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Gigbag: July/August 2007

Andy Laverne’s Modern Jazz Piano DVDs

Originally released in 1990 and being reissued on sparkling DVD by Homespun, this two-part tutorial features pianist Andy LaVerne with a stellar quartet including longtime cohort John Abercrombie on guitar, Steve LaSpina on bass, and Jeff Hirshfield on drums. Throughout each 90-minute program, LaVerne walks pianists through his original tunes and standards and performs solo, in duo with Abercrombie, as a piano trio and with the full quartet. LaVerne’s gentle, unpretentious demeanor makes him easy to learn from.

ProSessions by M-Audio

M-Audio recently shipped some of its ProSessions sound libraries to the JT offices, and they’re keepers, with ultra-realistic samples for studio or live applications. Particularly notable for jazz, fusion or jam-band heads are the Premium Electric Pianos and Premium Vintage Keyboards libraries: Electric Pianos recreates two classic Fender Rhodes models, and Vintage Keyboards includes models of a Wurlitzer Model 214 “Blacktop” and D-model Clavinet from the mid-’70s.

CD Metronome

Nothing improves an instrumentalist’s sense of jazz time more than practicing with a live, swinging jazz drummer. Only thing is, drummers can be a hassle-they’ll steal your significant other, raid the fridge without asking and generally overstay their welcome. That’s where CD Metronome comes in: Four volumes of double-CD sets featuring live jazz drumming in a variety of tempos and styles, recorded in crisp sound. Vol. 1 features straightahead swing in 4/4, Vol. 2 is 3/4, Vol 3. is 5/4 and 7/4, and Vol. 4 is free-bop. If you’re sick and tired of trying to swing changes to the robotic blip of a metronome, give CD Metronome a spin.

Primo Reeds by Conn-Selmer

“Specifically designed and priced for students,” Primo Reeds are made from the same cane as the Conn-Selmer company’s more expensive reed models. But where the pro-level reeds are available in a larger number of strengths and sizes, the Primo limits the options for students, making it easier for student players to get what they’re looking for. The Primo line is available in Eb and Bb soprano clarinet and bass clarinet, and soprano, alto, tenor and baritone sax models. Size choices are streamlined to a simple four: 2, 2 1/2, 3 and 3 1/2. Bass clarinet and tenor and baritone sax Primos come five in box; all other instruments come 10 in a box.

Planet Waves Making Waves

Planet Waves just released a slew of hip new products for guitarists, including the Dare strap and the Humidipak.

The Dare strap centers the weight of your guitar or bass across both shoulders rather than just one, eliminating the back and neck pain caused by conventional single-shoulder straps. (At the same time, it’s not as goofy looking as the cross-body harnesses of the past that aimed to correct uncomfortable straps.) Priced at $24.99, it’s cheaper than a visit to the chiropractor.

The Humidipak is a two-way humidity system to be inserted inside an acoustic guitar’s soundhole, helping the instrument to keep 45-percent optimum humidity. Developed with the Taylor Guitars camp, the Humidipak kits retail for $39.99.

Originally Published