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More Little Stories in Jazz.

[??] More Little Stories in Jazz, by Mike Schoenmehl. Schott Music Corp./Hal Leonard Corporation (www.schott-music.com; www.musicdispatch.com; (800) 637-2852)), 2006. 40 pp. $10.95.

More Little Stories in Jazz by Mike Schoenmehl follows his earlier publication Little Stories in Jazz published more than 20 years ago. The 16 pieces in this collection were written as teaching pieces and are delightfully unique in this regard. Each piece focuses on at least one technical or musical skill to be mastered. The pieces, not presented in order of difficulty, provide excellent material for intermediate to advanced students seeking to improve their understanding of jazz performance style. They also present technical challenges common to all musical styles, such as co-ordination between the hands, fluency, and good tone production with the added appeal of jazz rhythms and harmonies.

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The pieces, which vary in length from one page to three pages, are musically engaging and include swing, jazz waltz, blues and ballad styles. The rhythms and harmonies of the pieces reflect complete understanding of jazz style, and the pianistic accessibility is indicative of seasoned teaching on the part of the composer. In the latter regard, the composer has also included his notes on each of the individual pieces providing valuable assistance to students and teachers for solving the musical and technical challenges of each piece. Attention to these notes will assure that students understand the purpose of each study and gain the fullest benefit from their practice of it.

The printing is clear and well spaced and the composer has chosen to keep the printed music simple, with dynamics and articulation to be worked out by the individual. He has, however, given recommended tempo markings and indicated helpful fingerings, Overall, this collection should provide a musically satisfying and pedagogically valuable addition to intermediate-level jazz study and would also provide interesting study or sight-reading material at the early-advanced level.

Schoenmehl holds several professorships at German universities, where he teaches piano, harmony and rhythm. He is an active performer, workshop clinician and jazz adjudicator.

Schoenmehl has also written Fun with Jazz Piano Vols. 1-3, and Jazz For Two Books 1 and 2, which based on the quality of this publication, would also warrant investigation.--Reviewed by Ann Collins, NCTM, Macomb, Illinois

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Author:Collins, Ann
Publication:American Music Teacher
Date:Oct 1, 2007
Words:418
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