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Jazz Music

Lester Young with the Oscar Peterson Trio

Lester Young The President Plays with the Oscar Peterson Trio (Full Album) with sheet music

Recorded: On November 28, 1952

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01 Ad Lib Blues 0:00 02 I Can’t Get Started 5:54 03 Just You, Just Me 9:35 04 Almost Like Being in Love 17:16 05 Tea for Two 20:51 06 There Will Never Be Another You 28:36 07 (Back Home Again In) Indiana 32:05 08 On the Sunny Side of the Street 39:09 09 Stardust 42:37 10 (I’m) Confessin’ (That I Love You) 46:13 11 I Can’t Give You Anything But Love 49:55 12 These Foolish Things 53:18 13 (It Takes) Two to Tango 56:52 14 I Can’t Get Started 1:03:00

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Lester Willis Young (August 27, 1909 – March 15, 1959), nicknamed “Pres” or “Prez”, was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and occasional clarinetist.

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Coming to prominence while a member of Count Basie‘s orchestra, Young was one of the most influential players on his instrument. In contrast to many of his hard-driving peers, Young played with a relaxed, cool tone and used sophisticated harmonies, using what one critic called “a free-floating style, wheeling and diving like a gull, banking with low, funky riffs that pleased dancers and listeners alike”.

Known for his hip, introverted style, he invented or popularized much of the hipster jargon which came to be associated with the music.

Oscar Emmanuel Peterson, (August 15, 1925 – December 23, 2007) was a Canadian jazz pianist, virtuoso and composer.

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He was called the “Maharaja of the keyboard” by Duke Ellington, but simply “O.P.” by his friends. He released over 200 recordings, won eight Grammy Awards, and received numerous other awards and honours.

He is considered one of the greatest jazz pianists,and played thousands of concerts worldwide in a career lasting more than 60 years.

Peterson taught piano and improvisation in Canada, mainly in Toronto. With associates, he started and headed the Advanced School of Contemporary Music in Toronto for five years during the 1960s, but it closed because touring called him and his associates away, and it did not have government funding.Later, he mentored the York University jazz program and was the Chancellor of the university for several years in the early 1990s. He published jazz piano etudes for practice. He asked his students to study the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, especially The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Goldberg Variations, and The Art of Fugue, considering these piano pieces essential for every serious pianist. Among his students were pianists Benny Green and Oliver Jones.

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Jazz Music

Bill Evans (piano) Gone With The Wind

Bill Evans (piano) Gone With The Wind (sheet music transcription available in our online Library)

William John Evans (August 16, 1929 – September 15, 1980) was an American jazz pianist and composer who mostly played in trios. His use of impressionist harmony, inventive interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, block chords, and trademark rhythmically independent, “singing” melodic lines continue to influence jazz pianists today.Born in Plainfield, New Jersey, in 1929, he was classically trained at Southeastern Louisiana University and the Mannes School of Music, where he majored in composition and received the Artist Diploma. In 1955, he moved to New York City, where he worked with bandleader and theorist George Russell. In 1958, Evans joined Miles Davis’s sextet, which in 1959, then immersed in modal jazz, recorded Kind of Blue, the best-selling jazz album of all time. During that time, Evans was also playing with Chet Baker for the album Chet.In late 1959, Evans left the Miles Davis band and began his career as a leader, with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian, a group now regarded as a seminal modern jazz trio.

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In 1961, ten days after finishing an engagement at the New York Village Vanguard jazz club, LaFaro died in a car accident. After months of seclusion, Evans reemerged with a new trio, featuring bassist Chuck Israels.In 1963, Evans recorded Conversations with Myself, a solo album using the unconventional technique of overdubbing himself. In 1966, he met bassist Eddie Gómez, with whom he worked for 11 years.Many of Evans’s compositions, such as “Waltz for Debby”, have become standards, played and recorded by many artists. Evans received 31 Grammy nominations and seven awards, and was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame.Bill Evans is seen as the main reformer of the harmonic language of jazz piano. Evans’s harmonic language was influenced by impressionist composers such as Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. His versions of jazz standards, as well as his own compositions, often featured thorough reharmonisations. Musical features included added tone chords, modal inflections, unconventional substitutions, and modulations.An example of Evans’s harmonies. The chords feature extensions like 9ths and 13ths, are laid around middle C, have smooth voice leading, and leave the root to the bassist. Bridge of the first chorus of “Waltz for Debby” (mm.33-36). From the 1961 album of the same name.One of Evans’s distinctive harmonic traits is excluding the root in his chords, leaving this work to the bassist, played on another beat of the measure, or just left implied.

