Jazz Music Keith Jarrett - The Art of Improvisation

Keith Jarrett – Over the Rainbow (Tokyo 1984) Sheet Music Transcription

Keith Jarrett – Over the Rainbow (Tokyo 1984) Sheet Music Transcription

Keith Jarrett (born May 8, 1945) is an American jazz and classical music pianist and composer.

Jarrett started his career with Art Blakey, moving on to play with Charles Lloyd and Miles Davis. Since the early 1970s he has enjoyed a great deal of success as a group leader and a solo performer in jazz, jazz fusion, and classical music. His improvisations draw from the traditions of jazz and other genres, especially Western classical music, gospel, blues, and ethnic folk music.

sheet music jazz Keith Jarrett - Over the Rainbow

In 2003 Jarrett received the Polar Music Prize, the first recipient of both the contemporary and classical musician prizes, and in 2004 he received the Léonie Sonning Music Prize. His album The Köln Concert (1975) became the best-selling piano recording in history.

In 2008 he was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in the magazine’s 73rd Annual Readers’ Poll.

Jarrett recorded a few solo pieces live under the guidance of Miles Davis at Washington’s music club The Cellar Door in December 1970. These were done on electric pianos (Rhodes and Contempo), which Jarrett was loath to perform on. Most parts of these recorded sets were released in 2007 on The Cellar Door Sessions featuring four improvisations by Jarrett.

Jarrett’s first album for ECM, Facing You (1971), was a solo piano date recorded in the studio. He has continued to record solo piano albums in the studio intermittently throughout his career, including Staircase (1976), Invocations/The Moth and the Flame (1981), and The Melody at Night, with You (1999). Book of Ways (1986) is a studio recording of clavichord solos.

The studio albums are modestly successful entries in the Jarrett catalog, but in 1973, Jarrett also began playing totally improvised solo concerts, and it is the popularity of these voluminous concert recordings that made him one of the best-selling jazz artists in history. Albums released from these concerts were Solo Concerts: Bremen/Lausanne (1973), to which Time magazine gave its ‘Jazz Album of the Year’ award; The Köln Concert (1975), which became the best-selling piano recording in history; and Sun Bear Concerts (1976) – a 10-LP (and later 6-CD) box set.

Another of Jarrett’s solo concerts, Dark Intervals (1987, Tokyo), had less of a free-form improvisation feel to it because of the brevity of the pieces. Sounding more like a set of short compositions, these pieces are nonetheless entirely improvised.

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After a hiatus, Jarrett returned to the extended solo improvised concert format with Paris Concert (1990), Vienna Concert (1991), and La Scala (1995). These later concerts tend to be more influenced by classical music than the earlier ones, reflecting his interest in composers such as Bach and Shostakovich, and are mostly less indebted to popular genres such as blues and gospel. In the liner notes to Vienna Concert, Jarrett named the performance his greatest achievement and the fulfillment of everything he was aiming to accomplish: “I have courted the fire for a very long time, and many sparks have flown in the past, but the music on this recording speaks, finally, the language of the flame itself.”

Jarrett has commented that his best performances have been when he has had only the slightest notion of what he was going to play at the next moment. He also said that most people don’t know “what he does”, which relates to what Miles Davis said to him expressing bewilderment – as to how Jarrett could “play from nothing”. In the liner notes of the Bremen Lausanne album Jarrett states something to the effect that he is a conduit for the ‘Creator’, something his mother had apparently discussed with him. This has caused occasional moments of confusion, where reportedly at a concert he was so indecisive as to what to play that he just sat at the piano in silence until someone in the audience yelled out “C-sharp major!”, prompting Jarrett to thank the audience and begin playing.

Jarrett’s 100th solo performance in Japan was captured on video at Suntory Hall, Tokyo, in April 1987, and released the same year as Solo Tribute. This is a set of almost all standard songs. Another video recording, Last Solo, was released in 1987 from a solo concert at Kan-i Hoken hall in Tokyo in January 1984.

