Rahsaan Roland Kirk

  • Milestone for Rahsaan Roland Kirk's The Inflated Tear

    Don Sickler:  I'd been waiting for the 50th anniversary of the first recording of Rahsaan Roland Kirk's The Inflated Tear (October 19, 1967) for a few months. Fortunately, a phone conversation with Rahsaan's son Rory on October 17 reminded me about it just in time, and our jazzleadsheets.com team went into action. In addition to speaking with producer and long-time Kirk associate Todd Barkan about his thoughts on Rahsaan and on this composition, I wanted to see if I could clarify whether this concert footage was actually the very first public performance of The Inflated Tear. I knew pianist Rahn Burton thought that it was the first performance. But there was still some doubt, so the anniversary day provided me with a great reason to call Rahsaan's bassist Steve Novosel to get his recollection. I hadn't seen or talked to Steve in quite a few years, so I was happy to make the call. I got lucky and immediately got him on the phone, giving me a golden opportunity to ask one of my absolute favorite questions: "Steve, I want you think very carefully: tell me what you were doing exactly 50 years ago today." Of course, dead silence on the other end of the phone. After Steve recovered enough to say, "I have absolutely no idea," I was able to enlighten him. "That was 50 years ago today?" It all flashed back, and we had a nice conversation about that gig. I asked him if that was the "very first" performance. He said he was sure they played it first on their previous concert, which was in Warsaw, Poland. It was the usual way with Rahsaan. Out of the blue, he just started playing it. None of the rest of the band had heard it before! Steve said that the Warsaw gig was vivid in his memory because it completely blew the audience away. At the end of The Inflated Tear, they all stood and sang their national anthem. Steve said, "I could never forget that!"

    It's a privilege to be able to bring this vital and significant music to musicians playing today.

  • 57 years of music in one week

    The dog days of summer are here. We're marking the start of August with a release that features our classic repertoire and highlights some of our special projects. This week's releases concentrates on important recording anniversaries. Classic recordings like Clifford Brown's Daahoud and Joy Spring (now available in F in addition to the E-flat version added earlier this summer) with details to these classics that are frequently overlooked. We've also added a new vocal selection: Jon Hendricks's lyric to Moanin' by Bobby Timmons. Three more of our composers recorded four years ago this week in what we call our "Duos with Daryl" in a project with the extremely talented young bassist, Daryl Johns, who had just turned 15 years old at the time. We're releasing three pieces, two of which have only been recorded as part of this project, to commemorate the anniversary: Red Sky Waltz (Don Friedman),  Silk (Norman Simmons), and Blues Scam (Richard Wyands). To celebrate their birthdays this week, we are also adding A Laugh For Rory (Rahsaan Roland Kirk) and Smoke Signal (John Webber). This release celebrates music recorded from 1954 to 2011 -- a diverse and exciting selection:

    CLIFFORD BROWN: Daahoud How well do you know Daahoud? Try it exactly how the quintet played it. Two Clifford Brown trumpet solos available.

    CLIFFORD BROWN: Joy Spring Think you know Joy Spring? Think again! New lead sheets in F available. Clifford Brown trumpet solo transcriptions available: master and alt takes from the quintet version (B-flat and C editions); septet version (B-flat and C editions).

    BOBBY TIMMONS & JON HENDRICKS: Moanin' A gospel-inspired lyric on a soul-jazz classic.

    RICHARD WYANDS: Blues Scam Angular hard-bop blues with a bridge. Piano-bass duo score available. This piece has never been recorded before. From the Duos With Daryl series; a jazzleadsheets.com audio exclusive.

    NORMAN SIMMONS: Silk Smooth rhythm changes. Piano-bass duo score available. This piece has also never been recorded before. From the Duos With Daryl series; a jazzleadsheets.com audio exclusive.

    DON FRIEDMAN: Red Sky Waltz Flowing & lovely with changing meter. Piano-bass duo score available. From the Duos With Daryl series; a jazzleadsheets.com audio exclusive.

    RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK: A Laugh For Rory Simple & modal, in two-part harmony. First and second parts available.

    JOHN WEBBER: Smoke Signal A modern head with many rhythm section hits in the head.

  • Joy Spring, new composers and more hits

    Many people have enjoyed the solo transcriptions of Clifford Brown on his classic composition "Joy Spring," but we've often been asked where the lead sheets are. Until now, you've only been able to purchase the arrangement through Second Floor Music's sheet music affiliates, but we've now made individual lead sheets available for everyone in the original key in honor of the 61st anniversary of the septet recording. On top of that, we're adding two new composers this week: tenor saxophonist Ernie Wilkins and pianist Eddie Higgins. With additions to the Piano Corner, Bass Corner, and new quintet arrangements, this update may just raise the temperature a little more on this hot July week.

