Jazz Etudes for Saxophone Level 3 by Randy Hunter
(24 Swing & Bop Studies for Tenor and Alto)
Atlanta based saxophonist Randy Hunter has released his book and CD set, Jazz Etudes for Saxophone Level 3. Mr. Hunter recently accepted a position teaching jazz saxophone at Emory University in Atlanta, GA and will begin teaching there in Fall of 2008. This CD features Randy Hunter playing tenor sax along with Guy Fenocchi on guitar, Moffett Morris on bass and Tim Nash on drums.
The 71 page Jazz Etudes for Saxophone Level 3 is available with parts for both alto and tenor on facing pages. The inclusion of both alto and tenor parts within the same book has become more common with new saxophone publications. It is a handy feature I’m glad to see Randy Hunter has included. Having both parts available in the same book is a matter of convenience when teaching with mixed saxophones. All the examples are demonstrated on tenor, however alto music is provided as well.
Each of the 24 etudes is based on a standard set of chord changes. There are actually six referenced standards such as Just Friends and There Will Never Be Another You and Green Dolphin Street. Each of the six set of chord changes features four separate etudes written by Hunter. The etudes are in presented in progressive order.
In addition to the etudes themselves, Randy Hunter offers some helpful insights on jazz theory and articulations. Each level of the four etudes is explained in great detail with suggestions for the student. The explanations are clear and easy to understand, but not “dumbed down” too much for more advanced students.
In my own studio I have found the etudes to be quite useful for sightreading and improvisational play-alongs. Although each etude is demonstrated by Hunter on tenor, I find the rhythm section tracks most useful with students. Each student can learn and interpret the solo with the guidance of their own teacher and/or improvise over the changes.
Kudos to Randy Hunter who has provided the saxophone community with another useful jazz publication.