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In the late 1990s, Jarrett was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and was unable to leave his home for long periods of time. It was during this period that he recorded The Melody at Night, with You, a solo piano effort consisting of jazz standards presented with very little of the reinterpretation he usually employs. The album had originally been a Christmas gift to his second wife, Rose Anne.

By 2000, Jarrett had returned to touring, both solo and with the Standards Trio. Two 2002 solo concerts in Japan, Jarrett’s first solo piano concerts following his illness, were released on the 2005 CD Radiance (a complete concert in Osaka, and excerpts from one in Tokyo), and the 2006 DVD Tokyo Solo (the entire Tokyo performance). In contrast with previous concerts (which were generally a pair of continuous improvisations 30–40 minutes long), the 2002 concerts consist of a linked series of shorter improvisations (some as short as a minute and a half, a few of 15 or 20 minutes).

sheet music pdf Keith Jarrett - Over the Rainbow

In September 2005, at Carnegie Hall, Jarrett performed his first solo concert in North America in more than ten years, released a year later as a double-CD set, The Carnegie Hall Concert. In late 2008, he performed solo in the Salle Pleyel in Paris and at London’s Royal Festival Hall, marking the first time Jarrett had played solo in London in 17 years. Recordings of these concerts were released in October 2009 on the album Paris / London: Testament.

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Jazz Music Musical Analysis

Jazz Piano Left Hand Techniques

Jazz Piano Left Hand Techniques

by Ron Drotos

Oh, Lady Be Good!’ by George Gershwin • Dénes Dosztán – piano

First Part: the “stride piano” technique.

One of the biggest questions that aspiring jazz pianists ask me is, “What do I do with my left hand?” Once you get a sense of what’s possible for the left hand, you can then decide which technique to use on each tune you play. A lot of this will depend on your own approach to each song and also on the style of the musicians you’re playing with as well
as the particular playing situation you’re in.

To give you a good sense of this, I’ve arranged the great jazz classic “Oh, Lady Be Good” using the 5 most popular left-hand styles in jazz piano. Learn each one thoroughly and
analyze how the particular technique relates to the underlying chords.

Then choose the one or two techniques you like best and use them on your favorite jazz standards.

The first part shows a “stride piano” technique typical of early jazz and the swing era of the 1930s and early 40s. The right hand is reminiscent of Count Basie’s great 1936 recording of the tune.

jazz piano sheet music
jazz piano sheet music
“Oh, Lady Be Good”
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
(1924 – Public Domain) Arranged by Ron Drotos

Second Part: a walking bass line.

Now let’s learn a walking bass line. This technique can be used in many types of jazz, from swing to post-bop styles. You can walk bass lines when playing solo piano, or if
you’re accompanying a vocalist or instrumentalist, and no bass player is present. I’ve added a few chord substitutions that are commonly played during the middle section, or

jazz piano sheet music
jazz piano sheet music

Part 3: a melodic bass line

My piano teacher Billy Taylor told me that when he was playing in the early 1940s, bass players were developing a melodic way of playing walking bass lines (similar to the bass line I wrote in the Part 2.

Dr. Taylor vividly remembered bass players asking him to stop playing stride and to voice his LH chords higher up on the piano, to stay out of their way.

The “shell” voicings I show here were very common during the bebop era. By including the root and either 3rd or 7th of each chord, they give enough to indicate the basic tonality
while letting the bass player and soloist (or right hand) use any melodic notes they prefer.

Notice how I’ve added some bebop-style embellishments to the RH melody. I’ve also changed many of the 6th chords to Maj7, and added an ending that’s typical of the bebop

jazz piano sheet music
jazz piano sheet music

Part 4: “shell voicings.

LH “shell” voicings with the root, 3rd, and 7th of each chord can give a surprisingly full sound. Even Bill Evans, who popularized the rich A and B voicings found in our next
lesson, often used these more basic voicings when playing solo piano. Don’t worry if your hands aren’t large enough to stretch the 10th that some of these require. You can
simply re-arrange those voicings to be root, 3rd and 7th, as in the second measure here.

The RH part is exactly the same as in lesson 3, so you can compare the difference in the LH sound between the 2 and 3-note voicings.

jazz piano sheet music
jazz piano sheet music

Part 5: A and B rootless voicings.

