Ray Bryant

  • Three new composers. One big update.

    We're back with another big update! This week, we're welcoming three new composers to the site: tenor saxophonist Paul Quinichette, cornetist Ruby Braff and bassist Santi Debriano. Our Recording Session Anniversaries this week celebrates the anniversary of the first recording of Gigi Gryce's Capri with new lead sheets in the original key -- including two Clifford Brown trumpet solos; the recording sessions for Kenny Drew Jr.'s album "A Look Inside" (Alhambra, A Look Inside); Ray Bryant's legendary performance at Montreaux; and Ruby Braff's recording session for his album "Braff!" on which Here's Freddie was recorded.

    We're also celebrating birthdays: vocalist Rachel Gould, pianist Elmo Hope and bassist Santi Debriano. Join us in marking all of these anniversaries and birthdays with great music!

    Check out this week's new music:

    GIGI GRYCECapri  Now available in the original key with two Clifford Brown trumpet solos

    KENNY DREW JRAlhambra A lyrical, flowing bossa

    KENNY DREW JR: A Look Inside A cheerful & bubbly medium swing

    RAY BRYANT: Blues #3 Master the blues in G with this three-chorus piano solo transcription

    RAY BRYANT: Blues #2 A blues tour-de-force: seven choruses of piano solo transcription

    PAUL QUINICHETTE: Prevue A simply & catchy medium swing that makes a great choice for vocalists. Paul Quinichette's tenor sax solo transcription available.

    RUBY BRAFF: Here's Freddie Classic, laid-back mainstream jazz

    SANTI DEBRIANO: Abra Cadabra A bright Latin piece

    Have you seen our new inline audio player? It's a simple blue box that appears in our text notes whenever we want to feature a sample in the middle of text. If you come across a blue box with a triangle on it like this , click it and listen to the music!

    Make sure to click on the dots under the home page slider; we've put some fun ways to look at this week's music there. 
    Enjoy the music!
  • Celebrate these birthdays & anniversaries

    The temperatures are rising in New York and we're ready for a summer full of hot music. This week, we're wishing happy birthday to Eli "Lucky" Thompson, who would have turned 91 on this Tuesday, June 16, and Billy Drummond, who turns 55 on Thursday, June 19. We're also celebrating some anniversaries of a few recording sessions we love that feature compositions from our catalog: Grant Stewart's "More Urban Tones" (June 15, 1995), Hank Mobley's "Dippin'" (June 18, 1955), Benny Golson's "Gone With Golson" (June 20, 1959), and Nat Adderley's "Good Company" (June 20 & 21, 1994). There's no better way to celebrate than releasing some new lead sheets, transcriptions, and arrangements!

    Check out these new additions to jazzleadsheets.com:

    ELI "LUCKY" THOMPSONTo A Mornin' Sunrise master this sensitive ballad with lucky's own melody transcription

    GRANT STEWARTManhattan Bridge a moody post-bop ballad

    CURTIS FULLERBit Of Heaven a bit of your own jazz heaven -- try the Fuller-Golson two horn arrangement for yourself

    RAY BRYANT:  Staccato Swing a minor medium up swing with parts for tenor, trombone, & piano

    ROB BARGAD: Rob's New Song distinctive soulful flair & powerful changes

    ROB BARGADWar Zone a driving uptempo swing

    HANK MOBLEYThe Break Through NEW for drums - Billy Higgins drum transcription

    Psst! Did you know you can see all of our transcribed solos in one place? Check out this tour of the Transcribed Solos page!

    Enjoy the music, Don Sickler and the jazzleadsheets.com team

  • New lead sheets in April

    Ready for some exciting news? As you might remember, our last group of leadsheets brought on two new composers to jazzleadsheets.com. It was such a hit that we’re keeping the new artists coming with two more this week: MELBA LISTON and ROY HARGROVE!

