I wrote a book about ten years ago that was designed for advanced players. It’s a book that introduces jazz improvisation to musicians who are already accomplished players in other idioms. I thought to myself, what if I had a jazz student who was a member of the Houston Symphony Orchestra? What could I write for that student that would be fun and challenging for him to play but remain true to my approach for teaching beginning improvisers? That’s how the Twelve Tunes book was born.
Twelve Tunes is a collection of twelve play-along jazz tracks, one for each major key. The tunes are interesting, sometimes rhythmically complex, and utilize a variety of musical styles ranging from shuffles to reggae. The parts are transposed for instruments in C, B flat, E flat and bass clef.
I intentionally wrote the tunes in a way that would not make them sound educational. In fact, I have performed over half of them with my own band many times since the book was released. These are real tunes with interesting melodies but easy to improvise over, perfect for advanced players to get their feet wet on the jazz side of the fence.