Over the decades since Sher Music Co. first started publishing world-class jazz fake books, one of the few complaints I have received is that there is just too much material in our books to “shlep” all of them to every gig. So my brother Norm had a good idea: to put a bunch of the more widely-known tunes in a single volume that would give a representative sampling of the songs in our books.
Included are standards, classic jazz tunes, and contemporary jazz compositions that are all part of the jazz canon at this point in time. And as a special bonus, we have included a gorgeous song from Michael Brecker’s final CD, Pilgrimage, entitled “Half Moon Lane”, seen here for the first time in print (although it will also be included in our online collection, The Digital Real Book).
It has been a real honor for me to be associated with the high level of musical talent represented in our various fake books, and to do my part in helping jazz and Latin music flourish by providing good lead sheets for bands to work off of. But please remember that only so much information can be conveyed on a piece of paper. There is no substitute for listening deeply to the recordings of these songs, and figuring out how the masters of the music took these structures and created fresh, spontaneous music using these tunes as springboards.
Please see the back of the book for a list of the previous Sher Music Co. books that each one of these songs appeared in. And in the back of each one of those books there are complete discographies of the albums we used in order to create the charts. But these days all you have to do is to ask iTunes or Rhapsody or any other internet music provider to bring up the various recordings available for each song. I have found www.rhapsody.com to be especially valuable since, for a relatively low monthly fee, you get to listen to the entire track of any song on many thousands of CDs, without any additional cost (unless you want to download a particular track, which costs about a dollar each). Happy listening!
My heartfelt thanks goes out to all the publishers of these songs for their cooperation; to Chuck Stewart, Chuck Gee, Jos. L. Knaepen and Patrick Hinely for the use of their beautiful photos; to the Sher Music team—Larry Dunlap (musical editor), Chuck Gee (music engraving), Bob Afifi (proofreading) and Attila Nagy (cover art & graphics)—for another great job accomplished; and to the composers and recording artists for each song, whose talent and genius have enriched all our lives so much.
Needless to say, if you don’t have the complete set of Sher Music Co. Real Books, then we suggest that you add them to your library in the near future. They are all unique collections of songs, and are all done with the same attention to detail, easy-to-read manuscript, and complete accuracy that you will find in this volume. They are available in better music stores world-wide, or online at www.shermusic.com. Please see the Store Locator on our website to find a Sher Music Co. dealer near you. In the meantime, this book should be invaluable to you at gigs, rehearsals and jam sessions. Enjoy, and long live jazz!