Here are the famous left hand ‘A and B’ voicings, popularized by Bill Evans. Even though these voicings are the basis of much contemporary jazz playing, you’ll learn a lot more as
a player is you work through all 5 of these lessons in order, so you understand where how these rootless voicings developed historically.

(And as a bonus, you’ll know 5 great LH techniques, whereas a lot of jazz pianists nowadays only know one way to play!) Notice how I’ve moved the RH up an octave in spots to keep it out of the left hand’s way.

Have fun learning these LH techniques and applying them to your favorite jazz standards!

jazz piano sheet music
jazz piano sheet music

The Magician In You: Journey Through The Real Book #221 (Jazz Piano Lesson)

Vindeo Chapters:

Understanding the context of jazz standards 0:00 Keith Jarrett’s early period 0:42 1970s jazz-rock 1:33 A similar groove from Elton John 2:19 The tune’s shifting harmonic centers 3:37 How to practice hearing your way melodically through the changes 5:14 Keith Jarrett’s famous one-chord vamps 5:58 Planning the performance 6:31 Beginning with the introductory vamp 6:56

Stating the melody 7:22 The short vamp between choruses 8:19 Improvising a melodic solo 8:24 Using faster rhythms in the improvised line 8:53 Varying a country-rock lick 8:58 A touch of the blues 9:05 A fast arpeggio 9:08 Simplifying the solo 9:16 Parallel 6ths 9:19 Extending the Bbm7/Eb vamp 9:22 Improvising over the chord changes 9:35 Coltrane’s “sheets of sound” 9:41 A more folksy sound 9:51 Developing a motif 9:56 More country-rock 10:07

Highlighting the gospel music influence 10:23 Keeping the vamp brief this time 10:30 Fast soloing over the changes 10:37 A little bebop 10:55 Improvising with trills 11:00 Playful rhythms and rhythmic variety 11:07 Parallel 3rds over the extended vamp 11:37 Using the Eb Mixolydian mode 11:43 Going outside the changes 12:27 “Call and response” 12:34 Middle Eastern-influenced modal playing 12:56 Going “outside” over the pedal point 13:14 Bringing in a little funk 13:25 Coming in for a landing 13:33

Using a calmer LH texture under the melody 13:42 Becoming rhythmic again, for contrast 13:55 The final vamp, and “fade” 14:39 Looking for hints of Jarrett’s later playing style 14:57 Enjoying our journey through The Real Book 15:27 Play piano with more joy and less stress 15:40

Jazz Music

A Child is Born – Thad Jones comme joué par OSCAR PETERSON (partition, piano sheet music)

A Child is Born – comme joué par by OSCAR PETERSON, partition de piano , (sheet music)

OSCAR PETERSON sheet music pdf

Ocar Peterson

Oscar Emmanuel Peterson, ou comme on l’appelait souvent, “Le roi du swing intérieur”, était l’un des artistes de musique jazz les plus influents et les plus réussis du XXe siècle. Capable de créer des mélodies divines et harmonieuses, ce pianiste et compositeur de jazz avait de la magie dans sa musique.

Avec ses mélodies apaisantes et harmonieuses, il a conquis le cœur de millions de personnes en créant une musique qui transcende les frontières culturelles et fait vivre aux gens un pur bonheur. Sa musique reflétait des émotions et des messages puissants, qui visaient à répandre la positivité, l’espoir et à connecter les gens avec ses merveilleuses créations musicales.

Considéré comme l’un des plus grands pianistes de jazz, il a eu une carrière impressionnante qui a duré plus de six décennies. Influençant et impactant le genre musical jazz, Oscar Peterson a donné au monde quelques-uns des meilleurs jazzmen jamais connus.

Oscar Peterson sheet music

Les premières années d’Oscar Peterson

Né et éduqué à Montréal, au Québec, il a été élevé par sa famille composée d’immigrants des Antilles. Son père travaillait comme bagagiste pour les Chemins de fer du Canadien Pacifique. Ayant grandi dans le quartier de la Petite-Bourgogne à Montréal, la musique jazz et sa culture avaient pris racine profondément chez Oscar depuis le tout début.