    Melba Liston, trombone virtuoso and composer-arranger extraordinaire, joins the roster with the gorgeous ballad Just Waiting. Honest, plaintive, and emotional, this composition is everything a ballad should be. We’re offering it in the original key of E-flat as well as the recorded key of C for maximum playing options — take your pick or try them both, and check out our audio excerpts in both keys.

    Also new to jazzleadsheets.com is the modern hard-bop pioneer Roy Hargrove, joining us with Dream Traveler. This Cuban-jazz hybrid has a strikingly modern harmonic progression and an appealing Latin groove — no surprise, given that it comes off the album that won Roy the 1998 Grammy for best Latin Jazz Performance!

    Hoping to see more of your favorite composers? We’ve got more from them, too! Ray Bryant is back this week with a classic, 18th Century Ballroom. This charming medium-up swing was first recorded by Cannonball Adderley, and it’s easy to see why he chose the chart: it’s a memorable, tuneful, upbeat, and immensely catchy melody that is sure to brighten your spirits. Just a few months later, it was recorded again by Toots Thieleman, so we’re offering arrangements from both recordings to double the possibilities.

    It’s been a while since we’ve featured saxophonist Harold Vick, so we’re bringing him back with his composition Night Flight. This lightning-speed chart is a real adrenaline rush and a whole lot of a fun to play. Our lead sheet includes suggested background voicings on the solos to take your arrangement to the next level.

    Finally, we’ve got our first instrumental composition from Rob Bargad. We’ve featured him before with beautiful vocals like Another World and All Because Of You, but you’ll see him in a whole new light after hearing Little J.J., a high-energy composition full of anticipation and syncopation. It’s an unusual piece — it has an unexpected form and harmonic structure — and it’s sure to invigorate your next set. Although it was originally recorded as a trio, we’ve made it available with a quintet arrangement as well.

  • The holidays are here at jazzleadsheets.com

    The holidays are just around the corner, and it’s been getting snowy here in New York. We’re celebrating the season through great charts — check them out and join in our holiday revelry!

    Kicking off our new additions is a swing/Latin hybrid by Elmo Hope - Abdullah. The minor melody is tuneful and memorable — it might just get stuck in your head. Since Elmo originally recorded this composition with his quintet, we have the original parts available to try out with your own quintet (alternate parts are also available). If you want to play it solo or try out your own arrangement, we offer a regular leadsheet as well. Either way, it’s a strong addition to any set.

    On the slower side of Latin is Los Milagros Pequenos, a mysterious and alluring piece by Norman Simmons. The melody of this chart is slow and meditative; it floats over a repeating bass line that anchors the piece. Norman originally recorded this chart with his quintet, but also wrote a solo piano arrangement for it. The piano arrangement is a great choice for intermediate pianists looking to brush up on their Latin skills — it’s not simplified at all, but isn’t too tricky either. To go along with the piano arrangement, we have an exclusive audio track featuring Kenny Drew Jr. It’s a great example of how to play this beautiful composition.

    If you’re looking for something with a bit more pep, look no further than Ray Bryant’s Bebop Irishman. This chart is as whimsical and fun as the name suggests — it has a jig-like pace with long bebop lines set over a simple folk-like chord progression. This is a good pick to feature the piano, since the long chromatic lines showcase pianistic dexterity. This is not to say that this piece is only for pianists. On a Buddy Rich recording, both flute and vibes are added to the melody, and George Shearing added guitar as well as vibes to the melody. We also have horn editions as well. For drummers, though, we have Evan Hughes’s transcription of Jo Jones’ playing. The transcription includes the drum introduction, time over the in head, trading fours with the piano, and the out chorus. The brushwork on this piece is so incredible that many drummers regard this recording as a sort of bible for brush playing. Now you don’t have to guess what Jo Jones was playing — you can try it all out yourself with this meticulously detailed transcription!

