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3.8 out of 5 stars
The New Real Book, Volume 2 (Key of C)
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63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
Format: Spiral-bound
Prior to the publication of this book, serious Jazz professionals and students had to hunt down copies of the elusive "REAL BOOK", that improvisor's bible found only UNDER the counter at CERTAIN music shops (which you'd ultimately get pointed out to through your local musician's grapevine. ) At times hard to read, prone to fall apart and vanish off the bandstand and not always 100% accurate, it was definitely the book you needed to make it through gigs if you weren't a walking encyclopaedia of tunes.
Finally, along has come this book. It's legal, the print is easier to read, the pages are easier to turn, and it has some cute pictures and even hipper tunes... but is it better ?
Yes and no. The one problem I have with it is that *for me* on the bandstand, simple is best. If someone calls a tune you've never heard before, you want to be able to turn to it, glance at the changes and hang with them. This book, in contrast, sometimes throws in extra bells and whistles delightful perhaps to a student and certain musicians, but a nuisance if you just want to see a skeleton of the basics so you can hang with the changes. My philosophy is : just give me the basic chords and melody... and its my job as an improvisor to throw in the rest. On the other hand, most fake books (arrangement wise) really leave you on your own.
The plus side of this book... it definitely has hipper changes and a hipper selection of tunes than the alternative (if that's what you're looking for and that's your taste), has introductions, endings, material more relevent for ensemble practise that you wouldn't find in the alternative and, for example if there's a particular vamp or line that defines the tune, the piano, bass and horn part might actually be written out even the drum part at times.
So is this book for you ? If you're looking for a fake book that's willing to "help you out" and you don't find that a distractor, definitely, yes ! If you're a student and don't know a lot of tunes, definitely, yes ! It has a great selection of tunes that will help you expand your song repoitoire, and also that's nice and cleanly written. A book such as this is a great investment... its not something you get and hide away under the bench... its something that you'll probably pack alongside your instrument everytime you go to a gig because people WILL be calling tunes from it.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2004
Format: Spiral-bound
From playing in both my high school's and college's jazz ensembles, it was clear to me that "The Real Book" was the bible of jazz standards. No instructor was without a copy. As a bass player, there have been countless times were I was just tossed a photocopy of a page from the Real Book and the instructions of "Here, do a walk over this chord progression."
A number of things made this book the most demanded of its kind. First of all, it contained hundreds and hundreds of jazz songs in a single volume. Second of all, it mostly followed a one-page-per-song format, showing the most essential parts: the chord and structure changes, the introductions, and the melody. If a song seemed to center around something like a particular repeated bass line, then that line was also shown. And last but certainly not least, the type face and unique "hand written" look made it the by far easiest book to physically read (no eye strain!)
Unfortunately, The Real Book was next to impossible to hunt down. No music stores carried it, or at least admitted to carrying it. It was pretty much an under-the-counter item that you could only get if you knew somebody. I guess these $50 books were always secretly copied and bounded in some local guy's basement, in hopes of skirting all the legal copyright issues.
Finally, Sher Music Co. has taken the original Real Book, got copyright clearance from each and every living composer, and in so doing even got to correct many mistakes based off the the composers' very own lead sheets. They also threw in a number of full-page photographs of jazz greats. The result is the only LEGAL, updated, and widely obtainable version of the original underground book.
One of the reviewers here seemed to make the gross assumption that this is a piano book. It's not. It's a book for everybody in the band. The fact that there are C, Bb and Eb versions of the book should tell you this. I've always been amused by "Piano/Vocal" sheet music books for bands that never even had a piano or keyboard player. For rock bands, they usually attempt a bad transcription of the guitar on the treble clef, and an even worse transcription of the bass on the bass cleff (written an octave down, of course).
Which brings me to the reason why this book was always called "The REAL Book": it's because it didn't take the shortcuts that "Fake Books" take. "Fake Books" are called such because they allow you to "fake" the song, i.e. dumb-down some chord changes, play it in a presumably easier key, and usually even try to adapt the whole song to the single instrument of piano.
It's so great to see a legit copy of this book in print. If you play jazz, this is the one book always worth investing in.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2000
Format: Spiral-bound
Great books, lots of tunes to jam on and use on a gig. Very easy to read while playing. However, as with all of these "fake" books, the changes should be considered only as a guide. You should still listen to a recording of these tunes by a jazz master and compare the chords used on the recording to those printed in the book. There are many versions of of a tune as well as downright inaccuracies in the book. Still, a valueable aid.
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on April 11, 2011
Format: Spiral-bound
This volume of the new real book is another must-have. It combines a good mix of latin, fusion & some unexpected gems of standards. The calligraphy is excellent and the forms of the tunes are always designed to use the least number of pages per tune - unlike "manufatured" sheet music!

I used this volume for teaching purposes in university and it proved to be a "benchmark" for students wanting to create their own charts in an intelligible style. Some of the tunes are quite obscure, but with the comprehensive charting and extra instrumentation, re-creating the tunes with authenticity can be easily achieved - if that's your "bag".

Only minus is the spiral binding - get your front & rear covers stuck on "clothed card" to avoid losing the front & rear covers - otherwise they tend to tear off.
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on February 3, 2015
Format: Spiral-boundVerified Purchase
Anything published by Chuck Sher is worth more than you pay for it, in my experience. This book is more "Adventurous' and songs are more complete than with other "Fake" books. The Sher publications should be the standard musicians use, rather than the other fake books out there.
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on December 28, 2013
Format: Spiral-boundVerified Purchase
My daughter's music teacher wanted her to have this book in her collection, so I found it on Amazon, bought it and it turned out to be a perfect purchase. Buying good used books are good; they are reasonably priced and who cares if they have been slightly used! Thank you!
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on April 26, 2013
Format: Spiral-boundVerified Purchase
Of course there are some good things, but too much time and paper is wasted printing bass and drum arrangements for songs that nobody will recognize in the first place. My advice: just get "The Real Book" that this was designed to replace.
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on September 17, 2009
Format: Spiral-bound
Great Fake Book. It has more contemporary song charts than the "The Real Books".
You can't beat the price!!!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Spiral-boundVerified Purchase
Sher has done a wonderful job of publishing tunes with the correct changes. Original as well as alternate changes are provided in easy to read, full page format. This is a big help for people like myself who have trouble reading small print. The spiral binding of the book allows for easy turning of the pages.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2005
Format: Spiral-boundVerified Purchase
Good book. Terrific selection. But in two tries, I only received an Eb book, which is fine for alto and baritone sax players, but not if you need a C or Bb book.
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