Gigbag: June 2008


The standard jazz repertoire has long since expanded beyond Blue Note hits, the Great American Songbook and even Lennon-McCartney, and these two new rockin’ additions to Hal Leonard’s affordable Play-Along book/CD series prove it: Jimi Hendrix features 10 of the Stratmaster’s best-loved songs arranged in jazz-lead-sheet format. The accompanying CD offers examples and rhythm section tracks (and yes, it is quite surreal to hear “Foxey Lady” as played by a jazz quartet). The Doors includes “Break on Through (To the Other Side),” “Light My Fire,” “Touch Me” and six others. $14.95 each.

Inside Your [Drum]head

Avant-garde coloring and the polyrhythmic gymnastics of today’s postbop are fine and good, but what about dropping bombs and giving the skins a good ol’ Krupa-style beatdown? For those looking to master the lost art of bigband drumming comes Inside the Big Band Drum Chart, a new Mel Bay book and MP3 CD/DVD combo for aspiring Buddy Riches. The guide includes rudiments building drummers’ abilities in a variety of tempos and styles, tune arrangements with analysis, instruction on reading, transcriptions of historic big-band solos and more. $29.95.

Stand-up Instruction

Bass performer, instructor and music journalist (his profile of Jonas Hellborg appears on page 37 of this magazine) Ed Friedland has a new DVD, Jazz Upright Bass, on Hal Leonard. Though he’s also well versed in electric playing and the slap technique, here Friedland gives students the lowdown on traditional low-end techniques, from walking to trading fours and playing ballads. A method booklet is included. $19.95.