All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Book Reviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

You're IN the Band - The Real Experience of Playing in a Traditional/Hot Jazz Band

Nicholas F. Mondello By

Sign in to view read count
You're IN the Band
Cynthia Sayer
128 Pages
ISBN: #978-0-578-17971-1
Cynthia Sayer Music
2016

Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, bandleader and music educator, Cynthia Sayer's name might not be a bell-ringer, however I'd wager that you've probably heard her Hall of Fame banjo (Yes, there is one!) playing on film soundtracks, commercials, pop recordings—or, if you've been a lucky-so-and-so, live.

At the request of her students, Sayer has compiled and published her thoughts, suggestions and years of performing experience (read that as wisdom) into a terrific read-listen-and-play-along method appropriately titled You're IN the Band—The Real Experience of Playing in a Traditional Jazz/Hot Jazz Band. There are a number of elements which make Ms. Sayer's effort well worth considering; none the least of which is that it is a hell of a lot of fun hearing and playing along with Sayer and her great Trad sidekickers: trumpeter Bria Skonberg, bassist Mike Weatherly and drummer, Kevin Dorn.

The initial sections of the book, all laid out in a neat, easy-to-digest (and read) Q+A format, detail valuable specifics which give the gigging or interested-in-gigging musician about Hot/Trad Jazz, its music, customs and quirks. The play-along section is Habanera Hot where one has the ability to play along with these world-class instrumentalists or to play "lead" without the lead/melody performer or banjo. Further, the baker's dozen selections—all Hot workhorses ("Avalon," "Darktown Strutters' Ball," "Just a Closer Walk with Thee," "Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me," "When the Saints Go Marching In" and 7 more all in C, Bb and Eb with chord changes recommended and options discussed) are offered in two tempo formats, enabling the student to perfect one's skills in "Practice Tempo" and then progress to "Gigging Tempo."

The playing by Sayer and her unit is, as you would expect, A-1 and the production values both for the book (beautifully designed, although I prefer spiral-binding vs. perfect) and the recordings (available w/provided CDs or via download) are outstanding. The intelligent jazz musician, irrespective of area of preference or work requirements, can benefit substantially from Sayer's insights and certainly gain from performing along with her and this crew. The nuances they individually and collectively provide, as well as the narrative here make this publication very well worth the nominal investment, not to mention you can test it out for free at cynthiasayer.com.

Some like it hot and this reviewer certainly likes this cooker.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read More Than A Jazz Legend: Dexter Gordon and His Search For Personal Integrity Book Reviews
More Than A Jazz Legend: Dexter Gordon and His Search For...
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 1, 2018
Read Alligator founder provides blues fans insider look at running of label Book Reviews
Alligator founder provides blues fans insider look at...
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 30, 2018
Read Johnny Cash: The Life and Legacy of the Man in Black Book Reviews
Johnny Cash: The Life and Legacy of the Man in Black
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: October 27, 2018
Read Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin Book Reviews
Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 22, 2018
Read What's Big and Purple and Lives in the Ocean?: The Moby Grape Story Book Reviews
What's Big and Purple and Lives in the Ocean?: The...
by Doug Collette
Published: September 9, 2018
Read Jorma Kaukonen: Been So Long - My Life & Music Book Reviews
Jorma Kaukonen: Been So Long - My Life & Music
by Doug Collette
Published: August 25, 2018
Read "The Other Night at Quinn's" Book Reviews The Other Night at Quinn's
by David A. Orthmann
Published: August 17, 2018
Read "Good Morning Blues" Book Reviews Good Morning Blues
by Richard J Salvucci
Published: January 11, 2018