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Standard of Excellence “First Jazz Performance”

Review 05/24/2011
Dean Sorenson
Neil A Kjos Music Company - 2008

If you are new to jazz education or looking for a structured approach on how to instruct students at the elementary and middle school levels, look no further than the Kjos Standard of Excellence: Jazz Performance with its step-by-step rehearsal guide.

This comprehensive jazz ensemble method provides essential rehearsal techniques to produce an authentic jazz performance. It consists of ten easy 1st-2nd level jazz ensemble charts that can also be played in a concert band setting. What makes this collection of jazz ensemble charts unique for music educators is the 231 page director’s manual goes beyond the conductor’s score with comprehensive instruction materials that provide a wealth of rehearsal tips, unison solo studies, full jazz ensemble charts, rhythm studies, improvisation starters, and rhythm section tips. The musical styles include rock, Latin, and swing.

The included CD brings together the Rhythm Studies and unison solo studies with complete recordings of the charts. Students can also download the CD tracks along he Improvisation starters from Kjos Multimedia Library at Minimum instrumentation is 1st & 2nd alto sax, tenor saxophone, 1st & 2nd trumpet, 1st trombone, piano, bass and drums. Expandable parts include 5 saxes, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones and standard rhythm section plus mallet percussion. It also expands to full concert band with flute/oboe, clarinet, French horn, baritone B.C., tuba, and cymbals/snare drum/bass drum.

This collection of charts is musically enticing and a welcome addition to any jazz ensemble library for elementary and middle school levels and is a bargain with ten charts at an affordable price.

John Kuzmich, Jr.