vocal transcriptions

  • 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 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.

  • new December 28, 2011

    If You Could Love Me - Norman Simmons A beautiful Norman Simmons composition, with lyrics by Norman. Sung in a slow Latin tempo by Carmen McRae, later, at different tempos by other vocalists. You can also gain interesting insight into Carmen’s phasing from our vocal transcription of her performance, available separately. Email us (don@secondfloormusic.com) for different keys!

    Juliano - Julian Priester Lead sheets and his trombone solo are available from his first recording as a leader, the KEEP SWINGIN’ album on Riverside Records. An energetic ABCD form composition. The melody is constantly modulating as it evolves.

    Valse Robin - Dexter Gordon Dexter Gordon’s beautiful waltz for his daughter Robin, a 64-measure expanded AABA form. Recorded on THE PANTHER! album.

    Harbor Freeway 5 P.M. - Jack Wilson Two separate lead sheet treatments. First recorded as an uptempo sizzler to feature the drums, it later became a beautiful laid back composition. Compare Jack’s interpretations.

    Out Of Joe’s Bag (Hank Mobley) - Philly Joe Jones drum transcription Evan Hughes’ transcription of Philly Joe Jones’ performance on the ANOTHER WORKOUT album. Includes solo drum introduction, playing behind the in and out melodies, and Philly Joe’s solo. More valuable insight into this phenomenal drummer!

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

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