Chuck Sher &
Larry Dunlap, editors,
The All-Jazz Real Book
(Sher Music, 2001)

The All-Jazz Real Book is a hip jazz book that goes beyond the expected.

Do not look for "Caravan" or "Embraceable You" here. Instead the carefully selected tunes fall into three genres: classic jazz (Miles Davis, Bill Evans, John Coltrane, etc.), international forms (Jobim, Eddie Palmieri, Orlando "Maraca" Valle, etc.) and contemporary jazz, which fills half the book with the likes of Astral Project, Kurt Elling and John Scofield. Indexing is by title. Additionally, an appendix lists the source albums or sheets.

This is a sturdy, well-constructed volume of tunes. The strong plastic, large-diameter spiral binding allows the book to sit open and legible on any page, whether on the music stand or piano. The durability of the binding guarantees a long life for even the most referenced copy. The charts in this C-version use chord notation from Standard Chord Symbol Notation (Brandt & Roemer). These large-print symbols are easy to read off the page. Lyrics are provided for songs that have them.

This fake book has the distinction of being the first such volume to include a CD. Both an excellent practice aid and good listening, the disc has 37 tracks performed by an electric or acoustic combo as appropriate. Chuck Sher points out that the songs on the CD are mostly those "people might be hesitant to try to play upon first glance." This is definitely the jazz fake book for the jazz student looking to expand his or her horizons.

[ by Tom Schulte ]
Rambles: 7 June 2002