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Alexander Vinitsky : Blues and Jazz Preludes for Classical Guitar: Mel Bay

Updated: Jun 4, 2022

Alexander Vinitsky

Mel Bay: 24 pages (includes a CD)

Alexander Vinitsky’s music has always delighted me, as it is often Jazz or Blues based, and yet utterly imaginative and definitely not cliché – ridden, as so many others might write, when trying to create a blues or jazz style in their work.

This latest book consists of 21 pieces. The first 12 of these are short blues, each in a different key, so you don’t just get the user – friendly keys of C, D , E and A etc., but also the not so friendly Bb, B, Gm, etc. They all follow the basic idea of once through the theme, a repeat, and then a coda to finish, often of one chord. Now, you might think that that sounds very repetitive, that you are bound to get bored by the similarities of the pieces after the first half a dozen or so, but no! Each one is utterly individual, and nothing like its predecessors, other than it is always in a blues style.

Then there are two extended blues pieces in Em, and D, which are much longer, and naturally a lot more difficult too. Again the invention is consistently brilliant, and in these two pieces particularly, destined to catch you out until you have really got them under your fingers, but they are lots of fun, and so guitaristic throughout.

Then comes Etude in a Blues Form set in E Major that yet again is full of wonderful ideas, and yet moves around the guitar continuously and is truly an Etude in the sense that after getting this piece correct your technique will have benefited from playing it.

The final 6 pieces are all marked Prelude, but each has its own character, with Nos 1, 3, and 5 being Ballades that harmonically speaking had me thinking of George Gerschwin at times. Nos 2 and 6 are slow swings, and No4 is a Bossa Nova. None of these last 6 pieces are very easy, but yet again, there is not a dud in any of them. They are wonderful, lots of fun, and brilliant from start to finish, so don’t hesitate. If you like the sound of the style, you will adore this fabulous volume and accompanying CD

Chris Dumigan

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