    For singers, we’re releasing the vocal version of the Gigi Gryce jazz standard Social Call. Jon Hendricks’s clever lyric is the perfect foil for the unforgettable melody, making the vocal version a popular choice for decades of singers. Try this chart out for yourself and join the ranks of Ernestine Anderson, Betty Carter, Earl Coleman, Karrin Allyson, Diane Reeves and Cecile McLorin Salvant — all of whom have recorded this classic composition.

    Finally, we have an exotic 7/4 blues from Julian Priester and Judy Niemack. Eros, Judy’s lyric version to Julian’s instrumental Blues for Eros, is a sexy musical retelling of the Greek myth of Eros and Psyche.  Eros, the son of the goddess Aphrodite, seduced Psyche until she figured out his godly identity. He abandoned her, forcing Psyche to seek counsel from Aphrodite, who sent her on a difficult quest to win back her love. Judy draws out the theme of blind passion so strong it verges on desperation; this theme is amplified by the seductive melody by Julian and the driving odd-meter pulse of the bass.

  • jazzleadsheets in early October

    It’s a big update from us this week — eight new charts with exciting options for singers and instrumentalists alike! With so much to choose from, there’s no way you won’t be able to find something that catches your interest.

    We have three new compositions by former Jazz Messengers, starring with composer/pianist Donald Brown’s stunning ballad Dorothy, dedicated to his wife. Not only is it a romantic, complex ballad in and of itself, but we also offer transcriptions of Donald’s comping behind the melody and his solo for pianists who want to learn more about his signature style. Studying Donald’s artistic harmonic voicings in his comping and the way he gives meaning and purpose to each note in his solo is a great exercise for pianists to improve their own skills.

    We’re introducing another new composer, saxophonist Bill Pierce, with his Chuck’s Groove. Like many of Bill’s compositions, this piece features a memorable, tuneful melody and sets it over an unusual chord progression. It’s a great choice for musicians of any instrument or skill level!

    We were so excited about Hank Mobley’s The Turnaround (quintet parts) that we had to make it available for both musicians and singers. It’s a funky, bluesy and fun piece that is easy to master for beginners but really soars when played by masters like Hank and Freddie Hubbard (who are featured on the instrumental recording). Chris Caswell’s playful lyric version, I Found The Turnaround, is expertly recorded by Karrin Allyson. Take a listen and try it out yourself with our vocal lead sheet; the small range of the melody makes it perfect for most voice types.

    Take a trip to South America with Jon Burr’s Sea Breeze. This laid-back, soothing bossa nova features a lyric by the composer himself that reflects the simple joy of relaxing by the sea. We offer this lead sheet in two keys — one for altos and one for sopranos. Full track and accompaniment-only audio available.

    Rachel Gould’s No More Fire (Over You) is another bossa nova with a bit more of an edge. The lyric describes getting over a lover and finally being able to move on. In addition to the vocal lead sheet, we also offer a transcription of Rachel’s recording so singers can learn from her expert phrasing.

    Singers looking to add more waltzes to their repertoire should look no further than Like A Butterfly, Judy Niemack’s lyric version to Ronnie Mathews’s Jean-Marie. This delicate, breezy waltz is a good choice for sopranos since it features the upper register of a vocalist’s range. Full track and accompaniment-only audio available.

    Rounding out our vocal selections is Swinging My Life Away, a vocal version of Ray Bryant’s Tonk with a lyric by Tina May. It’s a fun, upbeat song that celebrates jazz, swing, and being yourself — a message we couldn’t agree with more! Full track and accompaniment-only audio available.

    A tip: if you’re printing from Adobe Acrobat, make sure you specify “none” for print scaling in the dialog. We’ve already made sure the margins are correct. If you let Acrobat print automatically, it might reduce the music a bit.

  • A special vocal-only update

    This week we have five fantastic vocal pieces, including vocal transcriptions of legendary singers Anita O’Day, Chris Connor and Rachel Gould!

