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Home>Teachers Aid Products>Let's Play Jazz

Creative Jazz Piano Arranging for Real "Fake Book" Tunes

Item # TS236
Creative Jazz Piano Arranging for Real "Fake Book" Tunes
Creative Jazz Piano Arranging for Real 'Fake Book' Tunes
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Creative Jazz Piano Arranging for Real Fake Book Tunes is a method and songbook written by Michael Tarro. This new title for Jazz Piano is a culmination of more than thirty years of experience in teaching piano. It contains musical concepts and explains many techniques for any jazz pianist to develop their own interpretive style. This instructional collection teaches how to create variations of simple melodies of many well-known standards as written in every Fake-Book which includes:

A phenomenal collection of the most popular jazz standards ever written.

Complete original jazz piano arrangements clearly notated with precision.

Improvised solos transcribed in their entirety with strict adherence to detail.

Incredibly valuable jazz piano techniques for developing interpretive skills.

A recording of every arrangement performed by the author, Michael Tarro

A bonus track of Tarro's award winning Big Band single, Traveling Theme.

Creative Jazz Piano Arranging provides a logical approach towards creating arrangements of simple well-known melodies. This powerful tool in developing performance excellence is one of the first steps toward becoming an incredible jazz pianist.

Gentle Rain by Louis Bonfa * Don't Blame Me by Jimmy McHugh * Sharp Nine Blues & Traveling Theme by Mike Tarro My Romance and Hello Young Lovers by Richard Rodgers and Hammerstein * When Sunny Gets Blue by Marvin Fischer Days Of Wine & Roses by Mancini & Johnny Mercer * Nearness Of You & Georgia On My Mind by Hoagy Carmichael Sweet Georgia Brown written by Ben Bernie, Maceo Pinkard and Kenneth Casey * When I Fall In Love by Victor Young and Don't Get Around Much Anymore and I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good by Sir Duke Ellington.


Creative Jazz Piano Arranging for Real Fake Book Tunes is the culmination of more than thirty years experience in teaching piano. It contains musical concepts and explains many techniques for any jazz pianist to develop their own interpretive style. Creative Jazz Piano Arranging teaches how to create variations of simple melodies of many well-known jazz standards as written in every Fake Book. The most frequently asked question when playing tunes from the Real Book or any Fake Book is, What do I play with my left hand and how do I pull it all together?

These and many other questions are answered and clearly defined in this book. As each of these concerns are addressed and resolved, the pianist's individual style begins to emerge. This process is established by following this simple guide and studying its unique approach to interpretation. Specific techniques are labeled and explained in the expanded analysis section which creates a viable working system for the student, novice or professional to build and develop their own style, ideas and arrangements. In addition to the detailed examples and explanations, every tune is performed, recorded and included on the performance CD.

A few of the areas of focus & analysis in this book are melodic embellishments, assorted left hand accompaniment options, chord voicings & substitutions, introductions, and endings. These are ultimately used to create variety in your own arrangements. The tunes are then transcribed and carefully notated.

A fundamental knowledge of triads, sixth & seventh chords is a requirement for those hoping to benefit from this approach. A more complete understanding of ninth, eleventh & thirteen chords is also extremely helpful. The chords used are of the Tertian variety (based on thirds) as well as Quartal (based on fourths,) which is used in some instances for accent, effect and punctuation. The final type of harmony called Secundal (based on seconds,) creates dissonance and may sound a bit unusual.

This type of harmony used in twentieth century classical music can be found in the works of many composers during the Impressionistic period. Secundal or dissonant harmony is commonly used in progressive and free form jazz styles.

A solid background of finger exercises that are found in Hanon, Czerny or Isidor Philipp's School of Technique is highly recommended to insure accurate execution when playing any demanding melodic passage. It takes countless hours of disciplined daily practice to become a good pianist and even more to develop into a great one.

Creative Jazz Piano Arranging for Real Fake Book Tunes provides a logical approach towards creating interesting arrangements of simple melodies. This title is a powerful tool in developing performance excellence and one of the first steps toward becoming a great jazz pianist.

Michael Tarro Author's Bio

Michael Tarro began taking piano lessons at an early age. He studied classical, jazz and popular piano styles for over twelve years. Even as an adolescent, he received numerous awards. Michael supplemented his piano studies by taking courses in harmony, theory, solfeggi and counterpoint.

Michael has composed and arranged musical scores for a variety of events. Prior to attending college, Michael assembled his first working horn band where he applied his studies in harmony and counterpoint by emulating the styles of Chicago, Tower of Power and Blood Sweat & Tears.