    CLIFFORD BROWNJoy Spring

    The classic bop standard -- now available in the original key, plus Clifford Brown's trumpet solo from the septet recording.

    J.J. JOHNSONNWPT

    Rhythm changes with a twist. Original quintet arrangement available.

    DON PATTERSON & SONNY STITTAries

    A laid-back, swinging ballad in two keys.

    GRACHAN MONCUR: Thandiwa

    A quirky waltz with first and second parts available.

    ERNIE WILKINSFar Out East

    This bop melody has a serious swing.

    EDDIE HIGGINS: Shinjuku Twilight

    Charming and sweet with Japanese flair.

    RONNIE MATHEWSJohn Charles

    A post-bop blues that features the bass.

    RONNIE MATHEWSSalima's Dance

    Blues-like, with an even-8ths 3/4 groove. Solo Piano Arrangement available.

    RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRKFunk Underneath

    A simple laid-back riff blues.

    Plus, celebrate Hank Mobley's birthday (this past Tuesday, July 7) by checking out our extensive catalog of Hank Mobley lead sheets.

  • 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

  • It's cold out there -- stay in and practice!

    Hello again, jazz fans! It’s been colder than ever at our New York office, but that’s not slowing us down — in fact, we’re back with another update this week.

    Our [minus-you] tracks for Brian Lynch’s Unsung Heroes project were such a hit that we thought we’d release some more! Musicians of any instrument can play along with a professional ensemble on our [minus you] series, with custom tracks for each instrument. This week, we’re releasing The Plain But The Simple Truth, a quirky and catchy Lucky Thompson blues. If you’re looking to kick back with a great recording, be sure to also check out our exclusive audio track of rising bass star Daryl Johns, recorded specially for jazzleadsheets.com.

    This week, we’re celebrating the collaboration between Blue Note and legendary trumpeter Kenny Dorham with two K.D. releases: Philly Twist and K.D.’s Motion. Philly Twist, from the “Whistle Stop” album and written for Philly Joe Jones, is distinctive for the strong rhythmic drive in the head that’s propelled by the syncopated rhythm section hits. K.D.’s Motion, from the “Afro-Cuban” album, is a more laid-back take on the blues, but like Philly Twist, it shows what a genius Dorham was at writing unusual, intriguing rhythms for his melodies.

    If you’re looking for a pick-me-up to your winter blues, try Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s My Delight. As the title suggests, this medium-up swing is sweet, happy, and thoroughly appealing. A contrasting Latin groove in the B section adds some intrigue to the head, making it an all-around winner.

    Vocalists, check out Baby, I’m Coming Home, a charming blues with music and lyric by guitar master Chuck Wayne. If you’re looking for a piece with a classic sound but are sick of overdone standards, you’ll love this chart!

    Finally, we have another transcription for our drummersBilly Drummond on A Peck A Sec from trumpeter Jim Rotondi’s recording of the Hank Mobley classic. This chart shows Billy’s mastery of the straight-ahead tradition and his fantastic soloing as evidenced on the trading section. On this recording, Billy really locked in with bassist Dwayne Burno, who very tragically passed away in December. Listening to this recording again reminded us how talented and special Dwayne was. He is sorely missed by the jazz community.

  • jazzleadsheets Mid-November additions

    Exciting news! We’re making some changes here at jazzleadsheets.com and we’d love to get your feedback on how things have been going so far. As we begin working on our website redesign (set to go live in Spring 2014), we’re hoping some of our valued customers would speak with our web developer to help him understand the customer experience so far. If you’d be willing to help us on this project, please email me.

    Meanwhile, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so here’s an update to give you a little something extra to be thankful for!

    If you’re in the mood for a nostalgic, emotive ballad, look no further than The Haunted Melody by Rahsaan Roland Kirk. While you may not be able to play it with two instruments at the same time as Rahsaan does on the featured recording, the beautifully tragic melody sings on just about any instrument.

    Pianists should be sure to check out Bobby Timmons’s One Mo’ — we’ve transcribed all six choruses of his magnificent solo! Bobby is without question the master of soul-jazz, and learning this solo can teach you bits of his melodic vocabulary as well as how to build energy over the course of a lengthy solo. The head itself is also not to be missed by any musician: the A section is hard-hitting and punctuated with rhythmic hits, while the B section gives way into longer lines that show Bobby’s versatility as a composer. This memorable piece may well get stuck in your head, but we think you probably won’t want it out!

    Feeling a little mischievous? How about some Hanky Panky? Dexter Gordon’s composition is pure fun with a bouncy, syncopated melody and a classic blues march bass line. For singers, we have Tina May’s lyric version, No More Hanky-Panky. Her lyric plays off the cheeky title of Dexter’s original. It’s sung from the perspective of a child who keeps getting into trouble. Regardless of what adults may say, exploring is too much fun: don’t give up the hanky-panky!

