Michael Jefry Stevens

Original composition Lead Sheets

Lead sheets are an essential tool for jazz musicians. They are the springboard for an entire arrangement. They have served me well for over four decades of performing and recording.

Lead sheets can be used in a variety of ways. You can put them in SmartScore 64 Pro, save them as an XML file, then upload them to Band in a Box or your favorite notation program for transposition or reharmonization.

Some of these lead sheets are in the small group category where they are arranged for quartet, quintet, sextet, and other small ensemble configurations. 

Lead sheet prices range from $1.95 (one page) – $3.95 (multiple pages)

EASY  A Summer’s Morning is a ballad with a very short 8 bar form.  The changes all revolve around II V I sequences in both major and minor keys.  A good piece for both beginners and intermediate players.

EASY  A very playable ballad.  The A section is in the key of C and the bridge goes to the key of F.  The changes move slowly in this very romantic ballad.

MEDIUM  This ballad introduces the suspended chord, a variety of ii-V-I progressions, and the Major 7 #5 chord.  It is a longer form with a few time signature shifts. This is challenging enough for the advanced player yet approachable for the less advanced student.

MEDIUM  This ballad is in a “through composed” piano score without standard chord changes. The blowing section contains a series of simple chord progressions which are quite easy to improvise over.

MEDIUM  The ballad was composed as a tribute to pianist Bill Evans.  It is primarily in the key of A minor but has an interesting chromatic bridge.

EASY  This ballad is quite easy to play.  The changes move very slowly giving the student plenty of time to navigate the harmonic landscape.

EASY  This ballad is one of my favorite pieces.  The chords are not difficult.  The challenge is navigating the time changes in the bridge.

Difficult: This ballad is a long form structure with with many chord changes. The composition begins in Db major and modulates up to D major.

ADVANCED: This ballad contains very advanced harmonic progressions using a variety of altered chords as well as hybrid chords. I have included piano voicings in the chart as welll.


MEDIUM  Email was recently released on my “The Slope” CD.  It is a fun up tempo swing tune with some interesting changes.  The music starts out in C minor but quickly proceeds through a variety of moving harmonies.  This is really a fun tune to play.

EASY  This is a very simple “swing” composition with a bluesy feel but not in a Blues form. The changes are very simple.  The head is a question-and-answer with the melody and the rhythm section. Very simple piece and lots of fun.  A good piece to introduce the blues scale.

EASY: This piece was composed in the early 1980's and dedicated to Charnett Moffett and his family band. I played with the band for one year. The tune is a simple form containing only dominant chords. The feel is very bluesy.

MEDIUM: An early fast swing piece from the early 1980's. The bridge has 9 bar phrases which make the piece somewhat difficult.

EASY: This piece is based on standard rhythm changes. The A section has a chromatic turnaround. The bridge is standard rhythm changes. Easy to play and lots of fun. Can be performed with a funky beat.

MEDIUM: This piece is composed in the bebop tradition. Lots of changes to navigate and a quick melody to learn. At a slower tempo this could be easily managed by younger students.

MEDIUM: This piece is written in the Gospel tradition, very bluesy and not too fast. There are quite a few changes but nothing too difficult.

MEDIUM: This piece was composed for Oscar Peterson and features only dominant chords in a 12/8 feel.

MEDIUM: This is a fun modern swing tune with some interesting. changes.

Open Swing/Latin/Waltz

DIFFICULT  An open swing feel features a chromatic chord sequence and several polychords.  The changes move quickly making the piece difficult for the soloist to navigate. The melody is not difficult but overall the piece is challenging.

EASY: This is one of my earliest compositions. It is a funky electric feel in B minor. Perfect for either beginning or more advanced players. The. rhythmic kicks are challenging but fun!!!

DIFFICULT  This piece features a Latin feel written out in the piano part.  The changes are pretty standard and move slowly enough for the student to navigate quite easily. The bridge of the tune is a fun release from all the harmonic movement in the beginning section of the composition.

MEDIUM  This jazz waltz is a very long form with many chord changes moving through the circle of fifths and chromatically.  The harmonies themselves, however, are quite standard 7th chords.     

ADVANCED: This is a very adventurous composition. The harmonies are very difficult and the rhythms are quite unusual. A great challenge for the advanced player.

Difficult: This piece has an open straight 1/8 note feel. Lots of harmonic movement which is more modal than functional. I wrote this in the early 1990's on my way to begin a European tour with the Fonda/Stevens Group.

Modal/Free/Odd Time

EASY  The piece is a simple vamp mostly in 6/4 time in the key of A minor.  Solo form can be over A minor or the musicians can go “free”. A great beginner’s piece with some time signature changes.

EASY  Can be performed with a more funky, straight 1/8 note feel.  The harmonic scheme is primarily in F# minor and the melodic statement is mostly F# minor pentatonic.  

This is a great piece for both beginners and advanced players.

EASY  This piece was composed using the 12 tone row technique. It is not difficult but is very interesting. The musicians are instructed to improvise over the elements of the row including pitch and rhythm.

MEDIUM: This piece is written with changing time signatures. It is a "comic" piece. Solos are only on the fermatas after each section.

DIFFICULT  A challenging piece due to the two simultaneous “parallel” melodies.  The bass melody and the lead melody play different rhythmic figures. The harmonic structure is a series of minor (major 7) chords, and the solo form can either follow the harmonic progression or go completely “free”.

MEDIUM  One of my most popular pieces.  A straight eighth note “rock” feel.  The harmonic rhythm of the first section is a series of major chords resolving down by half steps into minor chords. The middle section uses a polytonal harmonic scheme with very intense rhythmic syncopation

DIFFICULT  The “head” of this straight eighth note feel consists of a series of parallel voicings, some of which are polytonal or atonal. The rhythmic structure is what makes the composition somewhat difficult. The blowing changes come from the voicings in the melodic statement. 

MEDIUM  This composition is divided into two sections.  The first part is rubato over a B Major tonality (like a drone in a Raga).  The second part is a diatonic melody also in B major with a multitude of time signature changes. A fun challenge for both beginner and advanced players

DIFFICULT  This piece is written in 5/4 time, hence the title.  There is a harmonic ostinato that repeats throughout the piece, but the melody is atonal. music is challenging on many levels, but the solo section is actually quite simple harmonically.  A good piece to learn how to play in 5/4 time.