Don Mock’s Masterclass has just been reprinted, so it seemed like an ideal opportunity to reappraise what had always been one of the better ‘how to’ guides. As the title suggests, this is not a guide for the novice, rather a series of lessons and examples, with tabs and the back up of the now mandatory CD for those who know their way around their instrument and have a good grounding in music theory.

It is a well thought through volume that guides and informs the player, giving them the keys to unlock certain areas and encouraging them to develop as a creative musician. Working from octave shapes and arpeggios, it takes on the challenging ‘turnarounds’ – they are for me anyway! and gives an enlightening insight into gaining a better understanding of melody construction and the use of chromatic passing tones. Highly recommended.

The Jazz Guitar Experience is for those players who are looking to get a feel for jazz guitar artistry over the decades, from the 1920s to the 1980s. Each chapter gives a short history of the genre and its major exponents, before offering a number of melodies and exercises (with tab), as well as a series of chords relevant to the featured style. On occasions specific musical elements are introduced that are relevant to the style, such as the Post Bop quartal harmony and ornaments. Somewhat surprisingly, one whole chapter is given over to Django and Gypsy Jazz – you get the feeling that the author is a fan. Otherwise there is plenty to get your head into and keep your fingers busy, together with a suggested discography and a basic notation guide... and the obligatory CD.

To buy the book go to www.jazzwise.com

A new book and CD tutor that aims to take the fear and mystique out of learning jazz drumming and get the newcomer up and started arrives in the form of Baby Steps to Giant Steps, published by drum education experts Hudson Music at £12.95. Conceived by Spencer Strand, creator of the popular Turn It Up & Lay It Down tutor series, and written by drummer/educators Peter Retzlaff and Jim Rupp, the book is targeted at funk and rock players who are interested in learning the swing feel of classic and hard-bop jazz. With this in mind the authors take time out in the introduction to look at the differences between rock and funk and jazz/swing drumming and compare and contrast key elements, such as subdivision of the beat, articulation, accents, time feel and direction. The first half of the book concentrates on learning how to play jazz time and uses clear instructional narrative, graphics and notation. Topics covered include, ride cymbal playing; feathering the bass drum; syncopated figures and triplets; jazz fills and the basics of playing with brushes. The second half puts this instruction into practice with drum charts, lead sheets and explanatory notes that go with the 11 track play along CD, and include examples of major and minor blues as well as standards such as ‘Take The A Train’, ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’ and ‘Giant Steps’. Detailed discographical recommendations and a reading list complete what is a refreshing and thoughtful approach to jazz drum tutors and one that does not assume the newcomer already has a depth of prior knowledge – often a failing in some other beginner jazz titles. (JN) For more go to www.hudsonmusic.com

Zildjian launch new jazz orientated ride cymbals Building on their acclaimed K Zildjian Constantinople high-end cast bronze range, originally launched in the late 1990s, Zildjian have turned to the noted jazz drummer Kenny Washington to collaborate on the design for their new 22in Bounce Ride. The K Constantinople is the nearest Zildjian range to the legendary old K Zildjian cymbals that were originally handmade in Turkey and are most sought after by jazz players looking for depth and subtlety rather than ball-breaking volume. The 22in Bounce Ride is based on an old K model that Washington had played for years and features a medium thin weight with traditional K Constantinople hammering, very pronounced lathing grooves and eight clustered overhammering marks on the top surface. Zildjian claim the cymbal has plenty of stick bounce, sustain and wash with a trashy crash and a pitch that can ride over most small to big band settings. Also new to the K Constantinople range is a 22in Thin Ride Overhammered that, as the name suggests, features additional large hammer marks over the original hammering that gives a dark, dryer than usual sound with unusually crisp stick articulation that is well suited for small to medium sized groups. And to the K Zildjian range comes a 20in Light Flat Ride that offers a dark, warm sound with extreme stick definition. (JN) For more go to www.zildjian.com


Yamaha have launched a dedicated specialist online resource for sax players in association with their award-winning Pro Custom Saxophone range. The new website showcases the instruments in a highly informative and intuitive online environment while offering a huge range of valuable general saxophone related information and exclusive video footage, top tips and interviews with many of Yamaha’s associated artists including Otis Murphy, George Shelby and Peter

Weniger, it also features saxophonerelated tour dates and breaking news with gig listings. These are complemented by a rare and in-depth insight into Yamaha’s saxophone history, design philosophy and manufacturing processes. The website also contains useful playing hints and tips from world class instrumentalists, a dealer locator and a range of helpful product downloads.