    If the wintery weather is getting you down, why not think forward to spring? Meredith d’Ambrosio’s Blame It All On Spring is a wistful ballad that showcases a wide portion of a vocalist’s range without being too difficult to master. We offer it in the original key of A-flat as well as a higher key of D-flat for mezzo-sopranos or sopranos. While it was originally written to suit Meredith’s tenor voice, it sits comfortably in the higher key as well. The enticing contours of the melody make this a great pick.

    Drummers, check out a transcription of Victor Lewis' drumming on Jonny King's Merry-Go-Round. See what a contemporary master’s contribution does to enhance a recording.

    Don Sickler phone 212-741-1175 email don@secondfloormusic.com

  • Happy 50th anniversary to these legendary recordings

    We’d like to celebrate some recent landmark 50th year recording anniversaries!

    May 27, 1963: Steppin' Out (Blue Note) This was tenor saxophonist Harold Vick’s first album as a leader. Harold had 5 originals on this recording, which included Our Miss Brooks which Harold had also recorded earlier when he was a sideman (first with Grant Green, then with Jack McDuff):

     

    June 3, 1963: Page One (Blue Note) This legendary album marked tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson’s first album as a leader with trumpeter Kenny Dorham. We're proud to offer two incredible Kenny Dorham originals from this session:

     

    June 11 & 12, 1963: Roland Kirk Meets The Benny Golson Orchestra (Mercury) On the first session day, Rahsaan Roland Kirk teamed up with the Benny Golson Orchestra. The next day was a quartet session, with Kirk’s beautiful slow swing ballad April Morning, his swingin’ blues Get In The Basement which is perfect for our Bass Corner, and the three-horn, three-part harmony Between The 4th And 5th Step.

    Beat the heat with music! Don Sickler jazzleadsheets.com and Second Floor Music email don@secondfloormusic.com - phone 212-741-1175

  • April celebrations: Birthdays and anniversaries from composers old and new

    We want to add more titles from composers who are already on jazzleadsheets.com, but we’re also trying to add more composers to the site. Looking at the calendar this month we found birthday anniversaries of two new-to-jazzleadsheets.com artist/composers, and we also found some recording anniversaries. We’re celebrating the middle week of April with these:

    April 16, 1923: Trombonist Bennie Green’s 90th birthday. Listen to his B.G.’s Groove Two.

    April 18, 1925: Celebrate baritone saxophonist Leo Parker’s 88th birthday with Glad Lad.

    April 19, 1958: Art Farmer recorded his end-of-session blues. Hear how he relaxes with Back In The Cage [trumpet solo only, B-flat and C editions].

    April 19, 2000: The 49th anniversary of Lucky Thompson’s 1964 recording of Prey Loot, being celebrated with violinist Regina Carter’s new recording.

    April 20, 1956: The first recording of pianist Barry Harris’s High Step, on a piano-less recording with John Coltrane, Pepper Adams, Curtis Fuller, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones.

    We’re also finishing up more drum transcriptions: check out Charli Persip’s drumming on his recording with Rahsaan Roland Kirk: Three For The Festival.

    In case you haven’t seen Charli talk about his experiences, check out our YouTube channel.

  • Five new composers for November, 2012

    We have the honor of representing many great jazz composers and we’re working to add more of these composers to jazzleadsheets.com. Take a look and a listen to these new ones.

    Old Ballad (Kenny Wheeler) Kenny Wheeler is very important composer and trumpet player who should not be overlooked. In addition to this beautiful ballad, you’ll see from his bio that we have several of his important larger works also available.

    Our Miss Brooks (Harold Vick) This is gifted composer and tenor saxophonist Harold Vick’s most well-known composition. It’s a classic groove blues with infectious musical additions.

    Three For The Festival (Rahsaan Roland Kirk) The classic Rahsaan Roland Kirk three-horn arrangement, as you’ll hear (and can see on Jazz Icons and on YouTube) was performed by Rahsaan alone with the rhythm section. Our Drum Corner will soon be offering a Charli Persip drum transcription edition.

    The Merry-Go-Round (Jonny King) This marvelous composer and pianist, who emerged near the end of the last century, is back with new and very interesting music. This is the first of many that we’ll explore from his new recording, “Above All.” Our Drum Corner will soon be offering a Victor Lewis drum transcription edition as well as a drummers’ “minus you” track.

    Dannielle’s Waltz (Steve Nelson) Steve Nelson’s performances and recordings as a vibraphonist are finally getting him the recognition he deserves. He’s also a great composer as this, his first recorded composition, will illustrate.

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