Walter Davis Jr

  • Swing in the new year with new charts galore

    It’s been a great year here at jazzleadsheets.com: we celebrated Blue Note’s 75th Anniversary, launched our Minus You audio features, and introduced handfuls of new composers and more great music. We’re still working with our developer on the improved version of jazzleadsheets.com which will feature a more visually-exciting interface and a better checkout experience. To keep you swinging into 2015, we’re topping you off with one last group of lead sheets for the year with some picks we know you’ll love.

    GIGI GRYCE: Boxer’s Blues A different type of altered blues! This Gigi Gryce piece moves back and forth from a double time groove to a laid-back swing. Gigi’s intriguing quintet arrangement is captured in each of our lead sheet editions; his original recording featured trumpet and alto sax alternating lines, but both are notated in all editions so you can choose how you want to approach it.

    TINA BROOKS: Miss Hazel A bright, brassy Tina Brooks composition full of fun II-V changes. This uptempo swing is also available as a quintet arrangement; we have a concert condensed score available (featuring the melody, counter-melody and rhythm section hits), lead sheets for all instruments and second parts.

    LUCKY THOMPSON: Once There Was A perfect example of Lucky Thompson’s masterful ballad writing and interpretation. To show both sides of Lucky’s talent, composing and performing, all editions include a transcription of everything he plays on the form: the head in, a short solo over the bridge, and the last A section out.

    WALTER DAVIS, JR.: Scorpio Rising “Walter Davis, Jr., loved to play this piece to get his adrenaline going,” remembers Don Sickler. This wild medium-up swing with a strong rhythmic pulse will get you going, too!

    KENNY DREW, JR.: Nelson Avenue Morning A light, breezy, constantly evolving medium swing melody from a virtuoso pianist-composer. This unusual ABABC form of this piece is a refreshing twist on typical song forms — the way Kenny only uses four measures of the B section when it returns and the unexpected new themes at the end keep everyone on their toes.

    ROY HARGROVE: The Mountaings Keep things spicy with this Cuban son-jazz hybrid. The 2/3 clave groove gives The Mountaings an authentic Cuban vibe, but Roy Hargrove’s melody is modern jazz-oriented. This composition comes from Roy’s Grammy-winning album HABANA and is sure to be a winner for you, too.

    GEOFFREY KEEZER: Pierce On Earth A personal, sensitive ballad written for saxophonist Bill Pierce. Geoff weaves together contemporary jazz idioms with soulful licks in this tender composition. Geoff’s own solo piano arrangement is also available.

    DONALD BROWN: The Moment You’ve All Been Waiting For This stately ballad features an unusual abbreviated form with just four measures for the A sections and three measures for the B. The dramatic sustained chords under the main theme define the character of this Donald Brown composition.

    Start your 2015 the right way with jazzleadsheets.com!

  • new December lead sheets

    Here are some new titles:

    400 Years Ago Tomorrow - Walter Davis Jr.

    I was asked several months ago for this lead sheet, so first of all I apologize for the delay. Walter was such a great composer, always with his own distinctive voice. As I’m sure you can tell from the audio clip, this is a great one! Pianists, note that Geoff Keezer’s Solo Piano Arrangement is also available, along with a recording by Kenny Drew, Jr.

    Focus - James Williams

    The first recording of Focus, a duo recording with bassist Dennis Irwin, was made before James started recording as a Jazz Messenger with Art Blakey. I discuss the four recordings James made of this composition in my notes, and I’m now on a mission to see if I can get James’ last duo recording (in 2000) made available as a download.

    Pensive - Al Cohn

    This beautiful ballad is the first of many compositions by Al Cohn that we’ll be bringing to jazzleadsheets.com.

    Sadly, I attended trombonist and composer Eddie Bert’s memorial service at St. Peters Church in NYC on December 17, 2012. Eddie was a great musician and a good friend. I played and toured with him many times over the years, and of course heard great stories from him, and about him. As you can learn from his bio on jazzleadsheets, and from the notes on his composition Speedster, Eddie was an accomplished musician.

    Since we’re making Speedster available, I see it’s a perfect time to add a new and beautiful Gigi Gryce composition, In A Meditating Mood, because Eddie recorded it as well.

    If you read my notes for these lead sheets you’ll get the picture, and you’ll see there are some unanswered questions. Was Eddie on this Gryce session? If we could see Eddie’s “session cards” (he made notes of every session he was on), I’m sure we’d have answers.

    Another thing that’s confusing to many of us: this isn’t the album title we know! We know it as “Like Cool.”

    After trombonist/bandleader Art Baron’s rehearsal at my studio over this last weekend, he overheard me talking to saxophonist Jerry Dodgion about Eddie Bert, and he wanted to know if we wanted to hear one of his Eddie Bert stories? Of course we said yes. It turns out the very first jazz record Art was ever given was Eddie’s “Like Cool” album, a later reissue of the “Let’s Dig Bert” album. It was the beginning of Art’s passion for jazz. He showed me his album, which had a cover with icicles on it, when he played at the Memorial service.

    Like Art, I was introduced to Eddie’s recording from a “Like Cool” reissue. I forgot to show Art my copy, but I think mine (which had an image of ice cubes on the cover) was an even later reissue than his. Are there more reissues with different covers? I now know about four covers for the same album: “Let’s Dig Bert (Eddie, That Is)” with the steam shovel or a portrait of Eddie playing trombone; “Like Cool” with icicles in a forest or ice cubes with a trombone. I hope one of you might have, or know someone who has, the original Essex issue so I can confirm the first cover. Email me (don@secondfloormusic.com) what you know.

    --Don Sickler

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