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Jazz & Rock Play Along

Good lesson for Jazz amateurs!

Based on the Standard Fly me to the Monn lead sheet.

Good lesson for Jazz amateurs!

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Jazz sheet music download.

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Jazz Play Along: Herbie Hancock “Watermelon Man”

Jazz Play Along: Herbie Hancock “Watermelon Man” with sheet music

jazz play along sheet music transcription

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Jazz & Rock Play Along Jazz & Blues Music

Travelin’ Blues – Dave Brubeck – Jazz play Along (with sheet music)

Play Jazz Standards Travelin’ Blues – Dave Brubeck – Jazz play Along Free sheet music in our online library.

Jamey Aebersold has gone to great lengths to put together fine rhythm sections and fairly accurate chord progressions into a neat little bundle, to make it easier for you to learn any jazz standard in the comfort of your own home, even without a band! The sheet music is also accurate and completed with the right chords.

Using jazz standard play alongs and lead sheet music as tools

Play alongs do have some benefits:

  • The soloists are out of the way so you can focus more easily on the rhythm section
  • The changes are more defined and easier to hear
  • The track stays consistent in terms of harmony

These attributes make jazz standard play alongs great for practicing exercises with. To use a play along effectively to improve at a tune, abandon the attitude that it exists simply for for your desire to “just play” while having a band back you up, and instead create exercises which will help to do the following:

  • Integrate new bits of language into your vocabulary
  • Isolate a concept
  • Work on problem chords
  • Work on figuring out chords by ear
  • Any other creative things you can come up with

When you use play alongs during your practice, make sure you’re implementing some type of exercise and do not get carried away by the urge to “just play.”

Utilizing play alongs in this manner will help you improve much more rapidly than if you put a tune from a play along on repeat and improvise over it endlessly.

We all have those chords that we get to and just freeze. That’s a problem chord. Most of time, rather than work on these chords, we glide over them, or use one approach we’ve figured out that kind of works, but not perfectly.

Slow it down. Then figure out ways your heroes dealt with a similar situation and use that knowledge to experiment with how you’ll approach the problem chord. Loop the section in the jazz play along and apply your new knowledge until you gain a firm understanding of how to go about playing over that particular harmonic instance.

After you feel you’ve sufficiently worked on things, then give yourself the opportunity to work on performing. Feel free to Let loose and enjoy just playing for a bit.

Remember to practice in the practice room and perform when you’re on the bandstand!

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Dave Brubeck

In the 1950s and ’60s, few American jazz artists were as influential, and fewer still were as popular, as Dave Brubeck. At a time when the cooler sounds of West Coast jazz began to dominate the public face of the music, Brubeck proved there was an audience for the style far beyond the confines of the in-crowd, and with his emphasis on unusual time signatures and adventurous tonalities, Brubeck showed that ambitious and challenging music could still be accessible. And as rock & roll began to dominate the landscape of popular music at the dawn of the ’60s, Brubeck enjoyed some of his greatest commercial and critical success, expanding the audience for jazz and making it hip with young adults and college students.

David Warren Brubeck was born in Concord, California on December 6, 1920. Brubeck grew up surrounded by music — his mother was a classically trained pianist and his two older brothers would become professional musicians — and he began receiving piano lessons when he was four years old. Brubeck showed an initial reluctance to learn to read music, but his natural facility for the keyboard and his ability to pick up melodies by ear allowed him to keep this a secret for several years. His father worked as a cattle rancher, and in 1932, his family moved from Concord to a 45,000-acre spread near the foothills of the Sierras.

As a teenager, Brubeck was passionate about music and performed with a local dance band in his spare time, but he planned to follow a more practical career path and study veterinary medicine. However, after enrolling in the College of the Pacific in Stockton, California, Brubeck played piano in local night spots to help pay his way, and his enthusiasm for performing was such that one of his professors suggested he would be better off studying music. Brubeck followed this advice and graduated in 1942, though several of his instructors were shocked to learn that he still couldn’t read music.