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“If I am going to be sitting here playing roots, fifths and full voicings, the bass is relegated to a time machine.” This idea had already been explored by Ahmad Jamal, Erroll Garner, and Red Garland. In Evans’s system, the chord is expressed as a quality identity and a color. Most of Evans’s harmonies feature added note chords or quartal voicings. Thus, Evans created a self-sufficient language for the left hand, a distinctive voicing, that allowed the transition from one chord to the next while hardly having to move the hand. With this technique, he created an effect of continuity in the central register of the piano. Lying around middle C, in this region the harmonic clusters sounded the clearest, and at the same time, left room for contrapuntal independence with the bass.Evans’s improvisations relied heavily on motivic development, either melodically or rhythmically. Motives may be broken and recombined to form melodies. Another characteristic of Evans’s style is rhythmic displacement. His melodic contours often describe arches. Other characteristics include sequenciation of melodies and transforming one motive into another. He plays with one hand in the time signature of 4/4 and the other momentarily in 3/4.At the beginning of his career, Evans used block chords heavily. He later abandoned them in part. At least during his late years, Evans’s favorite keys to play in were A and E. Evans greatly valued Bach’s music, which influenced his playing style and which helped him gain good touch and finger independence. “Bach changed my hand approach to playing the piano.

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I used to use a lot of finger technique when I was younger, and I changed over a weight technique.” Evans valued Bach’s “The Well-Tempered Clavier” and his “Two- and Three-Part Inventions” as excellent practice material.”Gone with the Wind” is a popular song. The music was written by Allie Wrubel, the lyrics by Herb Magidson, published in 1937.Whether the title of this song was related in any way to the 1936 Margaret Mitchell novel Gone with the Wind is difficult to determine. The timing of the song’s release suggests something more than coincidence, given that the book received enormous publicity in 1937, dominating the bestseller lists and winning a Pulitzer Prize. Still, the lyrics of the song have no obvious connection to the subject matter of the novel.

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Jazz Music

The Girl from Ipanema (with sheet music)

The Girl from Ipanema – Piano transcription by Oscar Peterson (with sheet music)

Garota de Ipanema” (“The Girl from Ipanema“) is a Brazilian bossa nova and jazz song. It was a worldwide hit in the mid-1960s and won a Grammy for Record of the Year in 1965. It was written in 1962, with music by Antônio Carlos Jobim and Portuguese lyrics by Vinícius de Moraes. English lyrics were written later by Norman Gimbel.

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The first commercial recording was in 1962, by Pery Ribeiro. The Stan Getz recording featuring the vocal debut of Astrud Gilberto became an international hit. This version had been shortened from the version on the album Getz/Gilberto (recorded in March 1963, released in March 1964), which had also included the Portuguese lyrics sung by Astrud’s then husband João Gilberto. In the US, the single peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100, and went to number one for two weeks on the Easy Listening chart. Overseas it peaked at number 29 in the United Kingdom, and charted highly throughout the world.

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Numerous recordings have been used in films, sometimes as an elevator music cliché. It is believed to be the second most recorded pop song in history, after “Yesterday” by The Beatles. The song was inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2004, it was one of 50 recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. In 2009, the song was voted by the Brazilian edition of Rolling Stone as the 27th greatest Brazilian song.

Antônio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim (Jan. 25, 1927 – December 8, 1994), also known as Tom Jobim, was a Brazilian composer, pianist, songwriter, arranger and singer. Widely considered as one of the great exponents of Brazilian music, Jobim internationalized bossa nova and, with the help of important American artists, merged it with jazz in the 1960s to create a new sound with remarkable popular success. As such he is sometimes known as the “father of bossa nova”.

He was a primary force behind the creation of the bossa nova style, and his songs have been performed by many singers and instrumentalists within Brazil and internationally.