    If the rainy fall weather has got you down, we have a light, sunny bossa from Gloria Cooper with a lyric by Ira Gitler that immediately transports you back to the summer: Reveling In The Beat.

    For a good dose of Latin funk, check out Lonely Man, a vocal setting of Ray Bryant’s Erewhon with a lyric by Tina May. With a sassy lyric and appealing groove, it’s hard not to love.

    You, Judy Niemack’s lyric to Bob Brookmeyer’s composition Hum, is nothing short of charming. If you’re looking to add something classic to your repertoire without turning to overdone standards, this is the one for you.

    Rachel Gould’s ethereal, fanciful ballad My Magic Ring captures childlike wonder and melodic sophistication at the same time. To better understand how to interpret a free ballad like this one, we offer a vocal transcription of how Rachel sings it on the recording.

    Finally, a special treat: two versions of Al Cohn’s Night Bird by two powerhouse vocalists, Anita O’Day and Chris Connor. The Anita O’Day recording, featuring an arrangement by Gary McFarland, marries classical-inspired dissonance with true swing. Chris Connor’s version is arranged by Al Cohn himself, and has a mysterious Latin feel. We’ve transcribed the way both singers phrase the melody, and also offer a lead sheet for vocalists to try their own hand at it. Both recordings are truly out of this world, but the song itself is also a real gem with a poetic lyric by Kitty Malone.

    To stay up-to-date on our latest vocal lead sheets, be sure to check out Singer's Corner page!

    Just a note for those who like to sing or play along with accompaniment-only tracks: three of the new titles have accompaniment-only versions, and Judy Niemack’s delightful You is available exclusively on jazzleadsheets.com.

  • New at jazzleadsheets.com May 11, 2013

    Noting some anniversaries …

    I found it very interesting that on the same day, May 9, in two different years (1954 and 1966), Elmo Hope was in a studio, recording. Maybe So was recorded May 9, 1954. Roll On was recorded May 9, 1966 (Elmo’s last recording session).

    On May 12, 1964, organist Don Patterson recorded Up In Betty’s Room. This is the perfect time to introduce him to jazzleadsheets.com.

    Plus, the Drum Corner welcomes two new drummers, "Papa" Jo Jones and Billy Higgins. The first transcription of the legendary "Papa" Jo Jones is from the Jo Jones Trio recording of Ray Bryant’s Philadelphia Bound. The lead sheets for this blues are available, too.

    And, you can examine under your musical microscope the artistry of one of the truly great drummers: Billy Higgins. See what he plays behind the melody as well as his exchanges with Dexter Gordon on Dexter’s Benji’s Bounce (8s then 4s then 2s). The lead sheets are already posted.

    Jazzleadsheets.com is preparing for a website upgrade: we want an easy-to-use search engine and a smooth checkout experience on a faster server. Maybe video clips. If you have suggestions, let us know by emailing me at don@secondfloormusic.com.

    Thanks, Don Sickler www.jazzleadsheets.com and www.SecondFloorMusic.com phone 212-741-1175 email don@secondfloormusic.com

  • New lead sheets from 5 great pianists

    Soul Time - Bobby Timmons Another delight, this time in 3/4, from Bobby Timmons, which he recorded on three occasions. We’re also offering Bobbby’s complete piano voicings.

    Freffie - Elmo Hope Another great “II-V” blues melody to add to your repertory. Read more about it in our notes.

    Gone To See T - Bertha Hope - new composer to jazzleadsheets.com! Bertha Hope, whose first jazz teachers were Elmo Hope and Richie Powell, recalling the days she and Elmo hung out with T (Thelonious Monk). Definitely not just the wife of Elmo Hope, Bertha is a tremendous talent herself, both as a composer and as a pianist.