À l’âge de cinq ans, Oscar avait perfectionné et perfectionné ses compétences à la trompette et au piano, mais en raison d’un épisode de tuberculose à l’âge de sept ans, il n’était plus capable de jouer de la trompette et a donc concentré toutes ses énergies sur le jeu de la trompette et le piano.

Ses premiers professeurs de musique comprenaient son père, qui était un trompettiste et pianiste amateur, et sa sœur, qui lui a appris le piano classique.

Au cours de ses premières années, Oscar a étudié avec le pianiste d’origine hongroise Paul de Marky, qui était un élève d’Istvan Thoman, et donc son apprentissage initial du piano était plus axé sur le côté classique. Mais bientôt son attention fut attirée par le jazz traditionnel et le boogie-woogie, ce qui l’inspira à apprendre diverses pièces de ragtime. Et peu de temps après, à l’âge de neuf ans, Oscar Peterson avait perfectionné son art et pouvait jouer du piano avec grâce et élégance, impressionnant même les musiciens professionnels.

Dans les années suivantes, il étudie et apprend le piano et pratique quatre à six heures par jour. Il était vraiment passionné et dédié à la musique de tout son cœur. En 1940, alors qu’Oscar avait quatorze ans, il remporte le concours national de musique organisé par la Société Radio-Canada.

Avec une oreille fine pour la musique, Oscar a décidé de devenir musicien professionnel. Et peu de temps après, il abandonna l’école, où il jouait également dans un groupe avec Maynard Ferguson. Après avoir quitté l’école, Oscar est devenu pianiste professionnel et a joué dans une émission de radio hebdomadaire, et en même temps, il jouait dans des auditoriums et des hôtels. Pendant son adolescence, il a par ailleurs été membre du Johnny Holmes Orchestra.

Mais au fur et à mesure que sa carrière musicale progressait, il commença à se concentrer sur le boogie-woogie et le swing, inspiré par des artistes comme Nat King Cole et Teddy Wilson. De 1945 à 1949, Oscar travaille en trio et enregistre pour Victoria Records. Et au moment où il avait atteint la vingtaine, Oscar s’était créé une image impressionnante en raison de ses incroyables talents musicaux, et était souvent considéré comme un pianiste techniquement brillant et mélodiquement inventif.

La carrière musicale d’Oscar Peterson

La manière dont Oscar a rencontré Norman Granz n’était rien de moins qu’une scène de film. Sur le chemin de l’aéroport, Norman Granz a entendu la radio qui diffusait depuis un club local et a été hypnotisé par l’étonnante musique de piano jazz qu’il a entendue.

Il a ensuite dit au chauffeur de taxi de l’emmener dans ce club particulier afin qu’il puisse rencontrer le talentueux pianiste de jazz. Et c’est là qu’il a rencontré Oscar Peterson.

Plus tard, il a également présenté Oscar à New York lors d’un concert ‘Jazz at the Philharmonic’. Norman fut le manager d’Oscar pendant la majeure partie de sa carrière musicale. En 1950, Oscar a travaillé en duo avec le contrebassiste Ray Brown, puis a ajouté le guitariste Barney Kessel.

Peu de temps après, Herb Ellis a remplacé Barney Kessel et le trio était ensemble de 1953 à 1958, souvent en tournée avec ‘Jazz at the Philharmonic’. Ce trio était considéré comme la collaboration la plus sensationnelle et la plus stimulante, que ce soit lors de représentations publiques ou d’enregistrements en studio.

Peu de temps après, Oscar a formé un trio avec le guitariste Joe Pass et le bassiste Niels-Henning Orsted-Pedersen, et a enregistré leur album légendaire ‘The Trio’ qui a remporté le Grammy Award 1974 pour la meilleure performance de musique jazz par un groupe. Le trio a ensuite créé certaines des musiques de jazz et de piano jazz les plus agréables et apaisants jamais créées. Et en 1974, Oscar a ajouté le batteur britannique Martin Drew à son groupe. Leur quatuor a été une collaboration fructueuse et a fait de nombreuses tournées et enregistrés dans le monde entier.