Brubeck left college as World War II was in full swing, and he was soon drafted into the Army; he served under Gen. George S. Patton, and would have fought in the Battle of the Bulge had he not been asked to play piano in a Red Cross show for the troops. Brubeck was requested to put together a jazz band with his fellow soldiers, and he formed a combo called “the Wolfpack,” a multi-racial ensemble at a time when the military was still largely segregated. Brubeck was honorably discharged in 1946, and enrolled at Mills College in Oakland, California, where he studied under the French composer Darius Milhaud. Unlike many composers in art music, Milhaud had a keen appreciation for jazz, and Brubeck began incorporating many of Milhaud’s ideas about unusual time signatures and polytonality into his jazz pieces.

In 1947, Brubeck formed a band with several other Mills College students, the Dave Brubeck Octet. However, the Octet’s music was a bit too adventurous for the average jazz fan at the time, and Brubeck moved on to a more streamlined trio with Cal Tjader on vibes and percussion and Ron Crotty on bass. Brubeck made his first commercial recordings with this trio for California’s Fantasy Records, and while he developed a following in the San Francisco Bay Area, a back injury Brubeck received during a swimming accident prevented him from performing for several months and led him to restructure his group.

Brubeck Time

In 1951, the Dave Brubeck Quartet made their debut, with the pianist joined by Paul Desmond on alto sax; Desmond’s easygoing but adventurous approach was an ideal match for Brubeck. While the Quartet’s rhythm section would shift repeatedly over the next several years, in 1956 Joe Morello became their permanent drummer, and in 1958, Eugene Wright took over as bassist. By this time, Brubeck’s fame had spread far beyond Northern California; Brubeck’s recordings for Fantasy had racked up strong reviews and impressive sales, and along with regular performances at jazz clubs, the Quartet began playing frequent concerts at college campuses across the country, exposing their music to a new and enthusiastic audience that embraced their innovative approach. Brubeck and the Quartet had become popular enough to be the subject of a November 8, 1954 cover story in Time Magazine, only the second time that accolade had been bestowed on a jazz musician (Louis Armstrong made the cover in 1949). In 1955, Brubeck signed with Columbia Records, then America’s most prestigious record company, and his first album for the label, Brubeck Time, appeared several months later.

Time Out

A steady stream of live and studio recordings followed as the Dave Brubeck Quartet became the most successful jazz act in the United States, and in 1959, they released one of their most ambitious albums yet, Time Out, a collection of numbers written in unconventional time signatures, such as 5/4 and 9/8. While Columbia were initially reluctant to release an album they felt was too arty for the mainstream, their fears proved groundless — Time Out became the first jazz album to sell a million copies, and in 1961, it bounded back into the charts when “Take Five” unexpectedly took off as a single, rising to 25 on the pop charts and five on the adult contemporary survey.

As Brubeck enjoyed increasing commercial success, he began exploring new musical avenues; in 1959, the Brubeck Quartet performed with the New York Philharmonic, performing “Dialogues for Jazz Combo and Orchestra,” a piece written by Howard Brubeck, Dave’s brother. Dave’s own composition “Elementals,” written for orchestra and jazz ensemble, debuted in 1962; “Elementals” was later adapted into a dance piece by choreographer Lar Lubovitch. And Brubeck and his wife, Iola, wrote a song cycle called “The Real Ambassadors” that celebrated the history of jazz while decrying racism; it was performed at the 1962 Monterey Jazz Festival, with contributions from Louis Armstrong, Carmen McRae, and Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. The Brubeck Quartet also became international stars, with the State Department arranging for them to perform in locales rarely visited by jazz artists, including Poland, Turkey, India, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Sri Lanka.

Two Generations of Brubeck

In 1967, Brubeck dissolved the Dave Brubeck Quartet and began devoting more time to composing longer works that often focused on his spiritual beliefs, including an oratorio for jazz ensemble and orchestra, “The Light in the Wilderness,” which debuted in 1968; “The Gates of Justice,” first performed in 1969, which melded passages from the Bible with the writings of Martin Luther King, and “Upon This Rock,” which was written for Pope John Paul II’s visit to San Francisco in 1987. Brubeck continued to perform in a more traditional jazz format as well, forming a new combo in 1968 featuring Jack Six on bass, Alan Dawson on drums, and Gerry Mulligan on baritone sax. In the ’70s, Brubeck also toured with a group featuring his sons Darius (keyboards), Chris (bass and trombone), and Dan (drums); dubbed Two Generations of Brubeck, the ensemble performed a bracing fusion of jazz, rock, and blues. In 1976, Brubeck reassembled the classic lineup of the Dave Brubeck Quartet for a 25th anniversary tour; the reunion was cut short by the death of Paul Desmond in 1977.

