From Monder to “Monk’s Mood”
New on the bookshelf this month are two unique folios, one a collection of compositions by a great contemporary tunesmith and the other a definitive roundup of must-know melodies.
Like the company’s book of Kurt Rosenwinkel transcriptions, Mel Bay has chosen for its beautiful, spiral-bound Compositions edition the guitarist Ben Monder, another post-Big Three picker who combines fantastic technique with sensitive musicality. Featuring music from his four critically praised leaders discs, it’s an essential compendium for students and fans. One caveat: no tablature, so tune up those reading skills. $35. melbay.com
Sher Music Co.’s new The Best of Sher Music Co. Real Books plucks the cream of the crop from Sher’s extended family of diverse Real Book titles. The resource features 106 usual suspects that are transcribed in a bold, clean lead-sheet format and punctuated by photos of acclaimed players. The C version is available now-B-flat, E-flat and bass-clef versions will be available in early 2009. $26. shermusic.com
It’s funny how guitarists and bassists so often overlook very important details in their rig. Take, for instance, the A/C power cord for a combo amp or preamp head unit. A sturdy, well-engineered cord can eliminate electromagnetic interference and unwanted noise and make sure the unit in question gets the proper amount of steady power, improving tone quality. Essential Sound Products’ MusicCord PRO power cords do all that, with durability that is over the top. With ultra-heavy-duty plug and connector ends and a woven polyester cable jacket, it’s built for the road. $179.99 online. essentialsound.com