I’m just a dilettante, but found it helpful when arranging St Louis Blues last year to find the original sheet music on IMSLP (written before 1925, it is public domain unlike most other standards).

Interesting as not too many people left alive that have any context of the GASB jazz standards as popular music, so their only knowledge of songs like Stella are from heavily embellished jazz versions

after acknowledging the original sheets are not some sort of authoritative text, Ethan writes:

, the melody and the lyrics are correct on a piece of published sheet music. (Before improvising on the melody, it is helpful to know the original melody.) And the harmonies themselves are also a valid opinion — most importantly, an opinion that does not rehash the received wisdom of jazz lead sheets generated since the ‘70s. In The Story of Fake Books: Bootlegging Songs to Musicians, Barry Kernfeld explains how chords symbols first came from ukulele charts. There was a big ukulele boom in the 1920s, and publishers added uke chords to the piano scores in an attempt to generate more sales.
There was no reason to include the bass motion in a uke chart, and this absence of proper bass motion still haunts lead sheets to this very day. Someone like Ron Carter is popular partly because Carter can find inversions and melodic bass lines despite being handed charts that default to constant root position.
the full article sheet music excerpts and vids are here:


Original Sheet Music of Two Dozen Jazz Standards | DO THE M@TH