From the mid-’80s onward, Brubeck maintained a schedule that would befit a rising star eager to make a name for himself rather than a respected elder statesman. He continued to compose orchestral works as well as fresh jazz pieces, and recorded and performed on a regular basis with a variety of accompanists. Perhaps the most honored jazz artist of his generation, Brubeck received awards from two sitting United States Presidents — Bill Clinton presented him with the National Medal of the Arts in 1994, and Barack Obama presented him with the Kennedy Center Honors in 2009.

Brubeck also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a lifetime achievement Grammy from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the Smithsonian Medal, and honorary degrees from universities in five different countries, among many other awards for his life in music. When he died of heart failure late in 2012, just one day before his 92nd birthday, his life and his work were celebrated around the world.

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Jazz & Rock Play Along

Play Guitar with U2 (1984-1987) – “With Or Without You” audio background play along (sheet music)

Play Guitar with U2 (1984-1987) – “With Or Without You” audio background play along (sheet music) – Play Along Guitar

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Sheet Music Download.

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Jazz & Rock Play Along

What a Wonderful World (piano solo) with lead sheet

What a Wonderful World (piano solo) with lead sheet

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Piano solo Sheet Music download.

What a Wonderful World” is a song written by Bob Thiele (as “George Douglas”) and George David Weiss. It was first recorded by Louis Armstrong and released in 1967 as a single, which topped the pop charts in the United Kingdom, though it performed poorly in the United States because Larry Newton, the president of ABC Records, disliked the song and refused to promote it.

After appearing in the film Good Morning, Vietnam, the song was re-released as a single in 1988, and it rose to number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100. Armstrong’s recording was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. The publishing for this song is controlled by Concord, BMG Rights Management and Carlin America.

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The song was written by producer Bob Thiele (as “George Douglas“) and composer and performer George David Weiss.

One source claims the song was first offered to Tony Bennett, who turned it down, although Louis Armstrong biographer Ricky Riccardi disputes this claim. George Weiss recounts in the book Off the Record: Songwriters on Songwriting by Graham Nash that he wrote the song specifically for Louis Armstrong. Weiss was inspired by Armstrong’s ability to bring people of different races together.

Because he was gigging at the Tropicana Hotel, Armstrong recorded the song in Las Vegas at Bill Porter’s United Recording studio. The session was scheduled to follow Armstrong’s midnight show, and by 2 am the musicians were settled and tape was rolling. Arranger Artie Butler was there with songwriters Weiss and Thiele, and Armstrong was in the studio singing with the orchestra. Armstrong had recently signed to ABC Records, and ABC president Larry Newton showed up to photograph Armstrong. Newton wanted a swingy pop song like “Hello, Dolly!“, a big hit for Armstrong when he was with Kapp Records, so when Newton heard the slow pace of “What a Wonderful World”, he tried to stop the session. Newton was locked out of the studio for his disruption, but a second problem arose: nearby freight train whistles interrupted the session twice, forcing the recording to start over. Armstrong shook his head and laughed off the distractions, keeping his composure. The session ended around 6 am, going longer than expected. To make sure the orchestra members were paid extra for their overtime, Armstrong accepted only $250 musicians union scale for his work.

The song was not initially a hit in the United States, where it sold fewer than 1,000 copies because Newton did not like or promote it, but was a major success in the United Kingdom, reaching number one on the UK Singles Chart. In the United States, the song hit No. 16 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Chart. It was also the biggest-selling single of 1968 in the UK where it was among the last pop singles issued by HMV before it became an exclusive classical music label. The song made Armstrong the oldest male to top the UK Singles Chart. Armstrong’s record was broken in 2009 when a remake of “Islands in the Stream” recorded for Comic Relief—which included the 68-year-old Tom Jones—reached number one in that chart.

