How to Play Sonnymoon for Two

The great Sonny Rollins wrote Sonnymoon for Two which was released in 1957. Since then, it has become a jazz standard and was recorded many times. You will hear him play this on his live Village Vanguard album as well as the 2005 release of The Freelance Years, among other albums and collaborations. Below is a recording from the Freelance Years album.

This website his several resources for you on how to play this tune.

First and foremost, I encourage you to learn the melody from the recording. You can use a real book, but sometimes the chords are wrong, so I advise to use the recording first.

Once you’ve learned the melody and play along, I would advise you to start learning the chords.

After learning the chords, I would advise to learn the piano voicings.

Another way to help internalize the chords is to learn the bass line. Below you will find bass line resources for all instruments.

Hope this is helpful!

Sonnymoon for Two Bass Line

Below you will find a sample bass line for Sonnymoon for Two. Scroll down till you find your instrument: a C chart, an Eb chart, a Bb chart, and a bass clef chart are included. You can print directly from the website or download the chart to your device or tablet for easy viewing. Only print the page you need to save paper.

How to Play Centerpiece by Harry “Sweets” Edison

Harry “Sweets” Edison, trumpet player for the Count Basie Big Band, wrote and released Centerpiece on his “Sweetenings” album in 1958. You can’t find this album on streaming, but here it is on YouTube, below. Notice the tempo, nothing flashy about this version of the song!

This website his several resources for you on how to play this tune.

First and foremost, I encourage you to learn the melody from the recording. You can use a real book, but sometimes the chords are wrong, so I advise to use the recording first.

Once you’ve learned the melody and play along, I would advise you to start learning the chords.

After learning the chords, I would advise to learn the piano voicings. I have created piano voicings tutorials to help you.

Another way to help internalize the chords is to learn the bass line. Below you will find bass line resources for all instruments.

Hope this is helpful!

About a year or so after Mr. Edison released his “Sweetenings” album, Jon Hendricks wrote lyrics and released it on Lambert, Hendrick’s and Ross’s “Everybody’s Boppin” album in 1959. Notice their 3 part harmonies!

Centerpiece Chord Chart

Here is a rhythm chart for C instruments, Bb instruments, and Eb instruments for the 12 bar blues, Centerpiece, written by Harry “Sweets” Edison. Notice the ii V7 turnaround in the fourth measure, and the diminished chord at the end of the 6th measure. This is very common in jazz, and creates tension which is resolved by the tonic in measure seven. There is another ii V7 turnaround in the 8th measure which goes toward the 9th measure. Then, the 9th measure becomes a ii V7 back to tonic in measure 11. This is a great tune to learn the blues – it has a simple melody, and it has all the turnarounds you need to know to play the blues in a jam session.

Here is the original release from Mr. Edison’s album, Sweetening. This video has the entire album but the first song is Centerpiece.

Below is the chord chart, you can scroll to find your instrument. Print only the page you need. You can also download the chord chart to your device using the Download button below the sheet music. Notice the first page is for Eb instruments – scroll down for a C instrument chart. Try to memorize this as these are very common chord changes in jazz!

About a year or so after Mr. Edison released his “Sweetenings” album, Jon Hendricks wrote lyrics and released it on Lambert, Hendrick’s and Ross’s “Everybody’s Boppin” album in 1959. Notice their 3 part harmonies!

Centerpiece Piano Voicings and Organ Sheet

Below you will find 2 note piano voicings for Centerpiece by Harry “Sweets” Edison. You can use this as a guide and it has not been designed for you to play it exactly as written. Two note voicings are constructed from the 3rd and 7th of the chord. Listen to the recording to hear how Jimmy Jones, the piano player, comped behind the horns. You can use this as a guide for guide tones as well.

Centerpiece 2 Note Voicings for Piano

Below you will find the sheet music for 2 note voicings for piano.

You can print directly from this page, or download it using the download button below the sheet music. Then you can put it on your computer or tablet in a PDF app of your choice.

