|PIANIST: Luis Parés (UK) |
|Watch Blue River Playlist videos on YouTube |
EVC in major music exam
By Elena Cobb
Blue River for piano by Elena Cobb contains a great selection of pieces for piano that are evocative of blues, Latin and other musical styles popular today. The rhythms, forms, and harmonies are sophisticated and the textures totally satisfying. Here you will find all manner of jazz and blues styles—boogie-woogie to Latin and Pop.
1. Blue River: Blues
2. Star Dust: Cinematic
3. Cloud Seven: Latin
4. Mrs Van Der Blond: Rock-n-Roll
5. Pearls & Blues: Blues
6. Tango Leone: Tango
A. Peck –
I am a piano teacher in America who teaches a variety of ages, and I was seeking out books that would not only be enjoyable to play, but would “catch” the attention of my students who were plateauing or who would not practice because of sports, or being forced, etc. I was desperate to find something that would have them sit down at the piano bench ON THEIR OWN because the music in front of them made them happy and eager to learn.
In my search several months ago, I stumbled upon Elena Cobb’s website, and I ordered the “Higgledy Piggledy Jazz” book, as well as the “Blue River” book and was very relieved that find that her piano pieces were infectious; a great introduction or further learning of Jazz Piano. Both of the students who I gave “Star Dust” to have loved it, despite it being challenging for them because it was a bit above their level.
Blue River has six pieces for Late-Intermediate to Advanced students. My personal favorites thus far are: “Tango Leone” and “Cloud Seven,” as well as her beautiful and more reflective piece “Star Dust.”
Thank you, Ms. Cobb for such wonderful upbeat Jazz/Latin piano pieces. They have an magnificent way of putting you in a good mood.
Mrs. K. J. Salt UK –
5★ Review UK
Blue River is a beautifully crafted collection of pieces for the more advanced player.
My students love the pieces even though it takes them a while to manage them. a lovely mix of styles and some unexpected but well thought out harmonic and rhythmic progressions. A big hit!
C. Bookman USA –
5★ Review UK USA
I am a piano teacher in the United States and purchased this book while shopping for my students. Every once in a while I like to buy a musical treat for myself and this book does not disappoint. The pieces are beautifully written and fit well under the hand. They are the perfect relaxation after a long day of piano teaching or anything else! Someday when my students are advanced enough, I will share them of course, but for now they are an almost guilty pleasure just for me.
E. Pountney –
5★ Review UK
A fantastic book for the more advanced pupil. Fresh, and full of variety, it is enjoyable for pupil and teacher alike. Highly recommend!
International Piano Magazine –
“This is a hugely enjoyable collection of six original, well crafted and highly accessible pieces for grade 6+ players in need of some light-hearted pianistic relief.”
International Piano Magazine, UK –
“Six piano pieces for aspiring pianists who are at Intermediate to Advanced Levels: Blue River, Star Dust, Cloud Seven, Mrs Van Der Blond, Pearls & Blues and Tango Leone are evocative of Blues, Latin and other musical styles popular today. Thoroughly recommended.”
V. Davies –
Amazon UK”>5★ Review Amazon UK
“I’ve just discovered Elena Cobb, having listened to a clip of Star Dust on Youtube. Star Dust, one of six imaginative short pieces for intermediate piano included in this book, has a hypnotic melody and beautiful harmonic progressions. The LH sits comfortably under the fingers, the broken chords providing the perfect unrest to that haunting melody. Captivating! Contrast that with the rhythmic energy of Cloud Seven, Latin and the more technically demanding Tango Leone, and you have a flavour of the diversity of the writing in this book.
Blue River is a beautifully illustrated book. I highly recommend it for those who are getting tangled in a Bach Prelude or tripped up by a Beethoven Bagatelle and need a pit-stop. Elena Cobb is a fresh voice. Having just received and read in full my copy of Blue River today, it’s been wonderful to enter the twenty-first century and get lost in some fabulous music. I’ll be introducing my piano pupils to this music this week and am very much looking forward to teaching the material.
Congratulations and thank you, Ms Cobb.”
~ V. Davies UK
Kay Alexander ALCM, Canada –
This collection of jazz pieces is an interesting mix of styles. Blue River is a nicely paced boogie in a standard twelve bar progression. By the second page the right hand is given several quick runs and the mix of times between the hands continues through to the end. Star Dust has beautiful harmonies that work just as well at full speed or slowed down to feel your way through, savouring the sounds. Cloud Seven, Latin is a robust dance rhythm with challenging finger play.
Mrs. Van Der Blond is an delightful mix of ideas. It begins with some lovely broken chords before switching into a quick twelve bar walking bass. Then in the middle of it is a surprise burst of Gershwin! Pearls & Blues is a challenge of fingering and timing that requires a expert rhythmic sense. The final Tango Leone is a well constructed latin piece that is a pleasure to learn.
Over all this book offers a set of piano works that hone skills and pique the interest. I would recommend it to anyone as a good learning tool or for pure enjoyment.
Reuben Vincent –
“… had such a book been available for me as a teenager, I would have loved it! And to have shown it to my old teacher…now that would have been cruel but funny!!!”
~ Reuben Vincent
Irma (verified owner) –
So thankful I found Elena Cobb and her fabulous jazz collection this year. My students -children through adult- have been enjoying learning songs in Higgledy Piggledy Jazz since Spring. My adult student particularly wants to learn jazz music. Today she was so excited when I played trough the songs in Blue River, and she said she has been wanting to learn this kind of music. I have played the songs for my own enjoyment numerous times, because all of them are wonderful. I especially like ‘Tango Leone’ because… it’s tango!
Wen-Ming (verified owner) –
Thank you Elena for this wonderful collection of dance (Boogie, Ballade, Tango, etc) and jazz pieces. I love the brief reference to Gershwin’s Rhapsodie in Blue! I am certain that my advanced students will enjoy these pieces!
Debi (verified owner) –
This book is not for my students (yet), it is for me!! Sometimes you just have to splurge on your own repertoire, right? I have a former student who would adore this book. Perhaps I’ll get another one, for him 🙂
Alicia Freeman (verified owner) –
I’ve been using this book for a while now and am so happy with the variety of style and how fun and engaging the pieces are! I love that they are not super sight readable and require a little more time to master. Thanks for the fun book, Elena!
Tara Cunningham (verified owner) –
Absolutely amazing book. Stardust is a student favorite. Mrs Van der Blond is an absolute showstopper and Cloud Seven Latin will be what I as the teacher will be performing at our next recital.