Jazz & Blues Music

A HISTORY OF THE BLUES – Sittin’ And Cryin’ The Blues

A HISTORY OF THE BLUES – Memphis Slim (Piano) & Willie Dixon – Sittin’ And Cryin’ The Blues

Whoa, there’s no one
To have fun with
Since my baby’s love
Has been done with
All I do is think of you
I sit and cry and sing the blues

Oh, there’s no one
To depend on
Since my baby’s love
Has been gone
Broken-hearted and lonesome, too
I sit and cry and sing the blues

Blues all in my bloodstream
Blues all in my heart
Blues all in my so-oul
I got blues all in my bones

Oh, there’s no one
To talk to
And my love is so true
Lord, I don’t know
What to do
I sit and cry and sing the blues

I sit and cry and sing the blues

I sit and cry and sing the blues.

Jazz & Blues sheet music download.

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Willie Dixon biography

Willie Dixon has been called “the poet laureate of the blues” and “the father of modern Chicago Blues.” He was indisputably the pre-eminent blues songwriter of his era, credited with writing more than 500 songs by the end of his life. Moreover, Dixon is a towering figure in the history and creation of Chicago Blues on other fronts. While on staff at Chess Records, Dixon produced, arranged, and played bass on sessions for Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Litter Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson II, and others. In no small way, he served as a crucial link between the blues and rock ‘n roll.

Born in 1915 in Vicksburg, MS, Dixon began rhyming, singing and writing songs in his youth. He was exposed to a varity of music – gospel, blues, country & western – which served as the seeds for the symbiotic music he would later make in Chicago. Moving to the city in 1936, he had a bried career as a boxer and then skirmished with the U.S. Army, refusing induction on the grounds he was a conscientious objector. 

His early forays on the Chicago music scene included stints with The Five Breezes, The Four Jumps of Jive and The Big Three Trio, all of which made records. The Big Three Trio, in particular, are noteworthy for having brought harmony singing to the blues. Dixon really found his niche at Chess, where he was allowed to develop as a recording artist, session musician, in-house songwriter and staff musician beginning in 1951.

Some of the now classic songs he wrote for other during his lengthy tenure at Chess include “Hoochie Coochie Man”, “I’m Ready” and “I Just Want to Make Love to You” (Muddy Waters); “Back Door Man”, “Spoonful” and “I Ain’t Superstitious” (Howlin’ Wolf); “My Babe” (Little Walter); and “Wang Dang Doodle” (Koko Taylor). Though he didn’t write for Chuck Berry, Dixon played bass on most of his early records. For a few years in the late 50’s, he also wrote for and worked with artists on the crosstown Cobra label, including such fledgling bluesmen as Otis Rush, Buddy Guy and Magic Sam.

Dixon returned to Chess in 1959, and the 60’s saw the full flowering of his talents there. In addition to writing and producing some of his greatest works during that decade, he recorded a series of albums in a duet format with Memphis Slim on the Folkways, Verve and Battles labels. His first album as a solo artist, Willie’s Blues, appeared on the Bluesville label in 1960. In his capacity as a staff producer at Chess, he wouldn’t get around to releasing a follow-up album under his own name until I Am the Blues appeared on Columbia Records in 1970. Albums followed from him at more regular intervals in subsequent years, culminating in the 1988 release of Hidden Charms, which won Dixon a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Recording.

In his later years, Willie Dixon became a tireless ambassador of the blues and a vocal advocate for its practitioners, founding the Blues Heaven Foundation. The organization works to preserve the blues’ legacy and to secure copyrights and royalties for blues musicians who were exploited in the past. Speaking with the simple eloquence that was a hallmark of his songs, Dixon put it like this: “The blues are the roots and the other musics are the fruits. It’s better keeping the roots alive, because it means better fruits from now on. The blues are the roots of all American music. As long as American music survives, so will the blues.”

Willie Dixon published his autobiography, I Am the Blues, in 1989 – a year after Chess Records released Willie Dixon: The Chess Box, a two-disc set that included Dixon’s greatest songs as performed by the artists who made them famous – Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Bo Diddley, Lowell Fulson and Dixon, himself.

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Film & TV Music

Philip Glass – Music from The Hours (2002)

Philip Glass – Music from The Hours – Complete (with sheet music in our Library)

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Philip Glass is an Oscar-nominated avant-garde composer whose notable works include ‘Einstein on the Beach,’ ‘The Hours’ and ‘Notes on a Scandal.’

Philip Glass biography

Musician Philip Glass, born on January 31, 1937, in Baltimore, went on to study with Nadia Boulanger and Ravi Shankar, later forming the Philip Glass Ensemble. He received accolades for his debut opera, Einstein on the Beach, and eventually earned Oscar nominations for scoring the films Kundun, The Hours and Notes on a Scandal. Known for his distinctive contemporary minimalism, Glass has worked with artists from a variety of disciplines.  