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In 1965 his album Getz/Gilberto was the first jazz album to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. It also won for Best Jazz Instrumental Album – Individual or Group and for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. The album’s single “Garota de Ipanema” (“The Girl from Ipanema”), one of the most recorded songs of all time, won the Record of the Year. Jobim has left many songs that are now included in jazz and pop standard repertoires. The song “Garota de Ipanema” has been recorded over 240 times by other artists. His 1967 album with Frank Sinatra, Francis Albert Sinatra & Antônio Carlos Jobim, was nominated for Album of the Year in 1968.

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Jazz Music

Bill Evans – Alice in Wonderland

Bill Evans – Alice in Wonderland (cover playing Fender Rhodes Mark I 73) with sheet music

William John Evans (Aug. 16, 1929 – Sept. 15, 1980) was an American jazz pianist and composer who mostly played in trios. His use of impressionist harmony, inventive interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, block chords, and trademark rhythmically independent, “singing” melodic lines continue to influence jazz pianists today. Many Evans transcription can be found in our Library.

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Born in Plainfield, New Jersey, in 1929, he was classically trained at Southeastern Louisiana University and the Mannes School of Music, where he majored in composition and received the Artist Diploma. In 1955, he moved to New York City, where he worked with bandleader and theorist George Russell. In 1958, Evans joined Miles Davis’s sextet, which in 1959, then immersed in modal jazz, recorded Kind of Blue, the best-selling jazz album of all time. During that time, Evans was also playing with Chet Baker for the album Chet.

In late 1959, Evans left the Miles Davis band and began his career as a leader, with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian, a group now regarded as a seminal modern jazz trio. In 1961, ten days after finishing an engagement at the New York Village Vanguard jazz club, LaFaro died in a car accident. After months of seclusion, Evans reemerged with a new trio, featuring bassist Chuck Israels.

free sheet music & scores pdf

In 1963, Evans recorded Conversations with Myself, a solo album using the unconventional technique of overdubbing himself. In 1966, he met bassist Eddie Gómez, with whom he worked for 11 years.

Many of Evans’s compositions, such as “Waltz for Debby”, have become standards, played and recorded by many artists. Evans received 31 Grammy nominations and seven awards, and was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame.

Alice in Wonderland is the theme song composed by Sammy Fain for the Walt Disney 1951 animated film Alice in Wonderland. It was performed by The Jud Conlon Chorus and The Mellomen. The lyrics were written by Bob Hilliard and were arranged by Harry Simeone for treble voices.

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The song plays during the opening and end credits. Izumi Yukimura sang her own theme song for the Japanese release of the film. The “dreamy” song has become a jazz standard that has been performed by Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, Dave Brubeck, and others. In his book The History of Jazz, Ted Gioia cites “Alice in Wonderland” as one of Evans’s most beautiful performances, likening its “pristine beauty” to his “Waltz for Debby”. Evans recorded it at the Village Vanguard which featured on his 1961 album Sunday at the Village Vanguard. Rosemary Clooney recorded the ballad with “The Unbirthday Song” which also appeared on the soundtrack to the movie, and Michael Feinstein has also recorded it along with the other songs from the movie in a medley. The original recording for the film was in the key of G major, but the jazz standard is usually played in C major as it was by both Evans and Peterson.

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Jazz Music

Herbie Hancock – Cantaloupe Island (piano cover)

Herbie Hancock – Cantaloupe Island (piano cover) with sheet music

Herbert Jeffrey Hancock (born April 12, 1940) is an American pianist, keyboardist, bandleader, composer, and actor. Hancock started his career with Donald Byrd. He shortly thereafter joined the Miles Davis Quintet, where he helped to redefine the role of a jazz rhythm section and was one of the primary architects of the post-bop sound. In the 1970s, Hancock experimented with jazz fusion, funk, and electro styles. This sheet music is available in our online Library, and many others jazz transcriptions as well.

“Cantaloupe Island” is a jazz standard composed by Herbie Hancock and recorded for his 1964 album Empyrean Isles during his early years as one of the members of Miles Davis’ 1960s quintet. The musicians for the original 1964 recording were: Hancock (piano), Freddie Hubbard (cornet), Ron Carter (bass) and Tony Williams (drums).

