkin's prize-winning bass feature, BASS SONG, is an intriguing contrapuntal 3/4 medium swing. Yuriy has also written a Solo Bass Arrangement. A great new addition to our Bass Corner.

    And don't forget about a great way to spend Sunday nights: Nick Scheuble's radio show Rudy's Place featuring tracks recorded by engineer Rudy Van Gelder, 10 pm on WFDU.FM HD2.

  • Four new HANK MOBLEY titles

    The recording session introducing these compositions took place 50 years ago, on March 18, 1966 ("A Slice Of The Top"). Hank on tenor and Lee Morgan on trumpet, with an expanded front line of James Spaulding on alto sax and flute, Kiane Zawadi on euphonium, Howard Johnson on tuba,plus the rhythm section of McCoy Tyner, piano; Bob Cranshaw, bass; Billy Higgins, drums. Hank's compositions were arranged by Duke Pearson for the original session. Great music, but how many times do you have an ensemble of that size?Knowing how popular Hank Mobley music is among our musicians, we made lead sheets that work with any size group.

    Cute 'N Pretty A minor folksy intro leads into the lilting 3/4 A-section melody which expands into an energy 2-against-3 solo B-section.

    A Touch Of Blue  The fun starts with a climbing call and response A section that develops into a back-beat pedal double bridge which opens up further in the solo section.

    A Slice Of The Top  With a faintly oriental flavor, built around a two-measure vamp, this modal song with a Latin groove is classic later Mobley.

    Hank's Other Bag  Uptempo hard bop with a pentatonic melody, sort of a 14-bar blues, it definitely keeps your interest as you cycle through it.

  • Chambers, Drew, Hargrove, Thompson: new titles

    Visitation - Paul Chambers March 2 marks the 60th anniversary of Paul Chambers' own recording of his classic bass feature composition, Visitation. Paul was a true "young lion" at age 20 when he recorded this on his first album as a leader (March 2, 1956). In addition to lead sheets, his transcribed bass solo is available from that recording. We also have two different exclusive audio recordings available; each of them have Minus You audio tracks as well. The bassist on both of our recordings is Daryl Johns (who was 13 years old at the time of both recordings). Both are quartet recordings, but very different: the first is a standard quartet (trumpet/piano/bass/drums}; the second quartet is multiple basses (four basses--all performed by Daryl Johns).

    Context - Kenny Drew This is a classic Kenny Drew composition, and we're giving you four different performances to explore. Two of the performances include trumpeter Art Farmer videos, so you can now see him play as well as check out his solos in our transcribed solo editions.

    Soppin' The Biscuit - Roy Hargrove A great groove head - this one will definitely put a smile on your face and get your head bobbin'. Fun to play. Roy originally recorded it with tenor great Stanley Turrentine.

    Tom-Kattin' - Lucky Thompson We're going to get more deeply into "rhythm changes" in the coming months, so this is a good one to get started with. You can also check out Lucky's transcribed tenor sax solo for more rhythm changes ideas.

  • Rudy's Place, a radio show playing recordings made by legendary engineer Rudy Van Gelder

    If you're a fan of, you're probably a fan of Rudy Van Gelder, the engineer who recorded most of the early Blue Note and Prestige catalogs, along with many other great albums. Here's something you might like to know about: a radio show dedicated to his work.

    “Rudy’s Place” Sundays 10:00pm to 1:00am Eastern Standard Time Broadcast over Internet Radio which is heard worldwide. Listeners type WFDU.FM into their browser and click on HD2 "Jazz and What's More." See the end of this article for more ways to hear it.

    Nick Scheuble hosts “Rudy’s Place,” a jazz show dedicated to playing music recorded by the most famous engineer in jazz history, Rudy Van Gelder, whose legendary studio is nearby in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

    Van Gelder’s career has spanned over 6 decades, recording Jazz icons such as John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Thelonious Monk; for labels such as Blue Note, Prestige, Impulse and others. He is the engineer who recorded Coltrane's “A Love Supreme,” Oliver Nelson's “Blues and the Abstract Truth,” Wayne Shorter's “Speak No Evil,” Wes Montgomery's “Smokin' at the Half Note” and countless other masterpieces. His name on a recording is a bonafide jazz “seal of approval.”

    Your host Nick Scheuble is a professional jazz drummer who has performed with artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, Steve Turre and Bill Crow. In the fall of 2013, Rudy Van Gelder recorded his daughter Leonieke Scheuble’s album entitled, “Debut.” Nick drummed on half the record and Jimmy Cobb (drummer on Miles Davis’ "Kind of Blue") drummed on the other half.

    The magic of Rudy’s studio--Rudy saying “Those are the steps where John Coltrane sat after he recorded 'A Love Supreme'” and hearing “The Old Girl,” (the organ that Jimmy Smith played on those historic Blue Note sides), along with Rudy’s genius--inspired the concept for this show.

    From his first recordings for Blue Note in 1952, through his most current recordings, be prepared to hear the very best in Jazz through the mastery of Rudy Van Gelder. Tune into “Rudy’s Place” Sundays at 10:00 p.m.

    Please visit Nick’s website at WFDU(FM) is owned and operated by Fairleigh Dickinson University

    Ways to hear the program: -- Listening live: WFDUHD2 Sundays at 10 pm Eastern time US (for this method, you need an HD2 or internet radio--some modern cars have these).

    -- The next way is to type WFDU.FM in your browser (on your computer) and click the HD2 icon. Again, this is done live Sunday's at 10pm Eastern time and can be accessed anywhere in the world.

