Set the Stage combo books, by Randy Hunter, provide a comprehensive method for starting a jazz ensemble in a variety of small group settings. Easy to intermediate level selections in a variety of jazz styles are included to make this an enjoyable introduction to playing jazz for students of all ages.
Three part jazz ccombo arrangements with soli and solo sections create the feel of playing in a full jazz ensemble with as few as three players. First, second and third part books are available for a variety of wind instruments. Rhythm section books are available for piano, guitar, bass and drums.
Each book comes with a demonstration CD. A play-along CD designed specifically for wind or rhythm section instruments is also included. The wind instrument practice CD can be used in performance situations when a live rhythm section is unavailable.
The tunes are based on minor, dominant and major chords with no alterations. Along with the inclusion of improvisation and scale suggestions, these playable chord changes make improvisation possible for students having basic skills on their instruments. The wind instrument books provide optional written solos that may be used as improvisational studies.
Rhythm section books focus on teaching players to interpret and perform various styles using lead sheets and lead sheet type combo charts. Complete guidelines include suggested and alternate chord voicings, comping rhythms, bass lines and drumming patterns.
This method “sets the stage” for establishing and developing a jazz program. The tunes and instruction provided prepare students for ensemble playing and
improvisation, establishing a foundation in the fundamental skills of both combo and jazz band settings.