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In 2000, “Cantaloupe Island” placed at #19 in the Jazz24.org “Jazz 100: One Hundred Quintessential Jazz Songs”.

Hancock’s best-known compositions include the jazz standards “Cantaloupe Island”, “Watermelon Man”, “Maiden Voyage”, and “Chameleon”, as well as the hit singles “I Thought It Was You” and “Rockit”. His 2007 tribute album River: The Joni Letters won the 2008 Grammy Award for Album of the Year, only the second jazz album to win the award, after Getz/Gilberto in 1965.

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Since 2012, Hancock has served as a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he teaches at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. He is also the chairman of the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz[3] (known as the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz until 2019).

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Jazz Music

Oscar Peterson – Piano Moods – I Love Paris

Oscar Peterson – Piano Moods – I Love Paris (with sheet music)

Oscar Emmanuel Peterson, (August 15, 1925 – December 23, 2007) was a Canadian jazz pianist, virtuoso and composer. He was called the “Maharaja of the keyboard” by Duke Ellington, but simply “O.P.” by his friends. He released over 200 recordings, won eight Grammy Awards, and received numerous other awards and honours. He is considered one of the greatest jazz pianists, and played thousands of concerts worldwide in a career lasting more than 60 years.

Early years

Peterson was born in Montreal, Quebec, to immigrants from the West Indies; his father worked as a porter for Canadian Pacific Railway. Peterson grew up in the neighbourhood of Little Burgundy in Montreal. It was in this predominantly black neighborhood that he encountered the jazz culture. At the age of five, Peterson began honing his skills on trumpet and piano, but a bout of tuberculosis when he was seven prevented him from playing the trumpet again, so he directed all his attention to the piano. His father, Daniel Peterson, an amateur trumpeter and pianist, was one of his first music teachers, and his sister Daisy taught him classical piano. Peterson was persistent at practising scales and classical études.

As a child, Peterson studied with Hungarian-born pianist Paul de Marky, a student of István Thomán, who was himself a pupil of Franz Liszt, so his early training was predominantly based on classical piano. But he was captivated by traditional jazz and boogie-woogie and learned several ragtime pieces. He was called “the Brown Bomber of the Boogie-Woogie”.

At the age of nine Peterson played piano with a degree of control that impressed professional musicians. For many years his piano studies included four to six hours of daily practice. Only in his later years did he decrease his practice to one or two hours daily. In , at fourteen years of age, he won the national music competition organized by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. After that victory, he dropped out of the High School of Montreal, where he played in a band with Maynard Ferguson. He became a professional pianist, starring in a weekly radio show and playing at hotels and music halls. In his teens he was a member of the Johnny Holmes Orchestra. From to he worked in a trio and recorded for Victor Records. He gravitated toward boogie-woogie and swing with a particular fondness for Nat King Cole and Teddy Wilson. By the time he was in his s, he had developed a reputation as a technically brilliant and melodically inventive pianist.

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Duos, trios, and quartets

In a cab on the way to the Montreal airport, Norman Granz heard a radio program broadcasting from a local club. He was so impressed that he told the driver to take him to the club so he could meet the pianist. In he introduced Peterson in New York City at a Jazz at the Philharmonic concert at Carnegie Hall. He remained Peterson’s manager for most of his career. This was more than a managerial relationship; Peterson praised Granz for standing up for him and other black jazz musicians in the segregationist south of the s and s. In the documentary video Music in the Key of Oscar, Peterson tells how Granz stood up to a gun-toting southern policeman who wanted to stop the trio from using “whites-only” taxis.

In Peterson worked in a duo with double bassist Ray Brown. Two years later they added guitarist Barney Kessel. Then Herb Ellis stepped in after Kessel grew weary of touring. The trio remained together from to , often touring with Jazz at the Philharmonic.

Peterson also worked in a duo with Sam Jones, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Joe Pass, Irving Ashby, Count Basie, and Herbie Hancock.

