The Real Book

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Bluesful, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

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    Hi All.

    Anyone know anything about the Real Book?

    I want to grab a copy but I can't figure out the versioning. On Amazon there seems to be the Sixth Edition (and what would seem to be the prior Fifth Edition) but then also volumes I, II, III, IV and V (which seem to not be an 'Edition').

    Which is the latest?
     
  2. Dioxic

    Dioxic Member

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    Volume I 6th edition is pretty much the place to start. Most of the tunes that'll be called at your average Jazz jam will be in there, but each volume actually has a different collection of songs.
     
  3. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Member

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    Yeah there's a couple different volumes (I thought there were only 3 but could be more) with different editions of each. There maybe 6 editions of volume 1, I don't know. The later volumes are newer so probably not as many versions of those.

    I had 3 volumes at some point, but they got really trashed and with everything available online I passed them on. IIRC the books published by Sher were a little more accurate than those in the classic Real Books, I might steer you in that direction.
     
  4. JonR

    JonR Member

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    BTW, make sure you get the C version, not the Bb or Eb versions, which are for horns.

    Dewey is right that the original Real Book vol.1 (before 6th edition) was once the bible of amateur and semi-pro jazz groups, in the 80s and 90s at least. Among pros it was notorious for its errors, but that didn't bother most people who used it. (In truth it was only a tiny handful of tunes that contained significant mistakes.)

    The whole idea of the book was that it would be unlike the old jazz "fake books", which contained melodies and chord sequences for standards, but basic ones that would let you "fake" your way through a tune. In contrast, the "Real Book" was transcribed (by students at Berklee I believe) from actual jazz recordings by the greats, which - of course - made it "real", not fake. At the same time, that apparent claim to 100% accuracy laid it wide open to criticism which wouldn't apply to the old fake books. Even 99% accuracy would not be good enough for some.

    The later "New Real Book"s (Sher) are better quality, professionally printed, more accurate, and also give royalties to the composers (which the original one didn't). The disadvantage - to old Real book Fans - was they didn't have quite the same collection of tunes.

    So it really depends which edition of the "bible" you want to own!
     
  5. wilto

    wilto Member

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    Make sure you don't get the fake real book.
     
  6. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

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  7. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    My favorite is the sex edition, oops I meant
    the sex, I mean the six edition. Sorry, all those
    romantic latin songs really speak to me.
     
  8. russintexas

    russintexas Member

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    Whatever you do, don't waste your money on the kindle edition. Its pagination is completely useless.
     
  9. kirk95

    kirk95 Jazz Lines You Can Use in the Blues Silver Supporting Member

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    I remember Real Book dealers on Bolyston Street back in the day...... It was ileagal so Bezerklee couldn't sell them to you...

    getting old...
     
  10. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    I was playing in Boston for two weeks in '76. I bought a RB for $20 out of a trunk of a car. Seemed like the greatest thing next to sliced bread. That same week I bought Jaco's first album and Bright Size Life.
     

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