Melodies, harmony parts and solos have a register that makes it possible to play (and sing!) everything on most instruments. Of course, some instrument combinations will work better than others, and different songs may fit better for different singers, but most of the material will work in most ways.
The books come with a CD. The songs are recorded in short versions, where the melody (plus harmony part and/or fill-ins) are presented by song and/or an instrument, this is followed by a solo, and at last, the melody is presented in a new combination by instruments and/or vocals.
All songs come in a stereo mix with melodies and solos, and also in a ”minus one” version with just rhythm, that can be used for practising. In the minus one version, the drums are in stereo, the bass is in the left channel, and the chord instruments (piano and/or guitar) in the right channel. This makes it possible to practice melodies and solos with a complete backing, chord instruments with just bass and drums, and bass with just chord instruments and drums.
There are three exceptions from the rule about flexibility. The first is ”St. James Infirmary”, which is possible to perform with other instruments than trumpet/clarinet/ trombone, but which is not quite as stylistically correct if played by, for instance, three guitars. This does not mean that one cannot learn by playing the tune on other instruments than the stylistically correct ones.
The two other exceptions are the arrangements of ”You Don’t Know What Love Is” and ”Lady Be Good”, that are written for a specific horn section – four and five horns – and are a kind of ”reduced big band arrangements.” Of course, it is possible to replace instruments in these arrangements too, but this needs a little more thinking.
The written solos for all songs excepting these two arrangements are also conceived to be playable on most instruments – although some of the faster solos of course will be harder on for instance a trombone than on a tenor sax. The solos are in the book, and on the CD, as examples of how one can think when playing, or when practising: there are solos constructed from chord tones, from scales, from varying the melody and from using chromatics.
Remember, the solos are just suggestions!
Good luck and have fun!
Hans Hjortek and KG Johansson
New Orleans Jazz: St. James Infirmary
Swing: Lady Be Good
Swing: Swing Blues
Bebop: Bop Blues
Ballad: You Don´t Know What Love Is
Cool: I Can´t Believe (That You´re In Love With Me)
Bossa Nova: Don´t Look At Me
Modal Jazz: All Blues
Fusion: Recorded Time
You Don’t Know What Love Is, “simulated big band arrangement”
Lady Be Good, “simulated big band arrangement
”Musicians: Esbjörn Mörtzell, drums, Sven-Erik Johansson, bass, KG Johansson, guitar, Micke Långs, keyboards, Olle Strandberg and Gunnel Mauritzson, vocals, Mats Mårell, alto sax, Peter Lindqvist, tenor sax and flute, Håkan Knutas and Andreas Svejebäck, trumpet, Anders Nordqvist, trombone, Hans Hjortek, producer. Recorded and mixed at PlayYard Studios, Stockholm, by Peter Edlund.