He considered the trio with Brown and Ellis “the most stimulating” and productive setting for public performances and studio recordings. In the early s, he began performing with Brown and drummer Charlie Smith as the Oscar Peterson Trio. Shortly afterward Smith was replaced by guitarist Irving Ashby, who had been a member of the Nat King Cole Trio. Ashby, who was a swing guitarist, was soon replaced by Kessel. Their last recording, On the Town with the Oscar Peterson Trio, recorded live at the Town Tavern in Toronto, captured a remarkable degree of emotional as well as musical understanding between three players.

When Ellis departed in , they hired drummer Ed Thigpen because they felt no guitarist could compare to Ellis. Brown and Thigpen worked with Peterson on his albums Night Train and Canadiana Suite. Both left in and were replaced by bassist Sam Jones and drummer Louis Hayes (and later, drummer Bobby Durham). The trio performed together until . In Peterson recorded Motions and Emotions with orchestral arrangements of “Yesterday” and “Eleanor Rigby” by The Beatles. In the fall of , Peterson’s trio released the album Tristeza on Piano. Jones and Durham left in .

Peterson formed a trio with guitarist Joe Pass and bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen. This trio emulated the success of the s trio with Brown and Ellis and gave acclaimed performances at festivals. Their album The Trio won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Performance by a Group. On April , , Peterson performed in the interval act for the Eurovision Song Contest that was broadcast live from the Palais des congrès de Paris. In he added British drummer Martin Drew. This quartet toured and recorded extensively worldwide. Pass said in a interview, “The only guys I’ve heard who come close to total mastery of their instruments are Art Tatum and Peterson”.

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Peterson was open to experimental collaborations with jazz musicians such as saxophonist Ben Webster, trumpeter Clark Terry, and vibraphonist Milt Jackson. In , the Peterson trio with Jackson recorded the album Very Tall. His solo recordings were rare until Exclusively for My Friends (MPS), a series of albums that were his response to pianists such as Bill Evans and McCoy Tyner. He recorded for Pablo, led by Norman Granz, after the label was founded in . In the s he played in a duo with pianist Herbie Hancock. In the late s and s, after a stroke, he made performances and recordings with his protégé Benny Green. In the s and s he recorded several albums accompanied by a combo for Telarc.

Peterson had arthritis since his youth, and in later years he had trouble buttoning his shirt. Never slender, his weight increased to  kg ( lb), hindering his mobility. He had hip replacement surgery in the early s. Although the surgery was successful, his mobility was still inhibited. In a stroke weakened his left side and removed him from work for two years. During the same year incoming prime minister Jean Chrétien, his friend and fan, offered him the position of Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario. According to Chrétien, Peterson declined the job due to ill health related to the stroke.

Although he recovered some dexterity in his left hand, his piano playing was diminished, and his style had relied principally on his right hand. In he returned to occasional public performances and recorded for Telarc. In he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and an International Jazz Hall of Fame Award. His friend, Canadian politician and amateur pianist Bob Rae, said, “a one-handed Oscar was better than just about anyone with two hands.”

In his health declined, he canceled his plans to perform at the Toronto Jazz Festival and a Carnegie Hall all-star concert that was to be given in his honour. Peterson died on December 23 2007 , of kidney failure at his home in Mississauga, Ontario.

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Jazz Music

Bill Evans & Jim Hall – Undercurrent (1962 Album)

Undercurrent is a 1962 album by jazz pianist Bill Evans and jazz guitarist Jim Hall. They would collaborate again in 1966 for the follow-up album Intermodulation.

Personnel:

Bill Evans (p)

Jim Hall (gr)
Released: 1962
Recorded: April 24 & May 14, 1962 Sound Makers, New York City
Label: United Artists UAJS 15003
Producer: Alan Douglas

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In his November 26, 1962 review for Down Beat magazine jazz critic Pete Welding states: “This collaboration between Evans and Hall has resulted in some of the most beautiful, throughly ingratiating music it has been my pleasure to hear…”

The front cover image for Undercurrent is Toni Frissell’s photograph “Weeki Wachee Spring, Florida”. The album was originally released on United Artists, then reissued by Solid State in 1968. More recently, the album was reissued on EMI/Blue Note (in fact, both Blue Note and United Artists Records have been owned for a long time by EMI). The original LP and the first CD reissue featured a cropped, blue-tinted version, overlaid with the title and the Blue Note logo in white; but for the most recent (24-bit remastered) CD reissue, the image has been restored to its original black-and-white coloration and size, without lettering.