    Something In B-flat - Ray Bryant As you can see by scanning our Composer list, we already have a lot of great Ray Bryant on jazzleadsheets.com and there are other gems that we’re still working on. Ray had almost forgotten about his Something in B-flat, which was the opening track of Benny Golson’s “New York Scene” album. I immediately got his attention when I told him that this track was used in the Tom Hanks movie “The Terminal,” in which Benny Golson, and some of Benny’s music, also played a prominent role.

    Two Sides Of A Penny - Cecilia Coleman One of my favorite Cecilia Coleman compositions, from her California period.

    Enjoy the music! Don Sickler phone 212-741-1175 email don@secondfloormusic.com

  • new August 22, 2012

    New titles for vocalists and everyone else. Instrumentalists, don’t let these great compositions go by without trying them. The accompaniment-only tracks are wonderful to practice with. Great composers. Try a few!

    A Something In A Summer’s Day (Kirk Nurock and Emily Dickinson) [vocal] A classy, and classic, ballad (or bossa). Sensitive performance by composer Kirk Nurock and vocalist Janis Siegel.

    A Shot Of Blues Juice (Norman Simmons and Judy Niemack) [vocal] A great way to involve an audience - “Let’s start with a shot of Blues Juice!” Relax and learn to swing with Judy Niemack and Norman Simmons.

    If You Believe (Ray Bryant and Tina May) [vocal] A Ray Bryant composition with lyric by Tina May. Learn the Latin/calypso feeling with the master, Ray on piano with bass & drums. No better way to practice.

    Garden In The Sand (Hank Mobley and Bebe Herring) [vocal] A haunting Hank Mobley bossa with a lyric to intrigue.

    Try As I May (Meredith d’Ambrosio) [vocal] Listen to Meredith’s graceful and moving performance, then make your own version.

  • new August 17, 2012

    Bel-Aire (Ray Bryant) Another great Ray Bryant head which challenges you to fly over your instrument. A must for any trumpet players who think they can play anything.

    Gayle’s Groove (Mickey Bass) An interesting ten-measure followed by fourteen-measure form. Originally recorded in a two horn quintet format so second part editions are also available.

    T.H.E. Blues (Steve Davis) An unusual form: 15 measure blues in a challenging key (A-flat minor).

    Ka-Link (Philly Joe Jones) It starts out as a cute Latin blues head and develops into a larger AABCAD format, with alternations from Latin to swing. Soloing on the record was just blues choruses. The expanded head format can open you up to exploring different soloist formats.

    Listen To Mister Jones (Philly Joe Jones / Rachel Gould) [vocal] If you’re a vocalist, and have a drummer you want to feature, this is for you. It’s the lyric version of Ka-Link, with Rachel’s complete track and an accompaniment-only track (MP3).

    other new vocal titles:

    Do You Feel What I Feel? (Rachel Gould) [vocal] A beautiful, evocative exploration recorded by a voice/bass duo.

    He’s A Man (Curtis Fuller / Judy Niemack) [vocal] Judy’s lyric to the Fuller instrumental Sagittarius explains what that Zodiac sign means in a delightful way. Judy’s own performance, as well as an accompaniment-only MP3, are available. Also, Judy’s new publication, Hear It and Sing It: Exploring the Blues is now in print and can be purchased from Hal Leonard and Amazon.com. Some really great new blues to sing! Hear It and Sing It! is a fun and effective method.

    I’ll Blame It On The Samba (Ray BryantTina May) [vocal] Tina May’s lyric to Ray’s Samba Elegante, it’s a fun song to sing. Tina’s recording, with Ray Bryant himself on piano, and the accompaniment-only MP3 are available.

    Just A Little Boy (Sergio Mihanovich) [vocal] A beautiful ballad with a charming lyric. Simple and easy to customize to your own style. Gloria Cooper’s recording as well as an accompaniment-only version are available.

    Miracle Of Spring (Meredith d’Ambrosio) [vocal] A lyrical melody full of Meredith’s optimism. A vocal transcription of Meredith’s interpretation, plus an accompaniment-only MP3 track.

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