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GIA / gi / 10800

Listening Excerpts to Develop Jazz Musicianship


Jim Childers

Imagine an art teacher saying, “Today, we are going to paint in the impressionistic style” and then using only words to describe that style. It would be a frustrating activity for all involved. Displaying classic art by Monet or Degas would be a far better way to grow students’ visual concept of impressionism.

Similarly, the best way to develop a young jazz musician’s understanding of how jazz is supposed to sound is through great listening examples.

In this resource for experienced and novice jazz educators, author Jim Childers organizes hundreds of great jazz recordings into tables—and provides companion Spotify and YouTube playlists—to showcase specific jazz concepts, styles, characteristic tone, genres, emotion, and more.

What can Charlie Parker teach students about alto saxophone? What is Miles Davis’s characteristic trumpet sound? What is the difference between bebop and swing? What separates a slow wide scoop from a quicker, shorter scoop?

Like in the companion volume for wind band, and with concepts timed down to the second, Childers provides students the gift of great musicians playing great pieces of music. And this focused listening is an efficient way to convey musical concepts, improve student musicianship, and inspire a love for jazz!

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Category: Jazz Reference, Reference Materials