Plus tard, Oscar Peterson a également sorti ses enregistrements pour piano solo, qui présentaient son piano jazz solo, et a sorti une série d’albums intitulée ‘Exclusive for My Friends’. Oscar a enregistré plusieurs albums à succès avec divers musiciens tout au long de cette période jusqu’à ce qu’il ait un accident vasculaire cérébral. À la fin des années 1980 et 1990, après s’être remis d’un accident vasculaire cérébral, il se produit et enregistre avec son protégé Benny Green.

Au cours des années 1990 et 2000, il a enregistré plusieurs albums magnifiques et a offert au monde de la musique jazz de remarquables créations pour piano solo.

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Inspirations et influences

La musique avait inspiré et attiré Oscar dès son plus jeune âge. Lorsque son père a joué un disque de ‘Tiger Rag’ d’Art Tatum, il a été fasciné et impressionné par la musique mélodieuse. Il a été influencé par des artistes légendaires comme Teddy Wilson, James P. Johnson, Nat King Cole et Art Tatum.

Il remercie également sa sœur de lui avoir enseigné le piano comme aucun autre professeur, et comment elle a enseigné et influencé sa carrière musicale. Sous la direction de sa sœur, Oscar Peterson a maîtrisé le cœur de la musique classique pour piano et a tout appris, des gammes aux préludes et fugues.

La santé et les dernières années d’Oscar

Alors qu’Oscar Peterson était un musicien incroyable et étonnant, il souffrait d’arthrite depuis sa jeunesse. Et plus tard, victime d’un accident vasculaire cérébral en 1993, celui-ci affaiblit son côté gauche et l’éloigne de la musique et du piano pendant près de deux ans.

Bien qu’Oscar ait récupéré et amélioré son côté gauche après l’AVC, son jeu de piano et sa capacité à jouer au maximum ont diminué. Il a ensuite ajusté son jeu et sa musique reposait principalement sur sa main droite. Plus tard, en 2007, la santé d’Oscar a commencé à se détériorer et le 23 décembre 2007, il est décédé à son domicile de Mississauga, en Ontario, en raison d’une insuffisance rénale.

La légende du piano jazz et son parcours remarquable

La musique est un langage qui ne parle pas avec des mots, il parle avec des émotions. Et le jazz est l’un de ces styles de musique qui passe par les oreilles et mène droit au cœur.

Oscar Peterson était l’un des musiciens de jazz les plus influents de notre époque et il a vraiment donné au monde du jazz des créations incroyables et stellaires. Souvent appelé « le Maharaja du clavier », il était un maître de son art et s’est produit lors de milliers de concerts dans le monde entier. Tout au long de son incroyable carrière musicale, Oscar Peterson a sorti plus de 200 enregistrements, a remporté huit prix Grammy, dont le ‘Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award’, et divers autres prix et distinctions comme le ‘International Lifetime Achievement Award’.

Considéré comme l’un des plus grands pianistes de jazz de tous les temps, Oscar Peterson est véritablement une légende. Écoutez la merveilleuse musique de piano jazz solo d’Oscar Peterson et de nombreux autres musiciens de jazz sur Calm Radio.

Did you know? Jazz Music

Ladies of Soul Songbook – Sheet Music download

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Did you know? Bill Evans Harmony Jazz Music

Bill Evans (1929-1980), american jazz pianist and composer, Solo Sessions I-II (with sheet music download)

Bill Evans (1929-1980), american jazz pianist and composer, Solo Sessions I-II Download the sheet music transcriptions here.

