The Philadelphia Real Book: All Jazz Musicians Need A Copy!

Mar 5, 2017

Jazz artists have always used a collection of written music called "Real Books" to learn jazz standards. As WRTI's Maureen Malloy reports, Philadelphia now has its own Real Book, shining the spotlight on local composers.

Radio script:

Maureen Malloy: In June of 2016, jazz musicians in and around Philadelphia were preparing and scanning music to submit for consideration for the Philadelphia Real Book. David Dzubinski is the Philadelphia Real Book coordinator and editor. He and members of Jazz Bridge, The Philadelphia Clef Club, and the Philadelphia Jazz Project were waiting to start sifting through more than 300 tunes from over 100 composers.

The book is a "real book" in the traditional sense: a collection of music that aspiring musicians need to know. WRTI jazz host Jeff Duperon is also president of Jazz Bridge.

Jeff Duperon: What it does is provide sort of a bible of Philadelphia artists—Philadelphia music—that you can use if you want to play the music, if you want to use it as source material for learning how to play this music. That's, I think, what the Real Book is all about.

MM: Philadelphia Real Book concerts will spread awareness of the launch, and the performers are Real Book contributors. Odean Pope, Dave Burrell and the Eubanks brothers are among the headliners. Duane and Robin Eubanks were able to submit for their late uncle, the great Ray Bryant. We're currently listening to his song Philadelphia Bound.

For contributing composers, the effort to submit is worth the reward. Their music is preserved, with proper credit, for all to play and enjoy.

JD: Twelve and a half percent of every contribution to the purchase goes back to the artist.

MM: And that's why it's not a fake book.