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“My Funny Valentine” (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart)
“I Hear a Rhapsody” (Jack Baker, George Fragos, Dick Gasparre)
“Dream Gypsy” (Judith Veveers)
“Romain” (Jim Hall)
“Skating in Central Park” (Lewis)
“Darn That Dream” (DeLange, Van Heusen)
“Stairway to the Stars” (Malneck, Parish, Signorelli)
“I’m Getting Sentimental Over You” (Bassman, Washington)
“My Funny Valentine [Alternate Take]
“Romain” [Alternate Take]

Find these sheet music transcriptions in our Library.

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Jazz Music

Bill Evans (piano) -Bésame Mucho

Bill Evans (piano) – Bésame Mucho

«Bésame mucho» es el título de una canción escrita en 1940 por la pianista y compositora mexicana Consuelito Velázquez (1916-2005).​ Rápidamente se convirtió en una de las más populares del siglo XX.

La canción fue escrita por la jalisciense Consuelito Velázquez y el primero en grabarla fue Emilio Tuero.​ Con el tiempo, la canción fue pasando de un artista a otro con diferentes adaptaciones, siendo la versión de Pedro Infante una de las más conocidas, así como una versión en inglés a cargo de The Beatles.

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“Bésame mucho” (“Kiss me a lot”) is a song written in 1940 by Mexican songwriter Consuelo Velázquez. A famous 1956 version is sung by Trio Los Panchos and female vocalist Gigliola Cinquetti. An English lyric was written by Sunny Skylar.

It is one of the most famous boleros, and was recognized in 1999 as the most sung and recorded Mexican song in the world.

The song appeared in the film Follow the Boys (5 May 1944) when it was played by Charlie Spivak and his Orchestra and in Cowboy and the Senorita (13 May 1944) with vocal by Dale Evans.

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Jazz Music

Dave Brubeck The Essential

Dave Brubeck The Essential with sheet music

David Warren Brubeck ( Dec. 6, 1920 – Dec. 5, 2012) was an American jazz pianist and composer, considered one of the foremost exponents of cool jazz. Many of his compositions have become jazz standards including “In Your Own Sweet Way” and “The Duke”. Brubeck’s style ranged from refined to bombastic, reflecting both his mother’s classical training and his own improvisational skills. His music is known for employing unusual time signatures as well as superimposing contrasting rhythms, meters, and tonalities.

Brubeck’s piano style is described by Feather/Gitler as “heavy in touch and thick with complex harmonies, which evolved in later years into a richer more melodic, but no less provocative, form of expression”.

Often incorrectly attributed to Brubeck, the song “Take Five“, which has become a jazz standard, was composed by Brubeck’s long-time musical partner, alto saxophonist Paul Desmond. Appearing on one of the top-selling jazz albums, Time Out, and written in 5/4 time, “Take Five” has endured as a jazz classic associated with Brubeck.

Despite his popularity, Brubeck was an experimental musician who introduced unusual time signatures such as 5/4, 5/8, 9/8, 7/4 and 11/4 to jazz. Paul Desmond’s Take Five is in 5/4 metre. It was relased together with Brubeck’s Blue Rondo a la Turk in 9/8 metre, grouped 2+2+2+3, on Time Out.

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In 1951, Brubeck damaged several neck vertebrae and his spinal cord while diving into the surf in Hawaii. He would later remark that the rescue workers who responded had described him as a “DOA” (dead on arrival). Brubeck recovered after a few months, but suffered with residual nerve pain in his hands for years after. The injury also influenced his playing style towards complex, blocky chords rather than speedy, high-dexterity, single-note runs.

Brubeck organized the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1951, with Paul Desmond on alto saxophone. They took up a long residency at San Francisco’s Black Hawk nightclub and gained great popularity touring college campuses, recording a series of albums with such titles as Jazz at Oberlin (1953), Jazz at the College of the Pacific (1953), and Brubeck’s debut on Columbia Records, Jazz Goes to College (1954).

When Brubeck signed with Fantasy Records, he thought he had a half interest in the company and he worked as a sort of A & R man for the label, encouraging the Weiss brothers to sign other contemporary jazz performers, including Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker and Red Norvo. When he discovered that all he owned was a half interest in his own recording, he quit to sign with another label, Columbia Records.