Centerpiece Organ Part

Below you will find a piano part with voicings in the right hand and a walking bass line in the left hand. You don’t have to play it this way verbatim, but it’s a good exercise to work on independence of hands.

You can print directly from this page, or download it using the download button below the sheet music. Then you can put it on your computer or tablet in a PDF app of your choice.

Below you will see the video for the vocal version of this song, as released by Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross a year or so later than the original release. Jon Hendricks wrote the lyrics.

Centerpiece Bass Line

Here you will find sheet music on how to play a bass line for the Ab blues, namely, through the song Centerpiece by Harry “Sweets” Edison. Notice the diminished chord – this is common in jazz blues that came after the bebop era.

Below is a video of the recording as it was originally released on the album Sweetenings in 1958.

Below you will find an example bass line playable on any instrument.

Scroll down till you find the page that matches your instrument (Bb, C instrument, Eb instrument, or Guitar). You can print directly from this page, or download it using the download button below the sheet music. Then you can put it on your computer or tablet in a PDF app of your choice.

I am also providing the bass line with notes written in just in case that helps (but try to memorize the chords and notes without this resource, if you can.)

Scroll to find your instrument and use only that page. You can print directly from this web page, or download it using the download button below the sheet music. Then you can put it on your computer or tablet in a PDF app of your choice.

Below you will see the video for the vocal version of this song, as released by Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross a year or so later than the original release. Jon Hendricks wrote the lyrics.

How to Play Work Song by Nat Adderley and Oscar Peterson Jr.

Nat Adderley, the trumpet playing brother of Cannonball Adderley, wrote “Work Song” for an album by the same name released by Riverside in 1960. Be sure to pay close attention to the hits for the rhythm section on the head. This lesson is based off the recording below.

This website his several resources for you on how to play this tune.

First and foremost, I encourage you to learn the melody from the recording. You may need to practice it several times to memorize it. You can use a real book or iRealB, but sometimes the chords are wrong, so I advise to use the recording first.

Once you’ve learned the melody and play along, I would advise you to start learning the chords.

After learning the chords, including the hits for the head, I would advise to learn the piano voicings. I have created several piano voicings tutorials to help you.

Another way to help internalize the chords is to learn the bass line. Below you will find bass line resources for all instruments.

Hope this is helpful! Below is the original recording.

Work Song Chord Charts

Nat Adderly, the trumpet playing brother of Cannonball Adderly, wrote “Work Song” for an album by the same name released by Riverside in 1960. Pay close attention to the hits for the rhythm section. This is a 16 bar blues.

Chord Charts in C, Bb, and Eb (Scroll to the correct one for you). The download button is below the sheets. These chord charts give you the hits in the rhythm section on the first head (usually repeated) and then you can comp as you wish on the solo sections.

Work Song Piano Voicings and Resources

When I teach improvisation, I strongly encourage everyone to learn the chords on piano (doesn’t have to be complex, can be 2 note voicings) as well as the bass line. I have resources for both 2 note and 3 note voicings. For pianists, consider stretching yourself into being able to play a left hand bass while comping right hand, like an organist. Click the links below for resources on how to play the piano parts. I have included a version with notes written in to help those of you who may be slow reading the opposite clef.

You can print directly from my website, or download it to your iPad or computer to place into your tablet. There is a download button below each chart.

Below is the recording I’m using for this lesson. This isn’t the first iteration of this song, but is a good example of how one might play it on the bandstand in a jam session.

Work Song 2 Note Voicings for piano

Work Song 3 Note Voicings for Piano

Work Song Organ Music

Work Song 2 Note Voicing With NOTES

Work Song 3 Note Voicings with Notes

Work Song Bass Line

Below you will find a sample bass line for Work Song by Nat Adderly and Oscar Brown Jr. The music includes a part for concert pitch, Bb instruments (tenor, tpt) and Eb instruments (alto). Scroll down to find your part. You can also download this to your computer or tablet by clicking on the Download button below the sheet music.

