This one comes from Charlie Rouse’s funky album Two Is One, released in 1974 on the great but short-lived Strata East record label. It was written by drummer Joe Chambers, who does not appear on the record.
Here’s a hypnotic Herbie Hancock composition from his 1963 record My Point of View. As you can see, there is barely any melody, the chord changes are the focal point of the song (and in my opinion the whole album). This lead sheet contains only the trumpet line, the tenor and trombone harmonies are in the score below.
A friend recently gave me the album The Ultimate by Elvin Jones, featuring Joe Farrell and Jimmy Garrison. All three shine in their solo spots and sound cohesive when improvising as a unit. Jimmy Garrison’s rhythmic sense and sympathetic ear make him a sublime accompanist; he serves the group before his own ego. Yet it’s this same sublimation that leads to his being overlooked as a great bassist. It’s nice to hear Jimmy given more space as a composer and soloist on this record. Here’s one of his tunes:
Here’s a burner from Larry Young’s album Unity, which features three of my favorite Woody Shaw compositions, and some of my favorite Elvin Jones. I was learning this for a gig recently and realized the first 4 bars in my real book didn’t match Larry’s bassline, so I wrote it out the way I would rather walk over the changes.