Bill Evans, 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.
amercian jazz pianist and composer Bill Evans sheet music transcriptions
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 re-emerged with a new trio, featuring bassist Chuck Israels. In 1963, Evans recorded Conversations with Myself, a solo album using the unconventional technique of overdubbing over himself. In 1966, he met bassist Eddie Gómez, with whom he would work for eleven years. Many of Evans’s compositions, such as “Waltz for Debby”, have become standards, played and recorded by many artists.
Evans was honored with 31 Grammy nominations and seven awards, and was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame.
Bill Evans american pianist and composer jazz transcription sheet music

The Solo Sessions, Vol. 1 is an album by jazz pianist Bill Evans, released in 1989. Evans recorded The Solo Sessions, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 at the same session, on January 10, 1963 and the tracks were originally released as part of Bill Evans: The Complete Riverside Recordings in 1984. The Bill Evans Memorial Library states these sessions were never intended for release.

The Solo Sessions, Vol. 2 is an album by jazz pianist Bill Evans, released in 1992. Evans recorded The Solo Sessions, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 at the same session, on January 10, 1963. The Bill Evans Memorial Library states these sessions were never intended for release. Personnel: Bill Evans (p) Released: 1989, 1992 Recorded: January 24, 1963 Label: Milestone M-9170, MCD 9195-2 Producer: Orrin Keepnews.

Vol I: 0:00 “What Kind of Fool Am I?” [Take 1] (Bricusse, Newley) 6:17 “Medley: My Favorite Things/Easy to Love/Baubles, Bangles, & Beads” (Borodin, Wright, Forrest) 18:51 “When I Fall in Love” (Heyman, Young) 21:52 “Medley: Spartacus Love Theme/Nardis” (Alex North) 30:27 “Everything Happens to Me” (Adair, Dennis) 36:15 “April in Paris” (Duke, E. Y. Harburg)

Vol II: 42:06 “All the Things You Are” (Hammerstein II, Kern) 51:14 “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” (Coots, Gillespie) 55:53 “I Loves You Porgy” (Gershwin, Gershwin, Heyward) 1:01:44 “What Kind of Fool Am I?” [Take 2] (Bricusse, Newley) 1:08:31 “Love Is Here to Stay” (Gershwin, Gershwin) 1:12:33 “Ornithology” (Harris, Parker) 1:18:08 “Medley: Autumn in New York/How About You?” (Duke, Freed, Lane) You can find many Bill Evans solo transcriptions and compositions sheet music in our open Library, including the great analysis book “The Harmony of Bill Evans”, by Jack Reilly.

Jazz Music Bill Evans Harmony

Bill Evans – We Will Meet Again (Sheet Music)

Bill Evans – We Will Meet Again (Sheet Music)

Find Bill Evans’ sheet music trancriptions in our Library

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We will Mett Again – The Album

We Will Meet Again is an album by jazz pianist Bill Evans made for Warner Bros. Records in 1979. It is notable in that it is Evans’s last studio recording.

After the suicide of Bill Evans’ older brother, Harry, earlier in 1979, Bill made this album with his brother in mind, “We Will Meet Again” is addressed to Harry.

Just after Harry’s suicide, Bill Evans started a relationship with a Canadian waitress called Laurie Verchomin, the track “Laurie” is named after her. Laurie eventually took care of Bill Evans until his death, she was the last person he saw before he died.


Credits adapted from AllMusic.


  • Helen Keane – producer
  • Frank Laico – engineer, mixing
  • Aram Gesar – photography
  • Stew Romaine – mastering
  • Chris Callis – photography
  • Lee Herschberg – digital mastering (reissue)
Jazz Music Bill Evans Harmony Gershwin's music

Bill Evans “I Loves You, Porgy” (Complete Transcription)

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I Loves You, Porgy” is a duet from the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess with music by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin. It was performed in the opera’s premiere in 1935 and on Broadway the same year by Anne Brown and Todd Duncan.

They recorded the song on volume 2 of the album Selections from George Gershwin’s Folk Opera Porgy and Bess in 1942.

The duet occurs in act 2, scene 3, Catfish Row, where Porgy promises Bess that he will protect her. Bess has a lover, Crown, who is abusive and continually seduces her.

It has been popularized by Nina Simone‘s adaptation from her first album, Little Girl Blue.

Edward D. Latham contends that Gershwin’s experimental use of simple rondo form with the main theme as the refrain echoes the tension between Porgy and Bess in the duet, “It is as if Bess is clinging to the refrain for dear life, afraid that if she wanders too far from it, she will lose Porgy’s love for good.