Sonnymoon for Two Chord Chart

Below you will find a chord chart for the great Sonny Rollins’ Sonnymoon for Two, which was originally released in 1957. You will hear him play this on his live Village Vanguard album as well as the 2005 release of The Freelance Years. Below is a recording from the Freelance Years album.

Below is the chord chart. In this case, I have provided the rhythm parts for the head and then the changes used on the solos, which is different. There is a walk up in the fourth measure used on solos I didn’t write out, see if you can figure that out. This is a very common chord progression in jazz, and notice the 3 – 6 – 2 – 5 turnaround on most choruses at the end of each head. Be sure to be listening to your rhythm section so you are in sync on the turnarounds.

Scroll until you find your part – either Eb, Bb, or C. You can download using the download button below the chart. You can print directly from this website if you’d like as well.

The Effect of Ego on Education and Flow

In order to learn, your mind has to be in a relaxed state. When relaxed, you can explore, inquire, and enter “flow”. Flow is defined as that state of mind when you are focused, fully engaged, and deeply enjoying your task at hand. Game design theory is focused on getting gamers to “flow” state, which is why games are so popular, successful, and addictive.

When jazz teachers are constantly talking about the “good old days” – they are reminiscing about days gone by, the better days, but in that process they are inherently shutting down the learner’s pathway to learning, because their ego is in the way. A learner needs to feel safe and secure to learn, and the feeling of being “less than” their instructor is a blockage to security.

At the same time, learning doesn’t have to take place in a state of rainbows and unicorns. Students reach their highest level when their instruction hits at the zone of proximal development – that edge of their knowledge. It’s up to the teacher to find this sweet spot, put their learning into context, and pull them through a rigorous lesson so as to help them maximize their performance potential. If the focus is on the student, then efficient and effective learning will occur. Removing ego will actually raise the bar and incorporate rigor into the lesson.

Also to note, the teacher should be in charge. Ego does not have to equate to authority. There is an art to this which is very difficult to describe but innate in excellent musical instruction settings. It’s about empowerment and support. In excellent educational settings, there is one person at the top, which seems very autocratic, but that person is a leader in that they inspire, motivate and empower those below them. Leadership combined with musicianship and content knowledge empowers and educates learners to reach their highest potential.

One might say, I deserve my ego. I have paid my dues.

To those who say this, I don’t disagree. What I’m talking about is that rate of learning, that state of flow, the maximum increase of knowledge in the shortest amount of time. You can have an ego and teach. You can project your ego on others and they will still learn. It goes a little bit slower, that’s all. All I’m saying is to try to remove your ego from the classroom and you may see exponential results. Look at yourself as a leader, and lead by example. Remove the ego from the rehearsal, lesson, or bandstand, but carry it proudly off the podium.

Consider this ego when you are frustrated with their learning, when you are ready to throw in the towel. Music is a high pressure art form. You have a deadline, a goal, and you can scaffold your students to get there. The key is to remove blockages (perhaps of ego) and support them 100%. Tell them you’ve got their back. Students can withstand pressure and rise to the occasion if they feel supported.

Then, one might say, why? And this is my biggest beef with jazz “education”: I have a theory that a lot of teachers don’t want to see their students succeed because they will become competition. All I can say to that is, there is no competition if you are an artist. Nobody can replicate your artistry because that is who you are. Adopt a mindset of abundance and you will have all the gigs you want and need.

New Single: Cancer Free! Feat. Justin Taylor and Allen Jones

Cancer Free is now available on all streaming outlets, including YouTube. This song features Justin Taylor on organ and Allen Jones on drums was recorded live in 2017 at Upfront Audio in Fairfax. The song is about my experience getting tested for cancer and then finding out about negative results. Its designed to be the type of swing you can dance to and is written based off the chords to Bye Bye Blackbird. This was recorded by my Firebird Organ Trio, I hope you enjoy! Mixed and mastered by yours truly.

