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Sage Wisdom

"Good improvisation communicates harmonic progression melodically. Effective melodies manipulate harmonic content through the use of guide tones and preparatory gravity notes, masterfully woven in systematic tension, release, and transparent harmonic definition."

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August 20, 2010 | New tuneage resource:

We're pretty impressed with the current features of a website based out of France of jazz standard tunes aptly called "" Still somewhat in beta-version, the free online library promises to be a terrific resource as it develops more of its features. Offering an astronomical assortment of over a thousand classics in three different standard transpositions, C, Eb or Bb, the site gives you the chords (you already know the melodies) plus allows you to print or email pages. (Did we mention "free?") Understand that this is not a fakebook with melody notated, to offer this feature would make the project cost prohibitive, with all the due legal responsibilities and royalty administration.

We've enjoyed using our Realbook iPad app, but this is terrific for those that don't have Apple's latest gadget or desire the immediate print option. We checked in with the site author Pierre-Yves Sauront about the intriguing possibilities of printing a book or collection of songs selected from the site, particularly generating a PDF file set list for an eReader. He responds, "The plan is to offer the possibility to create books. Not one huge book with all charts, but many small books, for specific use. For example, one will be able to create a book containing all charts corresponding to a specific gig, or for a workshop or rehearsal session. It will be possible to add transposition to some tunes, then to publish three versions of each book, in C, Bb and Eb and send them to other musicians."

He further speculates, "This corresponds with my purposes; I wish to use a eReader too. This means that other charts (not included in the book) will still be available (if needed for jamming) provided the eReader is connected to the Internet." Other features on the drawing board: transposition to any key, which would be great for accompanying singers, group charts that would also include corresponding information like performance dates and locations, rehearsal notes, and of course the ability to pass the books on to fellow musicians through email.

Very exciting stuff, but check in now to see how much repertoire treasure they are already providing.

View site:


Special thanks to Seattle based multi-instrumentalist and educator/publisher Pete Martin for pointing us this direction.

Posted by Ted at August 20, 2010 5:28 AM

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