New Book Reviews: Hot Jams for Recorder,
Harry Potter for Saxophone

Woodwind & Brasswind Contributing Writer - Greg Vail

Hot Jams for Recorder with Guitar and Drums by Jim Solomon

This is a very fun set of music for intermediate level students playing the recorder. I really like the layout of the book and functionality of the included CD.

The primary purpose of this book is to be used by a teacher, working with a recorder class to learn, practice and perform the included songs. The melodic difficulty is pretty easy throughout the book, but the rhythmic level is a little more advanced. The cool thing about the CD is students can listen to the rhythm and get a feel for the music by ear, and then use the written music as more of a guide as they practice.

All the parts played on the CD are included in the accompanying book, and the goal would be to perform the songs live, with a guitar player and perhaps even some percussion as notated. Necessary percussion instruments would include congas, shakers and floor toms. Recorder parts are primarily written for soprano recorder, but some songs have a second soprano recorder part, or alto and tenor recorder parts included.

The audio tracks on the accompanying CD sound very good and can certainly be used in performance in the event that there are no guitars or drums available for the class. Although this set is designed for a group setting, individuals will benefit from the CD and music; practicing the solo parts and performing with the CD tracks is fun. Each of the 15 songs are presented on CD with all the instruments playing so one could practice with the full recording, and then play the background track and be the star.

A fun approach, nice easy songs, and many ways to use and benefit from this instructional recorder set with CD.

Harry Potter Instrumental Solos for Saxophone

For Harry Potter fans of all ages this will be a fun set of songs with background accompaniment to learn and play over and over. There are sixteen songs included in this book/CD set for intermediate level saxophone players.

Some of the music is pretty easy and some is more advanced, with complex rhythms and a variety of accidentals requiring some real practice to learn. The cool advantage to the CD is that performance tracks are included so you can listen first and hear the correct pitches and rhythms. You can then practice each piece while referencing a good performance of each track.

The included CD allows you to try playing the song without the saxophone performance, and with some practice, play these songs with the background for your personal enjoyment or for live performance or even a recorded audition. The backgrounds are orchestral in nature, as is the music from the original motion picture.

I think both classical and jazz saxophonists will have fun with these solos. There are places when a melody is simplified, notated by smaller notes, but the demo tracks will have the more difficult parts demonstrated.

Want to play with an orchestra? Love Harry Potter movies? I don't think you will be disappointed with this set, and I am sure this music will give you plenty to work on and continued enjoyment for a long time to come.

Harry Potter Instrumental Solos for Alto Saxophone
Harry Potter Instrumental Solos for Tenor Saxophone

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Los Angeles based freelance saxophonist Greg Vail is among the most versatile woodwind players on the west coast. His work in jazz, pop and contemporary gospel music spans over 30-years. Greg maintains an active digital presence at

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