Click here to listen on all streaming outlets: https://found.ee/8YgJ3

New single: What it Takes! Featuring Shacara Rogers, Chris Barrick, Karine Chapdelaine, Kelton Norris.

What it Takes featuring Shacara Rogers, Chris Barrick, Karine Chapdelaine, and Kelton Norris was recorded live on Saturday, January 23rd in the Crystal Ball room at Eaton DC for the Jazz and Freedom Festival 2021. View the Episode 2 tribute to Twins Jazz here if you haven’t already: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDoZ08lViH4

It was a pleasure to get to play and many thanks to the folks at CapitalBop (Luke Stewart, Gio Russonello, Jamie Sandel) for letting me mix and release this song.

Click here to listen on all streaming outlets: https://found.ee/idtpn

New single: Aardvark!

Originally recorded in 2017, but never released on streaming, please enjoy “Aardvark,” now available on all streaming outlets. Featuring Sarah Hughes on alto and artwork, Miki Yamanaka on organ, and Savannah Grace Harris on drums. The theme of this song is about going after your goals and dreams! Click the link below for the linktree to all the various outlets.

https://found.ee/dan4

New Single, Cherish, out now!

In these times, cherish the ones you love. New single, “Cherish”, out under my artist profile on all streaming platforms. Listen and be calm in the moment. Link tree below.

This is my memorial to my father in law, Wade Gunn, may he Rest In Peace. He passed away on November 21st, 2020, from congestive heart failure. As you listen, mourn your loved ones who have left us, but also know they are looking out for you on the other side.

Much love! Select the link below to access this song on Spotify, Apple music, Amazon, Tidal, or whatever streaming service you prefer.

https://found.ee/9OR8

ANNOUNCEMENt: Special Livestream Sunday, November 1st 2020 with a FULL BAND!

I am producing my first indoor live stream with a full jazz band on Sunday November 1st at 7 – 8 pm. The performance is sponsored by the Herb Alpert Foundation in conjunction with the Jazz Education Network (through their Jazz2U grant program). The performance will be broadcast on the Jazz4Justice Facebook Page as well as my personal social media, and the theme will be “Get out the vote!” I will be using this opportunity to educate audiences on the Justice Gap, the Rule of Law, and the need to support access to justice. One of the best ways to do this is to go out and vote! The concert will feature Shacara Rogers on vocals, Chris Barrick on vibes, Karine Chapdelaine on bass, and Angel Bethea on drums. This will be a LIVE performance with interaction and comments. I ask everyones patience as we navigate new this new technology! The audio quality will be excellent, I can assure you we have the equipment!

Full disclosure, I am program manager of Jazz4Justice. Jazz4Justice raises public awareness and funds for Legal Aid and music scholarships. We do this by forming collaborative partnerships with the legal community, the business community, the music community, and Universities. 

How to Navigate GarageBand – Part 1

If you were like me, you needed very quickly to figure out how to use GarageBand. I had difficulty understanding the navigation at first, however. Watch this tutorial to learn how to navigate the basic layouts of GarageBand on an iPad, including:

– Live loops versus tracks

– MIDI versus Audio tracks

– Length of song

– Metronome marking

– Basic quantization

– Recording MIDI

– Recording Audio

– Basic editing

This video is first in a multi-part series and also part of a course, Introduction to Garageband. Upon completion of the course, you will receive a certificate of completion and a Level 1 Garageband badge which you can place on your LinkedIn profile, and you will have access to questions and see examples of others going through the same course. Sign up to be the first to access the new course below.

How to Add a Batch of PDFs to ForScore (UPDATED 2020)

Today, I went to add a batch of PDFs to ForScore and the Google Drive service was not available. After some research, I was able to figure it out and I wanted to share it with everyone.

