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The (Nearly) Complete Stuff Smith Verve Sessions, Vol 1, Transcriptions by Claudia Landell

Stuff Smith was a contemporary of Stephane Grappelli and Joe Venuti, but his name and the music he created did not get the same recognition as theirs. I had never even heard of Stuff until 2021. He amazed me. I looked everywhere for transcriptions of his tunes, but could not find any, so I started transcribing them myself. 

I focused on the Verve Sessions, Vol 1, because Stuff wrote (or co-wrote) all but two of the tunes on that recording. Coming Through the Rye is a traditional song, and Ja Da was written by Bob Carleton. I also left out Midway and What I Say because they are more improvisational. You hear more of Oscar Peterson’s wonderful piano playing, but I wasn’t up for transcribing piano solos and complex arrangements. Finally, I transcribed only two verses for each tune—the head and the first variation—except for Minuet in Swing, because it’s short and seemed to need them all.


I hope you enjoy working through these tunes as much as I did.

To hear Stuff Smith play these tunes, go to the Complete Verve Stuff Smith Session, Volume 1 [1999] on YouTube

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