Michael continued his musical studies by attending California State University with concentration in composition, harmony & arranging. He performed in assorted professional bands while in school and taught piano privately. Upon completing his studies, he returned home to Rhode Island.

For the next few years, Michael toured nationally with a nine piece show band in the United States and Canada. The band performed many styles of music from standard General Business gigs to elaborate Broadway Productions in which Michael was both the primary arranger and pianist.

Michael has arranged various album projects and composed original soundtracks. He has produced commercials for radio & television for more than twenty years. His advertising productions include Off Track Bedding, Rizzo Ford, J & W University and Arlington RV Supercenter to name a few.

His original compositions "Schizophrenia is Better Than Living Alone" & "Alone in Love" received local & national airplay as well as from the nationally syndicated show, Dr. Demento. Michael's originals such as "I won't be hangin' with the guys again", "Suite for Piano & String Quartet" & "Merry Old New England are licensed for film in the soundtrack of The Package.

At the present time, Michael resides in Rhode Island with his family where he continues to teach privately and remains active in writing and composing new material professionally.

The Bonus Big Band Track

Traveling Theme

Original Composition

Written and Arranged by Michael Tarro

Originally recorded at Viscount Recording Studio in Cranston, Rhode Island.

This Award Winning single was re-mastered in April, 2007

Russ Martin, Chief Engineer

Soloists & Musical Standouts

Bill Smith, Trumpet

John DiGiulio, Drums & Percussion

Edward Tomassi Saxophone, Clarinet & Flute

Bill Smith Trumpet

Bill Smith is the High School Band Director and highly respected jazz educator from Coventry, Rhode Island. Bill has been teaching in Coventry for over 25 years where he not only directs the Concert Band, but the Select Choir as well. Both the Select Choir & Concert Band have received numerous awards under his direction for superior performance at the Rhode Island Music Educators (RIMEA) conference during his tenure.

Bill has been directing both the Jazz Ensemble and Marching Band exclusively for the past ten years. His professional accolades include performing with the The Temptations and a national tour with the Broadway Musical, Ain't Misbehavin. Bill is also credited with countless recording sessions for jingles and assorted advertising campaigns.

Bill is currently a member of the extremely talented rhythm and blues band, Brass Attack. This highly acclaimed group has performed and recorded with Michael Tarro, the former pianist and arranger for the group. Bill performs weekly with the John Allmark Jazz Orchestra and the incredibly exciting Brass Force band.

John DiGiulio - Drums & Percussion

John is a versatile drummer & percussionist with over 20 years of performing experience. He is best known for his ability to read, write and transcribe music instantaneously. John attended the Berklee College of Music where he studied under both Alan Dawson & Gary Chaffee.

John's professional accolades include touring with Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Little Anthony & the Imperials and John Secada just to name a few. He has also performed with David Cassidy, The Shirelle's, The Rascals, Martha & The Vandellas, Barry Manilow, Paul Simon and many more. Additional Performances include Broadway Shows such as Damn Yankees, Rent, Mama Mia, My Fair Lady and Grease.

John has performed on literally thousands of recordings including sessions with Eric Clapton, Taylor Dayne, Natalie Merchant, Denise Williams, Psych!, The First Edition, Joan Osbourne, The Psychedelic Furs & Aria. His television appearances include the 2009 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, NBC Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, The Tonight Show, Maurey Povich and numerous spots for local and national TV affiliates.

John's awards include a two time Grammy Nomination for his production of Little Anthony & The Imperials "Pure Acapella." He was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in October of 2006. John currently teaches percussion at Paul Green's School of Rock in Port Washington & Melville, New York.

Ed Tomassi - Saxophone, Clarinet & Flute

Ed has been a professor at Berklee College of Music for over three decades. He teaches jazz improvisation, performance, theory, harmony and music history. He also teaches at the Ivy League's Brown University and presents clinics and workshops with Dave Liebman as well as many other well known jazz aficionados.

Ed is a highly acclaimed jazz educator at Berklee and a graduate with Summa Cum Laude accolades in composition. His mentors include Dave Liebman, Charlie Mariano, George Coleman, Joe Viola, Charlie Banacos and Jerry Bergonzi.

Mr. Tomassi is an active performer and bandleader who has performed with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Carl Fontana, Hal Galper, Nick Brignola and Bob Mover. He is also a former member of Brass Attack, an extremely talented nine piece rhythm & blues band from Rhode Island.
For a copy of the table of contents for this book, please click here (PDF).
Click on the YOUTUBE icon to view a Creative Jazz Piano Arranging Demo.
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