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Its that time again where I need to start thinking about new repertoire. My teacher asked me what I fancied playing and without hesitation I said jazz. I’ve never been much of a fan of jazz. My parents didn’t bring me up listening to Dave Brubeck or Robbie Coltrane. However I really enjoyed learning I Wish I knew How it Would Feel to be Free a few years ago, and it’s a genre that I’d like to play more of. It will be great practice too as the rhythms are so different to the romantic music that I normally play.

Therefore I have ordered Pam Wedgwood’s book; After Hours Jazz, Book 1 from my local music shop. I’ve spoken about Pam’s books before. It was her It’s never to too late to learn to play piano that I first used when I started learning the instrument, and I always recommend it to anyone who will listen to me. Her After Hours series has 10s of books from solo piano to duets with the piano + a range of other instruments. There are 3 Jazz books all aimed at the intermediate player. They each feature a mix of a few of her original compositions and her arrangements of jazz standards. They should be easy enough for me to play without being too simple to be boring. I picked Book 1 because it had the largest number of tunes that I liked. Tracks such as: I’ve Got You Under My Skin, They Can’t Take That Away From Me, Fly me to the moon, and I Got Rhythm. But the piece I am going to learn first is The Pink Panther. I wouldn’t have thought of it as a jazz piece but I guess it is…. I first came across the Pink Panther not by watching the Peter Seller’s film, but the BBC cartoon which span off from the original movies. Although I’ve obviously seen the films since. I think it will work well as a piano piece.

The great thing about the Pam Wedgwood books is that she is a pianist, therefore she is able to make piano arrangements that sound much better than those created by more generalists. I won’t pick the book up for a week or so, but I am sure to keep you posted on the progress.

How about you? Do you like Jazz? If so, what sheet music should I be looking for?

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