Let’s say you get an email from a wedding band and you need to add 100 or more songs to your ForScore very quickly. Simply use the import feature, which is part of the library. The directions are very clear in the ForScore documentation, except that I could not find the import! The Import is located in the Library which is the note icon in the top left corner. I hope this tutorial is helpful to anyone who wishes to add a large number of files to ForScore at once.

Long Tone Exercise for LOW BRASS – Velvet Tone #2

By request! I’m back with a low low low range exercise. This one is a little shorter (just one octave) and is a great warm down or warm up.

One of the most enthralling sounds, to me, is hearing a really good bass trombonist playing fortissimo in tune with that perfect honk sound! Stay tuned and follow me on Social Media for video examples!

Download the PDF by clicking the button below and you will get all the parts for all the instruments. Then play along with my synth laden backing track, complete with swirling stars and a dance beat to complement that beautiful Low Brass Tone! My goal is to make long tones fun, I hope you enjoy!

Download PDF

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Long Tone Exercise – Velvet Tone #1

Hate long tones? You’re not the only one. I think we all might somewhat hate long tones, but we know we have to do it.

Why not play them with a cool backing track and gamify the exercise to make it fun?

Here you go! I created a backing track to make your long tones fun again. The basic idea is to start out in the middle of your range and then go up and down one half step each time. The goal is to keep a consistent embouchure while playing perfectly in tune as you gradually get louder and then softer on each note. You don’t have to play the entire exercise – it has been designed in a way that you could stop at any point.

As you play, be thinking about your air – there will be a switch between chest air and stomach air which will cause you to either drop or surge in air (and thus throw you out of tune, and/or make you really loud or soft). Work on exhaling with a steady stream of air so that you have an even tone throughout the entire long tone.

You want to think about tuning as well. The goal here is to play perfectly in tune as you gradually get louder then softer. If you want a bigger challenge, try to organize your breath such that you get louder at a steady rate (rather than all of a sudden) and then softer at a steady rate, starting as soft as possible and growing to as loud as possible on the horn. Fun times!

To gamify the experience, place your smart device in front of you with the smiley face tuning app, TE Tuner. The goal is to get the big green smiley face as you play – the entire time you play that note. You can adjust the settings to make it easier or harder as you play.

Three minutes a day, and you’ll be in great shape for your next gig in about three days. Do you have three minutes? Try it, it will be worth it!

Select the button below to download the PDF, which has parts for Eb, Bb, F, and concert pitch in bass clef, treble clef, and a master piano part. You will be asked for your email address on another page, and then you will be automatically redirected to the PDF. Hope you enjoy!

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New Single, Beautiful Love, out now!

This is an arrangement of the old jazz standard, Beautiful Love. I wanted to add some spice to the chord progression and give it a flowing feel. The beat and feel is inspired by Astor Piazzolla, an Argentine tango composer. Many thanks to the artistry of Hope Udobi (keys), Karine Chapdelaine (bass) and Angel Bethea for bringing it to life!

Use this link to listen on your platform of choice:

https://found.ee/3hAb

New Single – What it Takes – Out Now!

This is the title track from my 2017 album release, which, believe it or not, was never released on streaming services. (I actually tried to release it on all the streaming services, but due to an error, it was never released. Probably an error on my part. Human error. 🙂 Please check out this song and add it to your playlists!

Use the link below to choose your service. Thanks for listening!

Featuring Shannon Gunn (tb), Sarah Hughes (as), Miki Yamanaka (p), Karine Chapdelaine (b), Savannah Harris (dr)

Click here for a link to pick your streaming service of choice: https://found.ee/s6sI 

Check out my Music page for the full album stream, available on BANDCAMP only.

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/02Utwjzl3UwafsKhPNCqt6

New Video Up: Aardvark

Aardvark feat. Karine Chapdelaine, bass; Hope Udobi, keys; Angel Bethea, dr

~Aardvark~ [original] Have you made your 2020 goals yet? Where are you with that?
This song is about shooting for the stars, dreaming big, visioning, planning, and executing what you need to do to make your goals. Follow my Instgram for new videos posted every three days, that’s my goal for 2020!