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Once again, it is Porgy who guides Bess back to the home key, re-establishing F major with a half cadence at the end of the B and C sections.” Gershwin thereby subverts the rondo forms as a guaranteed sign of confidence and stability into an indication of the situation’s volatility. Gershwin had originally changed the title from Porgy to Porgy and Bess to emphasise the romance between the two title characters and accommodate operatic conventions.

On the technicality of Bess’s role in the duet, Helen M. Greenwald, chair of the department of music history at New England Conservatory and editor of the Oxford Handbook of Opera, wrote that Bess’s solo “requires the legato power of a Puccini heroine”.

I Loves You Porgy (1935) from the opera “Porgy and Bess”

“It takes years and years of experience to know that such a note cannot take such a syllable, that many a poetic line can be unsingable, that many an ordinary line fitted into the proper musical phrase can sound like a million.”
– Ira Gershwin

The folk opera Porgy and Bess was based on a 1926 novel Porgy written by a white poet from South Carolina, DuBose Heyward, who, with his wife Dorothy, adapted the novel for a play which had a successful run in 1927. The story centers on a disabled black man (Porgy), the woman he loves (Bess), her lover (Crown), and a drug dealer (Sportin’ Life). In the Broadway show which featured a mostly black cast these roles were played respectively by Todd Duncan, Anne Brown (who introduced “I Loves You Porgy”), Warren Coleman, and John W. Bubbles.

The Heywards and the Gershwins spent part of the summer of 1934 near Charleston observing a group called the Gullahs who became the prototypes for the residents of the show’s Catfish Row.

Although George Gershwin had proposed in 1926 that Heyward write the libretto for an opera, nothing happened for several reasons until 1933, and then their lack of proximity to each other made the collaboration difficult.

It was then that Ira Gershwin became involved in the project. Some of the lyrics for songs from Porgy and Bess are credited to Ira alone, but the ever self-effacing lyricist is quoted in Philip Furia’s book Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist as saying, “Even with these, however, Ira maintained ‘I’m pretty sure I was indebted, theme-wise, to a word or phrase borrowed from the text.’” Several songs, including “I Loves You Porgy,” are credited to both Ira and Heyward.

As Furia points out, “In their collaborations, it was apparent to Ira that Heyward, fine poet that he was, simply was not skilled in the lyricist’s craft of writing singable and memorable words.” As Ira says in his book Lyrics on Several Occasions, “This is no reflection on DuBose’s ability. It takes years and years of experience to know that such a note cannot take such a syllable, that many a poetic line can be unsingable, that many an ordinary line fitted into the proper musical phrase can sound like a million.”

Many jazz artists have mined the now popular score, including Billie Holiday (1948), Oscar Peterson (1959), and the MJQ (1964).

A 1956 studio recording (reissued on CD in 1999) included the complete score with Al “Jazzbo” Collins providing the narration, Mel Torme singing the role of Porgy and Frances Faye as Bess; Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong recorded the songs in 1957; Miles Davis and arranger Gil Evans recorded their highly praised album in 1958. Nina Simone’s rendition of “I Loves You Porgy,” featured on her 1959 debut album, became one of the top 20 songs on the Billboard charts.

In 2004, trumpeter/flugelhornist Clark Terry recorded songs from Porgy and Bess (including “I Loves You Porgy”) with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Jeff Lindberg.

There was great enthusiasm for the production which opened at the Alvin Theatre in New York on October 10, 1935. An elaborate opening-night party was planned, but there was little to celebrate after the reviews came out, most of which, at best, were mixed. The show ran for only 124 performances, most of them at a loss. George, who considered Porgy and Bess his best work, would not live to see the acclaim that it eventually received.

According to Edward Jablonski in Gershwin: A Biography, “[Ira] was thrilled in 1976 when the Houston Grand Opera presented a stunning production of Porgy and Bess with the original score and orchestration intact. The production was a triumph which brought the shock of recognition: Porgy and Bess was a real opera.