For more go to www.procustom.yamaha.com

Bossa Nova has become firmly entrenched in the jazz style and this new offering from the Hal Leonard stable provides an interesting introduction to the genre through easy to access basic styles, while also offering a few valuable indicators and pathways for the more advanced player. As you would expect, rhythmic patterns are discussed in both simple and more complex forms, as is composer Joao Gilberto’s unique and individual approach to harmonic vocabulary. A full two pages of chord charts show the fingering positions for seemingly every possible chord voicing that you’re ever likely to need in a Bossa ensemble, from the relatively straightforward minor 11 to the more involved o7b13. Coming with the now obligatory CD of ‘this is how it should sound’ and backing tracks, this is a volume that no Bossa enthusiast, or musician looking to expand their repertoire should be without.  


Go to www.musicsales.com

A new book and CD tutor that aims to take the fear and mystique out of learning jazz drumming and get the newcomer up and started arrives in the form of Baby Steps to Giant Steps, published by drum education experts Hudson Music at £12.95. Conceived by Spencer Strand, creator of the popular Turn It Up & Lay It Down tutor series, and written by drummer/educators Peter Retzlaff and Jim Rupp, the book is targeted at funk and rock players who are interested in learning the swing feel of classic and hard-bop jazz. With this in mind the authors take time out in the introduction to look at the differences between rock and funk and jazz/swing drumming and compare and contrast key elements, such as subdivision of the beat, articulation, accents, time feel and direction. The first half of the book concentrates on learning how to play jazz time and uses clear instructional narrative, graphics and notation. Topics covered include, ride cymbal playing; feathering the bass drum; syncopated figures and triplets; jazz fills and the basics of playing with brushes. The second half puts this instruction into practice with drum charts, lead sheets and explanatory notes that go with the 11 track play along CD, and include examples of major and minor blues as well as standards such as ‘Take The A Train’, ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’ and ‘Giant Steps’. Detailed discographical recommendations and a reading list complete what is a refreshing and thoughtful approach to jazz drum tutors and one that does not assume the newcomer already has a depth of prior knowledge – often a failing in some other beginner jazz titles. (JN) For more go to www.hudsonmusic.com

Zildjian launch new jazz orientated ride cymbals Building on their acclaimed K Zildjian Constantinople high-end cast bronze range, originally launched in the late 1990s, Zildjian have turned to the noted jazz drummer Kenny Washington to collaborate on the design for their new 22in Bounce Ride. The K Constantinople is the nearest Zildjian range to the legendary old K Zildjian cymbals that were originally handmade in Turkey and are most sought after by jazz players looking for depth and subtlety rather than ball-breaking volume. The 22in Bounce Ride is based on an old K model that Washington had played for years and features a medium thin weight with traditional K Constantinople hammering, very pronounced lathing grooves and eight clustered overhammering marks on the top surface. Zildjian claim the cymbal has plenty of stick bounce, sustain and wash with a trashy crash and a pitch that can ride over most small to big band settings. Also new to the K Constantinople range is a 22in Thin Ride Overhammered that, as the name suggests, features additional large hammer marks over the original hammering that gives a dark, dryer than usual sound with unusually crisp stick articulation that is well suited for small to medium sized groups. And to the K Zildjian range comes a 20in Light Flat Ride that offers a dark, warm sound with extreme stick definition. (JN) For more go to www.zildjian.com

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