Real Book [DVD]
You could say that “Take the ‘A’ Train,” “Autumn Leaves,” “Satin Doll,” “All the Things You Are,” and “Stella by Starlight,” are five of the most tired songs in jazz. But they’re not. They’re timeless tunes that never wear out—ever-gleaming musical gems you’ll find in the repertoire of jazz newbies and jazz legends alike. And if you’re in the former category, well, know that the only time these beautiful perennials sound tired is when someone butchers them on the bandstand. In other words, it’s in all of our best interest if you learn ’em inside out, and soon.
That’s where Corey Christiansen comes in. He doesn’t want you merely able to hack your way through the songs’ melodies and chord sequences. By detailing how to get inside each standard, this DVD is a very strategic and thorough effort to have you nailing all aspects of these tunes. (Duke’s signature chromatic hook in the middle of “‘A’ Train,” the mandatory 7#9-powered intro to “All the Things You Are,” and numerous chord substitutions are all demoed on this disc.) Of course, one can never truly “nail” tunes like these—that’s what makes them great: they’re endlessly reinterpretable. And those students of jazz guitar who know how to take advantage of a great teacher, a DVD player, and a fair amount of practice time can soon put their own signatures on these standards. (Mel Bay.)