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In 1954, he was featured on the cover of Time, the second jazz musician to be so honored (the first was Louis Armstrong on February 21, 1949). Brubeck personally found this accolade embarrassing, since he considered Duke Ellington more deserving of it and was convinced that he had been favored for being Caucasian. Ellington himself knocked on the door of Brubeck’s hotel room to show him the cover and the only reaction Brubeck could give was, “It should have been you.”

Early bassists for the group included Ron Crotty, Bob Bates and his brother Norman Bates; Lloyd Davis and Joe Dodge held the drum chair. In 1956 Brubeck hired drummer Joe Morello, who had been working with Marian McPartland; Morello’s presence made possible the rhythmic experiments that were to come. In 1958 African-American bassist Eugene Wright joined for the group’s U.S. Department of State tour of Europe and Asia. The group visited Poland, Turkey, India, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon), Pakistan, Iran and Iraq on behalf of the U.S. Government. They spent two weeks in Poland, giving thirteen concerts and spending time visiting with Polish musicians and citizens as part of the People-to-People program. Wright became a permanent member in 1959, making the “classic” Quartet’s personnel complete. During the late 1950s and early 1960s Brubeck canceled several concerts because the club owners or hall managers continued to resist the idea of an integrated band on their stages. He also canceled a television appearance when he found out that the producers intended to keep Wright off-camera.

In 1959, the Dave Brubeck Quartet recorded Time Out, an album about which the record label was enthusiastic but which they were nonetheless hesitant to release. Featuring the cover art of S. Neil Fujita, the album contained all original compositions, almost none of which were in common time. Nonetheless, on the strength of these unusual time signatures (the album included “Take Five“, “Blue Rondo à la Turk“, and “Three To Get Ready”), it quickly went Platinum. It was the first jazz album to sell more than a million copies.

Time Out was followed by several albums with a similar approach, including Time Further Out: Miro Reflections (1961).

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These albums (except the last) were also known for using contemporary paintings as cover art, featuring the work of Joan Miró on Time Further Out, Franz Kline on Time in Outer Space, and Sam Francis on Time Changes.

On a handful of albums in the early 1960s, clarinetist Bill Smith replaced Desmond. These albums were devoted to Smith’s compositions and thus had a somewhat different aesthetic than other Brubeck Quartet albums. Nonetheless, according to critic Ken Dryden, “[Smith] proves himself very much in Desmond’s league with his witty solos”. Smith was an old friend of Brubeck’s; they would record together, intermittently, from the 1940s until the final years of Brubeck’s career.

In the early 1960s, Brubeck and his wife, Iola, developed a jazz musical, The Real Ambassadors, based in part on experiences they and their colleagues had during foreign tours on behalf of the Department of State. The soundtrack album, which featured Louis Armstrong, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, and Carmen McRae was recorded in 1961; the musical was performed at the 1962 Monterey Jazz Festival.

At its peak in the early 1960s, the Brubeck Quartet was releasing as many as four albums a year. Apart from the “College” and the “Time” series, Brubeck recorded four LPs featuring his compositions based on the group’s travels, and the local music they encountered. Jazz Impressions of the U.S.A. (1956, Morello’s debut with the group), Jazz Impressions of Eurasia (1958), Jazz Impressions of Japan (1964), and Jazz Impressions of New York (1964) are less well-known albums, but all are brilliant examples of the quartet’s studio work, and they produced Brubeck standards such as “Summer Song”, “Brandenburg Gate”, “Koto Song”, and “Theme From Mr. Broadway”. (Brubeck wrote, and the Quartet performed, the theme song for this Craig Stevens CBS drama series; the music from the series became material for the New York album.) In 1961, Brubeck appeared in a few scenes of the British jazz/beat film All Night Long, which starred Patrick McGoohan and Richard Attenborough. Brubeck merely plays himself, with the film featuring close-ups of his piano fingerings. Brubeck performs “It’s a Raggy Waltz” from the Time Further Out album and duets briefly with bassist Charles Mingus in “Non-Sectarian Blues”.