Background and Education

Philip Glass was born on January 31, 1937, in Baltimore. He took up the violin and flute and began performing before reaching his teens. Glass took classes at the Peabody Institute’s conservatory and later studied at the University of Chicago and The Juilliard School.

Studies With Ravi Shankar

Glass eventually decided to travel to Europe, studying under conductor Nadia Boulanger and sitar musician Ravi Shankar, whom Glass cited as a major influence on his craft. 

Glass adopted an approach to musical composition that relied on repetitive, sometimes subtly nuanced musical structures that would be seen as a cornerstone of contemporary minimalism. (The composer later saw the term “minimalism” as an outdated way of describing his work and the varying sounds of up-and-coming artists.) He formed the electric Philip Glass Ensemble in 1967, an avant-garde group that would continue to earn buzz over the years, if not universal acclaim.

Acclaim for ‘Einstein’

Playwright Robert Wilson worked with the composer to bring Glass’ first opera, Einstein on the Beach, to the stage in 1976. Based on the life of the famed physicist and relying upon an unorthodox, repeating sonic framework, Einstein earned major acclaim. Many more operas were to come from Glass, including 1980’s Satyagraha, which followed a portion of the life of Mahatma Gandhi.

The prolific Glass has composed several symphonies and concertos as well, performing his work internationally as part of his ensemble and having works staged in venues like the London Coliseum, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. His albums include Glassworks (1982), Songs From Liquid Days (1986)—with contributions from David Byrne, Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt and the Kronos Quartet—and Hydrogen Jukebox (1993), among many others. Glass has received an array of honors and has worked with visionaries from various art forms, including singer-songwriter Patti Smith, dancer-choreographer Twyla Tharp and writer Doris Lessing.

Array of Film Scores

Glass has provided scores for a litany of movies that include the acclaimed Koyaanisqatsi (1982), a project directed byGodfrey Reggio that uses visuals and music to create a story about humanity’s relationship with nature. Other big-screen scores from Glass have included Hamburger Hill (1987), Candyman (1992), The Truman Show (1998), Secret Window (2002), The Illusionist (2006), Leviathan (2014) and Fantastic Four (2015), as well as documentaries like Pandemic: Facing AIDS (2002) and A Sea Change (2009). Glass received Academy Award nominations for the musical scores of Kundun (1997), The Hours (2002) and Notes on a Scandal (2006).

In September 2016, President Barack Obama presented Glass with a National Medal of Arts. At the ceremony, President Obama said Glass was being honored “for his groundbreaking contributions to music and composition,” and described him as “one of the most prolific, inventive, and influential artists of our time, he has expanded musical possibility with his operas, symphonies, film scores, and wide-ranging collaborations.” 

The Hours: Music from the Motion Picture by Philip Glass

Surprisingly, several of the negative comments I’ve read about Stephen Daldry’s film The Hours single Philip Glass’s score out for special vilification. The New Yorker calls it “intrusive” and “chiming.” This says more about the current state of film-reviewing (dismal) than it does about Glass’s score.

Glass has scored films since nearly the beginning of his career. Kundun, from a few years back, was probably his most mainstream film project until The Hours, an adaptation of the novel by Michael Cunningham. The Hours interweaves the stories of three women: author Virginia Woolf, an editor, and a young mother. In his preface to this CD, Cunningham recollects how he became hooked on Glass’s Einstein on the Beach in college, and how Glass’s music has remained a part of him ever since. “Glass, like Woolf,” he writes, “is more interested in that which continues than he is in that which begins, climaxes, and ends.”

Perhaps The Hours isn’t Glass’s best film score, but I think it will be my favorite. Sustained and elegiac, it has a fragile beauty that nevertheless persists far away from the film’s images. Strings play a dominant role, and so does the piano, here played by long-time Glass collaborator Michael Riesman. If much of this score sounds like older Glass, this is not just an accident. The track titled “I’m Going to Make a Cake” is based on a scene from Glass’s opera Satyagraha; it is interesting to hear how the same thematic material can make a very different impression in a different context. “Tearing Herself Away” looks two decades back to the Glassworks album, and “The Escape” is based on a track from Glass’s solo piano CD.

It would be inappropriate to criticize Glass for laziness; even Bach recycled, and it seems that Glass felt – correctly, it turns out – that there were things left unsaid when he used these materials the first time around. At any rate, the melancholy radiance of his score to The Hours is self-justifying.

Nonesuch doesn’t make this clear, but this CD appears not to be a soundtrack recording – at least, not entirely, as a different pianist (David Arch) is heard in the film. “Tearing Herself Away” is not heard in the film either. This doesn’t matter, but it is unexplained and somewhat odd.

The tense, pallid faces of Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, and Julianne Moore have been used to create one of the most striking film posters of recent times. Glass’s music, with its ability to make the familiar strange, fits the publicity and the tone of the film itself. Don’t listen to the film critics: this is masterful music. Filmmakers are seldom this lucky.