Steve Nelson

  • A better jazzleadsheets.com is coming. Stay tuned.

    We’ve grown so much over the last few years that our current website literally can’t handle us anymore: we can’t add any new composers or albums! So we’re keeping our fingers crossed that March will be the month we can unveil the new look and features of the new jazzleadsheets.com. The expanded and enriched new site has been close to three years in the making, and while it’s been a long road, the final product will be worth the wait.

    Fortunately, we still have more great charts from albums and composers that are already on our current site, so here are seven new additions.

    LUCKY THOMPSONN R #1 An angular blues with an unusual form, this quirky Lucky Thompson piece is pure fun. The melody twists through the blues scale in unexpected patterns, creating a memorable, modern sound. Sleek and sophisticated.

    LUCKY THOMPSONN R #2 The unusual name of this piece and N R #1 might imply that the two go together, but you’ll hear that they couldn’t be more different. It has a classic sound with Lucky’s charming melodic style. Lead sheets and second parts available.

    VALERY PONOMAREVMirage A contrast in snappy, punctuated riffs and long, lyrical lines. The striking interplay of the bold A theme and the soft B theme creates appealing drama. Lead sheets and second parts available.

    KENNY DREW, JR.: Passionata An evocative, masterful bossa which evolved from a manuscript fragment by Kenny Drew, Sr.,  completed by his son. We’re featuring two different clips of this tender bossa, both from the same album: one is Kenny Drew Jr.’s opening trio rendition and the other is his album-closing version with strings.

    NORMAN SIMMONS: Good Humors A laid-back, supremely cool swing from Norman Simmons. The call-and-response between the persistent groove in the rhythm section and the contrasting melody in the horns creates a great conversation. Lead sheets and second parts available.

    STEVE NELSONFor Wes A beautiful ballad dedicated to quitarist Wes Montgomery, from composer/vibist Steve Nelson. He performs the solo section with a double time feel a la Wes Montgomery. Wistful and heartfelt, the melody of this ballad is simply gorgeous.

    VALERY PONOMAREVMeans Of Identification Another Valery Ponomarev piece to expand your repertoire! This brassy piece is in 3/4 and combines hard-bop vocabulary and a hint of Latin influence. Valery sets a bright horn melody over a rich rhythmic background.

    Check out our new charts today!

  • Add some fall spice to your repertoire with these charts.

    Hey jazz lovers,

    Have you missed us? We know it’s been a while! We’ve been hard at work putting together the beautiful new website. Soon, it will be easier than ever to find the music you love and to discover new gems you never knew you were missing.

    Until then, we’ve got some great compositions by some fantastic composers to tide you over until the new site goes live.

    LUCKY THOMPSON: Little Tenderfoot Looking for that perfectly classic sound? After an A section melody over rhythm changes, this charming, cheerful head takes some harmonic detours. The familiar changes make it a breeze to solo over and Lucky Thompson’s impeccable melodic writing is not only lovely to hear, but great fun to play.

    ROY HARGROVE: Ballad For The Children From the Grammy award-winning album HABANA, this Latin ballad is deeply emotional. Try the lead sheet on its own or get the full transcription of everything this jazz superstar plays — both the melody and the solo! Learn ballad phrasing from Roy Hargrove himself by studying exactly what he does.

    STEVE NELSON: Kirk’s New Delight' Go on a musical journey with Steve Nelson. Kirk’s New Delight is a laid back swing with a melody that tells a story through its developing melodic themes. A little extra flair comes from Steve’s embellishments on the melody, which we’ve included on all editions of the lead sheets.

    GRANT STEWART: Cyclops Angular and unflinching, Cyclops is equal parts bebop and modern jazz. Grant Stewart peppers the melody with #11ths and major sevenths that delight the ear. The harmonic progression is easy to pick up, which makes this a great choice to work on soloing over chord extensions.

    VALERY PONOMAREV: Fifteenth Round Don’t miss this explosive powerhouse! Your audience will be rapt with toe-tapping attention after the first line of this hard-bop infused quintet. We’ve made the second parts available as well as a concert condensed score for rhythm section players.

    Don’t settle for standards. Try something new at jazzleadsheets.com.

  • Spring is in full swing at jazzleadsheets.com

    Several years ago, Second Floor Music started putting out sextet arrangements that were recorded by the exciting group “One For All.” Two of the prominent writers in that group are Eric Alexander and Jim Rotondi who started recording together in 1996, a year before “One For All” officially recorded its first album. Eric and Jim have enjoyed writing compositions together over the years, and Biru Kirusai is one of at least seven of these collaborations.

    Quiet Fire is the second Donald Brown composition that we’re making available on jazzleadsheets.com. If you’re not familiar with this marvelous composer, this is a good place to start. Neither the melody or the solo chord progression is difficult. The first eight-measure phrase of the melody sets you up for adding eight measures of “colors” before resuming with twelve more measures of melody leading into a different “colors” section. It’s an added treat to hear the “colors” of Donald’s piano and the vibes of Steve Nelson on this recording.

    Steve Nelson is also another one of our marvelous composers, and Song For Justine is a constantly evolving melodic tour de force as it develops over its eighty-measure form.

    For those of you who only know the great bluesy and funky sides of Gene Ammons, we want to Sock you with one of his more swinging boppish heads.

    Lonnie Hillyer was one of our great trumpet players, and a good composer who unfortunately didn’t get to record his own compositions. Lonnie got to play Soft Shoulder on some gigs as a member of Charlie Rouse’s quintet, but unfortunately that group never got to record. I think everyone is going to enjoy playing it. I certainly know I have.

    Jazz lives if we play it!

  • 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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