In the early 1960s Dave Brubeck was the program director of WJZZ-FM radio (now WEZN-FM). He achieved his vision of an all-jazz format radio station along with his friend and neighbor John E. Metts, one of the first African Americans in senior radio management. The final studio album for Columbia by the Desmond/Wright/Morello quartet was Anything Goes (1966) featuring the songs of Cole Porter. A few concert recordings followed, and The Last Time We Saw Paris (1967) was the “Classic” Quartet’s swan-song.

In 1967 Brubeck disbanded the Dave Brubeck Quartet to concentrate on composing. In 1968, he formed a new quartet that included the more swinging Gerry Mulligan in place of the retiring Paul Desmond as well as Alan Dawson and Jack Six. They played together until 1972. Then, Dave began to play with his sons Darius (keyboards), Dan (drums) and Chris (bass guitar and bass trombone). They stayed together until 1974. Again, Brubeck retired to write extended works, including the oratorio The Light in the Wilderness.

From 1977 to 1979, Dave formed a new quartet with Jack Six, Rand Jones and Bill Smith (clarinet) or Bob Militello (reeds). In 1987, Brubeck composed and performed music for the papal visit. He has also played for every American president since John F. Kennedy. From the 1980s on, Dave received numerous awards, including a Lifetime Achievement award in 1996 from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

In 1995, in celebration of his 75th birthday, Brubeck played two concerts in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. He performed an hour-long Mass, To Hope! (A Celebration) and premiered the choral work This Is the Day.

In his career, Dave Brubeck has collaborated with Louis Armstrong, Carmen McRae, Jimmy Rushing and many others.

As the concert in Lucerne proved (see the review below), Brubeck still plays at his best and continues to compose. According to his manager, an album with new compositions is to be recorded this fall.

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Jazz Music

Best of Jazz! Oscar Peterson Piano Moods Georgia On My Mind

Best of Jazz! Oscar Peterson Piano Moods Georgia On My Mind with sheet music transcription

Oscar Emmanuel Peterson (August 15, 1925 – December 23, 2007) was a Canadian jazz pianist, virtuoso and composer. He was called the “Maharaja of the keyboard” by Duke Ellington, but simply “O.P.” by his friends. He released over 200 recordings, won eight Grammy Awards, and received numerous other awards and honours. He is considered one of the greatest jazz pianists, and played thousands of concerts worldwide in a career lasting more than 60 years. Peterson taught piano and improvisation in Canada, mainly in Toronto. With associates, he started and headed the Advanced School of Contemporary Music in Toronto for five years during the 1960s, but it closed because touring called him and his associates away, and it did not have government funding] Later, he mentored the York University jazz program and was the Chancellor of the university for several years in the early 1990s. He published jazz piano etudes for practice. He asked his students to study the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, especially The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Goldberg Variations, and The Art of Fugue, considering these piano pieces essential for every serious pianist. Among his students were pianists Benny Green and Oliver Jones.”Georgia on My Mind” is a 1930 song written by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell and first recorded that year. It has often been associated with Ray Charles, a native of the U.S. state of Georgia, who recorded it for his 1960 album The Genius Hits the Road. In 1979, the State of Georgia designated it the official state song.It has been asserted that Hoagy Carmichael wrote the song about his sister, Georgia. But Carmichael wrote in his second autobiography Sometimes I Wonder that saxophonist Frankie Trumbauer told him he should write a song about the state of Georgia. He jokingly volunteered the first two words, “Georgia, Georgia…”, which Carmichael ended up using while working on the song with his roommate, Stuart Gorrell, who wrote the lyrics. Gorrell’s name was absent from the copyright, but Carmichael sent him royalty checks anyway.Carmichael recorded “Georgia on My Mind”, with Bix Beiderbecke on cornet, in New York City on September 15, 1930.Ray Charles, a native of Georgia, recorded a version that went to No. 1 on the Billboard magazine Hot 100.

Sheet Music Lyrics:


Georgia, Georgia, the whole day through
An’ just an old sweet song keeps Georgia on my mind
Georgia, Georgia, a song of you
Comes as sweet and clear as moonlight through the pines
Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you
Georgia, Georgia, no peace I find
Just an old sweet song keeps Georgia on my mind
Georgia, Georgia, no peace I find…