Presenting: Street Scenes at the Hill Center Spring 2020

I am proud to partner with Hill Center on Pennsylvania Avenue to present the Street Scenes series. We had a great show in October with Herb Scott and friends as part of the HillFest DC. Below is a list of the Spring concerts. We hope to see you there!

Friday, February 14, 2020

Shacara Rogers (vocals) (Please note: $25 tickets in advance, $28 at the door)

https://www.shacararogers.com/bio

Wednesday March 25, 2020

Washington Women In Jazz

http://washingtonwomeninjazz.com/about/

Thursday, April 23

Leigh Pilzer (sax)

http://leighpilzer.com/

Thursday, May 21

Elijah Jamal Balbed (sax)

http://elijahjamalbalbed.com/bio

Review Roundup for Gunn’s Ablazin’!

The reviews are in! We received some wonderful reviews from Gunn’s Ablazin, and I wanted to share them with you below.

“Both very artistic and also providing social commentary, the incredible talent present makes it quite easy to see why Gunn was voted Best D.C, Trombonist in two separate years. Similarly, it wouldn’t surprise me if Gunn’s Ablazin’ finds itself being one of the best jazz albums this year.”

“The result is attractive earworms rather than distracting devices and gestures, as well as dancing melodies, insistent rhythms and wonderfully satisfying harmonies all of add the element of unusual textures…”

“But what is creditable is that Miss Gunn has managed to create music that is melodically, harmonically and rhythmically accessible even as it incorporates harmonic devices that are dissonant and on distortions and rhythmic ones that are based on principles of arrhythmia… In Miss Gunn’s case she achieves this with her quintet principally by employing the use of the metallic, wafting, glassy and oscillating, drifting and ethereal voice of the vibraphone, and the mindful tintinnabulation of the Fender Rhodes in the other group configuration; both of which instrumental relationship(s) is set against the rumbling, gruff smears and bellows of her trombone, glued together with rolling bass lines and the rattle and hum of drums.”

“This popular Washington D.C. jazzer isn’t afraid to take on a less likable D.C. denizen, the President, as her protest songs, “Babes In Cages Are Not OK” and “Orange Noise” attest. She’s so cool.”

  • Mike Greenblat’s Rant N’ Roll

“More than her instrumental prowess, this captivating recording also highlights Gunn’s superb musicianship and the relevance of her work both creatively and in the civic sense.”

“Gunn’s energetic improvisation balances buttery smoothness with an understated growl while bassist Mikel Combs lays down a muscular groove with swagger. “

“Gleason and Barrick’s contemplative conversation is delightfully dissonant and dovetails into Gunn’s extemporization with its fiery growl and pensive notes. The simultaneously irate and elegiac group performance is haunting as it shimmers and glows within a dramatic atmosphere. “

By HRAYR ATTARIAN at All About Jazz

https://www.allaboutjazz.com/gunns-ablazin-shannon-gunn-self-produced-review-by-hrayr-attarian.php

“A snazzy set that opens the ears nicely, this is a listening date sure to keep you on the edge of your seat as your try to keep up with what’s going on. Smart throughout, it’s never to smart for the room with displays for the sake of display. Actually, dis plays! Well done. “

Midwest Record

http://midwestrecord.com/MWR1577.html

“Here, where there is depth of sound, the expected overwhelming of the soundscape does not happen. Instead, warm, flexible notes are used to play up each song’s theme, leaving audiences surprised in a good way.”

“… the almost buzzy blend of trombone and keyboard is as relaxing as it is interesting…”

The Jazz Page

Jazz Weekly Blog

Jazz Square Russia

https://jazzquad.ru/index.pl?act=PRODUCT&id=5347

In a Blue Mood Blog

http://inabluemood.blogspot.com/2019/12/shannon-gunn-gunns-ablazin.html

Many thanks to Kari Gaffney of KariOn Productions for her support in promoting the album!