December 28th, 2012, 12:14 PM
Join Date: Dec 2012
Recommended Play-a-longs for piano
I've bought a few recently and was just working through them. Recommendations would be appreciated.
The best one of the lot so far has been:
- Steinway Library "Jazz Piano Play a long - Noreen Grey Lienhard" She seems really excellent, comping practice with a few solos, really nice piano solos and over all arrangements and recording quality are superb.
- Others include Aebersold's stuff which seems the most comprehensive, but I find the recordings a bit old, electric bass, and a very busy piano comping with a lot of chromatic neighbor tone slides which are somewhat annoying at times (when repeating).
- Hal Leonards new play along series seems to be a re-issue of Aebersold's library (or rip-off?), without the instruction but much better quality recordings (from the few I have).
- Berklee Press - Jazz Piano Comping, Suzanne Davis, and Jazz Keyboard Harmony Using Upper structure Triads, Suzanne Sifter, both seem well written with play along track with real musicians.
- Berklee Press - Blues Improvisation Complete. I don't actually play through the exercises, but take the blues scale they recommend and play along with the recordings with live musicians which are very good with a nice variety of styles and good length 3-4 minutes each all in different styles. These have a great feel and energy about them. (I was planning to use these recording for beginner students to play along with when starting to learn blues scales, have them feel the changes first, then bring their attention to what the changes are, outlining the chord structure, have them comp guide tones in LH through the changes, then add RH again for HT, using the 'amazing slow downer' to find a comfortable tempo to start with).
- Keyboard Signature Licks, Bill Evans, by Brent Edstrom. This is excellent a shame they don't have more in this vein...
- Mark Harrison's Jazz/Blues Piano: Hal Leonard Keyboard Style Series, is ok, some nice intermediate play along's at the end in a good variety of styles, the very annoying thing about Hal Leonard is that some of their jazz series use midi recordings instead of live musicians, saying they have a 'band' but don't mention that it is sequenced and so sounds cheap.
- And I have picked up a number of Hal Leonard's Jazz piano solo series, some are good, mostly shell voicings in Lh. Not play along but good intermediate arrangements.
- Also using Amazing Slow Downer which is a must have for play alongs...