ABC Records’ European distributor EMI forced ABC to issue a What a Wonderful World album in 1968 (catalogue number ABCS-650). It did not chart in the United States, due to ABC not promoting it, but charted in the UK where it was issued by Stateside Records with catalogue number SSL 10247 and peaked on the British chart at No. 37.

The song gradually became something of a standard and reached a new level of popularity. An episode of The Muppet Show produced in 1977 and broadcast early in 1978 featured Rowlf the Dog singing the song to a puppy. In 1978, it was featured in the closing scenes of BBC radio’s, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and was repeated for BBC’s 1981 TV adaptation of the series. In 1988, Armstrong’s recording appeared in the film Good Morning, Vietnam (despite the film being set in 1965 – two years before it was recorded) and was re-released as a single, hitting No. 32 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in February 1988. The single charted at number one for the fortnight ending June 27, 1988 on the Australian chart. It is also the closing song for the 1995 movie 12 Monkeys and the 1998 film adaptation of Madeline.

In 2001, rappers Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, and the Alchemist released “The Forest,” a song that begins with three lines of lyric adapted from “What a Wonderful World”, altered to become “an invitation to get high” on marijuana. The rappers and their record company, Sony Music Entertainment, were sued by the owners of “What a Wonderful World,” Abilene Music. The suit was thrown out of court after Judge Gerard E. Lynch determined that the altered lyric was a parody, transforming the uplifting original message to a new one with a darker nature.

By April 2014, Louis Armstrong’s 1967 recording had sold 2,173,000 downloads in the United States after it was released digitally.

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Jazz & Rock Play Along

Jazz Play Along: Laurie by Bill Evans (with sheet music)

Jazz Play Along: Laurie by Bill Evans (with sheet music)

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Jazz & Rock Play Along

Jazz Play Along Bill Evans Time Remembered background music with sheet music

Jazz Play Along Bill Evans Time Remembered background music with sheet music

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“Laura ” Jazz Play Along with sheet music

Play Jazz Standards!

“Laura ” Jazz Play Along with sheet music.

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“Laura” is a 1945 popular song. The music, composed by David Raksin for the 1944 movie Laura, which starred Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews, is heard frequently in the movie. The film’s director, Otto Preminger, had originally wanted to use Duke Ellington‘s “Sophisticated Lady” as the theme, but Raksin was not convinced that it was suitable. Angered, Preminger gave Raksin one weekend to compose an alternative melody. Raksin later said, and maintained for the rest of his days, that when, over that weekend, his wife sent him a “Dear John” letter, the haunting theme seemed to write itself.

Laura is the face in the misty light, footsteps that you hear down the hall
The laugh that floats on the summer night that you can never quite recall
And you see Laura on a train that is passing through, those eyes how familiar they seem
She gave your very first kiss to you, that was Laura but she’s only a dream

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The song became a jazz standard and has been recorded over 400 times. Some of the best-known versions are by Woody Herman, Dave Brubeck, Johnny Johnston, Emil Newman, David Rose, Billy Eckstine, Charlie Parker, J. J. Johnson, Carly Simon, Frank Sinatra and Julie London (included on her 1955 debut album Julie Is Her Name, Vol. 1). The first 10 notes of the song are sometimes “quoted” during jazz solos, especially since Dizzy Gillespie did it during his “Perdido” solo at the famous Massey Hall concert in 1953.

Lyrics

Laura is the face in the misty light
Footsteps that you hear down the hall
The laugh that floats on a summer night
That you can never quite recall

And you see Laura on a train that is passing through
Those eyes how familiar they seem
She gave your very first kiss to you
That was Laura but she’s only a dream

She gave your very first kiss to you
That was Laura but she’s only a dream

Play Jazz Standards!
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Jazz & Rock Play Along

Jazz Play Along Bill Evans “Time Remembered”

Jazz Play Along Bill Evans “Time Remembered” background music with sheet music

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Laurie by Bill Evans with sheet music

Laurie by Bill Evans with sheet music

bill evans sheet music

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