    -- The last way is the access archives so you can hear the broadcast any time of the day or night. In your browser, type Once there, select a "Sunday" and click on "Rudy's Place."

    If anyone wants to tell Rudy how his work has affected your life, send a short email to

  • New Hank Mobley and more . . .

    A new one from saxophonist Hank Mobley: UP OVER AND OUT, a 16-measure blues with Mobley's signature swing and groove. Guitarist George Benson and the rhythm section establish an infectious vamp figure that the horn melody further elevates before swinging out the last eight measures of the head. A great energy opener or closer!

    Pianist Elmo Hope's NIETA has an unusual 32-measure form (eight bars of the same chord progression repeated three times under the melody). Elmo sets off the melody with a Latin intro and adds a tutti rhythmical interlude at the end of the melody to set up each soloist. First and second parts are available, plus a Concert Condensed Score for the rhythm section.

    Trombonist Curtis Fuller's ability to write music that sounds (and is) simply fun to play is demonstrated in his SYMPTOMS. Recorded by Curtis and tenor saxophonist Benny Golson, second parts are available for all instruments as well as a Concert Condensed Score for the rhythm section.

    Pianist Milton Sealey, new to, is represented by his BLACK DIAMOND, a lilting, delightful 3/4 romp recorded first by multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk. An Easy Solo Piano Arrangement by Don Sickler is available, plus lead sheets.

    Now for additions to our Singers' Corner: Transformed into a dark, haunting tale, Sealey's Black Diamond became THE DRAGONFLY AND THE PEARL with lyric added by vocalist Roberta Gambarini and lyricist Bebe Herring.

    ICE WHITE BLUES, by Judy Niemack and Jeanfrançois Prins, shows one side of breaking up that feels like two: ice and fire. A blues with a bridge, the melody is notated as Judy performed it. Exclusive complete track and minus-you audio available, plus a video of the composers performing it together.

  • New titles in February, 2016

    These titles were originally recorded in the month of January, various years.

    DEEP PASSION by Lucky Thompson. A classic ballad by one of the masters of ballad writing and playing, on tenor sax. Lucky recorded this one twice, once in a quartet format with pianist Hank Jones, bassist Oscar Pettiford and drummer Osie Johnson; and once with the Oscar Pettiford Orchestra. We're providing lead sheets (the same for both recordings) as well as Lucky's Melody and Solo Transcriptions from both recordings. A perfect opportunity to examine in depth the melodic and rhythmic artistry of this great artist and composer. Our own Elijah Shiffer and pianist Isaiah Thompson demonstrate their version on video.

    A LADY'S VANITY by Lucky Thompson. Lucky Thompson's exploration of the two sides of a woman, body and soul, in music. Lucky improvised this track over the standard's changes. Take a look at his improvisation; available in B-flat and C.

    Here are three more compositions from pianist David Hazeltine's album, The Classic Trio Volume 2. These obviously all work great in a trio context, but try them featuring front line instruments for a real treat.

    David's FACE TO FACE uptempo trio swinger, lead sheet complete with two shout sections for soloist send offs, which on the recording is where David and master drummer Louis Hayes face off.

    Another one from David, FROM HERE TO THERE: 3/4 swing, melody floating over the momentum, tension-producing chords to resolve. A trip begging to be taken.

    TOO SWEET TO BEAR, also from David Hazeltine. Medium tempo, even eighths, no key center, fascinating to solo over. David's Solo Piano Arrangement is also available so you can get inside all of his voicings.


    And out of the past, a very important trumpeter player and composer coming to for the first time. Howard McGhee's READY FOR LOVE features Howard playing his melody as a set up for the great tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins' solo. If you're not familiar with Howard McGhee, all you need is one look at this picture of Miles Davis looking on as Howard plays to understand Howard's importance. Starting as a master in the swing era, he joined Charlie Parker in the bop world and then continued to grow in the hard bop world and beyond. One of the few artists who transitioned successfully through many jazz styles.


    Unlike many of his contemporaries who looked to American Songbook standards for the ballad portion of their repertoire, saxophonist Lucky Thompson wrote several of his own ballads. One of the most beautiful and heartfelt of these is Deep Passion, which we are now making available on Lucky recorded this song twice: first with a quartet in January 1956, and then with Oscar Pettiford's 12-piece big band in June of the same year, arranged by Lucky himself. Both versions feature Lucky as a soloist.

    For both of these recordings, we have transcriptions of not only his solos, but also his interpretations of the melody. Lucky was a master interpreter of ballads, both standard and original, so we feel it's important to present his own ballads exactly as he played them. The Melody Transcriptions highlight the rhythmic alterations and fills with which he embellishes the melody; they show both the "in" and "out" heads. The Solo Transcriptions include some substitute chords that Lucky's lines imply, notated below the staff. Both transcriptions show his articulations clearly; note that many passages in these solos lack slurs/phrase markings because each note is lightly tongued.

    With these transcriptions, you can analyze Lucky's melodic and harmonic technique and let it serve as an inspiration for your own interpretation of this song.

    About Lucky Thompson, from Noal Cohen's Jazz History website:

    Thompson has been described as enigmatic, elusive and underrated but there is no disputing his brilliance, originality and importance in the evolution of modern jazz. During his three decades on the international jazz scene, he worked and recorded with just about every giant: Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Kenton, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus and Thelonious Monk to name just a few. He transcended stylistic and geographical barriers playing in a wide variety of settings on the East and West Coasts of the U.S. and for extended periods in Europe.

  • The Gigi Gryce Project and more

    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, 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 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 team

Items 21 to 30 of 114 total