Saturday, February 14, 2015

My Hal Leonard Jazz Play Along Top 5

I have written about the Hal Leonard Jazz play along series earlier here and in that entry I posted a video of me playing 7 bop heads unisono with sax. Recently, I have gotten a few questions about which Hal Leonard playalongs I would recommend. So let's go into that now.

What I really like about the Hal Leonards is the fact that they offer two versions of every tune. One with a horn playing the head and one with the backing only. I talked about that in my earlier entry. In addition, I like the simple fact that the tracks are relatively short (just a few choruses for impro  and even less on ballads) with nice and creative intros and endings so you actually have the idea that you are playing a tune and not blowing over an endless series of changes, Also I find the comping on the Hal Leonards quite musical and creative. On the whole the feel of the tunes is very nice. 

So what are my favourite Hal Leonards? Well, the list is pretty subjective of course but here is my personal top 5.  

No 1. Volume 5 10 Bebop Classics

No 2. Volume 26 Charlie Parker

No 3. Volume 3: The Blues

No 4. Volume 7 Essential Jazz Classics

No 5. Volume 8 Jobim
There are many more of course, depending on who your favourite artist or composer is. Just check out Hal Leonard's website. For every volume there is a track listing.

Here are a few vids I recorded using Hal Leonards. This one (All the Things You Are) is from Volume 75: "Paul Desmond." It was recorded lofi in my living room. The other ones sound better because they were recorded in my home studio. In the vids below, I only used the full play along take, so not the ones with the horn playing the heads. 

"There Will Be Another You" is from Volume 7 "Essential Jazz Classics."

"Bluesette" is from Volume 31 "Jazz in Three."

And this one (Four) is from Volume 2 "Miles Davis":


  1. Chơi co tuong online trên web GameBai.Net để thử sức với nhiều cao thủ. Giao lưu học hỏi với nhiều bạn bè yêu thích choi phom online nhé.

  2. Hello, yes I two really like the Jazz play a long.
    odd question but the vol #45 use to be Jazz at the movies however now is George Gershwin. Oh I have both now but the Jazz at the Movies was dropped could that be from a copy right war? do you know? is it even worth asking?
    Thanks Edd