Ira rejoiced in this, his brother’s vindication. (Ira did not live for that ultimate endorsement, a production at the Metropolitan Opera House, during the spring of 1985, nor the greater triumph at Glyndebourne, England, in the summer of 1986.)”

Although bedridden, Ira was pleased that the show also was revived at Radio City Music Hall before his death in 1983.

The 1959 film of Porgy and Bess featured Sidney Poitier as Porgy (voice dubbed by Robert McFerrin), Dorothy Dandridge as Bess (voice dubbed by Adele Addison), Sammy Davis, Jr. as Sportin’ Life, and Brock Peters as Crown.

Other notable songs from the opera include the ever popular jazz standard “Summertime,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” “Bess You Is My Woman Now,” and “I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin’.” Selections from Porgy and Bess were recorded in 1935 by white opera singers. Several other versions were recorded between 1940 and 2006 when the first recording of Gershwin’s original production was released featuring a cast backed by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.

Jazz Music Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson – Satin Doll (with sheet music)

Oscar Peterson – Satin Doll (with sheet music transcription)

oscar peterson sheet music pdf
Jazz Music

Delta Blues Sounds – Best Of The Mississippi Delta’s Stars


00:00 – Doctor Ross – Doctor Ross Boogie 02:35 – Arthur Big Boy Crudup – Rock Me Mama 05:31 – Muddy Waters – I feel Like Going Home 08:37 – Robert Johnson – Preachin’ Blues 11:26 – Son House – Death Letter Blues 14:54 – Mississippi Fred McDowell – Shake Em On Down 17:35 – Sonny Boy Williamson – The Blues That Made Me Drunk 20:36 – Elmore James – Can’t Stop Lovin’ You 22:50 – Eddie Burns – Biscuit Baking Mama

25:19 – Jimmy Rogers – Walkin’ By Myself 28:05 – Big Joe Williams – King Biscuit Stomp 30:37 – Bukka White – Parchman Farm Blues 33:17 – Robert Lockwood Jr – Little Boy Blue 36:20 – Bo Carter – My Pencil Won’t Write No More 39:16 – James Cotton, Willie Nix – Baker Shop Boogie 41:59 – Ishman Bracey – Brown Mama Blues 45:37 – Muddy Waters – Hoochie Coochie Man 48:26 – Robert Johnson – Dead Shrimp Blues

50:55 – B.B. King – Please Love Me 53:42 – Robert Petway – Rockin’ Chair Blues 56:36 – John Lee Hooker – Union Station Blues 59:32 – Tommy Johnson – Cool Drink of Water Blues 01:03:07 – Tom McClennan – Highway N°51 01:05:56 – Willie Brown – Future Blues 01:08:53 – King Solomon Hill – Tell Me Baby

01:12:21 – Tommy Johnson – Canned Heat Blues 01:15:58 – Bo Carter – The Ins and Out of My Girl 01:19:03 – Caldwell Bracey – You Scolded Me 01:22:21 – Charlie McCoy – Last Time Blues 01:25:23 – Willie Lofton – Dirty Mistreater 01:28:10 – Joe Calicott – Travelin’ Mama Blues 01:31:22 – Muddy Waters – I Be’s Troubled

01:34:27 – Skip James – Devil Got My Woman 01:37:25 – Big Joe Williams – Baby Please Don’t Go 01:39:05 – Tony Hollins – Crawlin’ King Snake 01:42:12 – Robert Petway – Cattfish Blues 01:45:03 – John Lee Hooker – Landing Blues 01:48:29 – Elmore James – Standing At the Crossroads 01:51:16 – Gus Cannon – Poor Boy Long Way From Home 01:54:26 – Ishman Bracey – Leavin’ Town Blues 01:58:04 – Garfield Akers – Cottonfield Blues 02:00:58 – The Mississippi Sheiks – Sitting On Top of the World

Delta Blues Sounds free sheet music & pdf scores download
Delta Blues Sounds free sheet music & scores pdf

Delta Blues Sounds – Best Of The Mississippi Delta’s Stars

Sheet Music download.

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