MicroJazz Refreshed: Christopher Norton

I’m delighted to welcome back composer Christopher Norton as my guest writer today. Chris, who has written many articles for this blog, is renowned for his excellent MicroJazz piano series, which has expanded exponentially over the years, and the pieces have featured in countless examination syllabuses as well as in many music festival syllabuses around the world. MicroJazz has just been republished by Boosey & Hawkes, and in this post, Chris tells us about this reissue.

I am also running a weekend competition today and, therefore, if you would like to win one of two books from this series, please leave a comment in the comment box at the end of this post, explaining why you need these books! I will be announcing the two winners on Monday evening (British time). Good luck. Over to Chris…


Written as far back as 1981 (that is, 40 years ago!), the 3 Microjazz Collections for Piano have established themselves over the years as the benchmark for graded collections of original pieces in popular styles. Used by every examination board in the world, loved by generations of students (and grateful teachers), these books really have stood the test of time.

The Reissue

The 3 original  Microjazz Collections for Piano are being reissued, with attractive new covers and with links to solo performances, performance tracks (piano with band) and backing tracks, on all digital platforms. The original books had CDs, but technology has moved on!

Here’s what one of the reissued books looks like:

Not Just Microjazz!

Boosey & Hawkes’ 40th anniversary reissue isn’t restricted to the Microjazz Collections for Piano. All of my extensive catalogue is getting a similar facelift – the Concert Collections, the Preludes Collections, Microjazz Duet Collections, The Easiest Way To Improvise and the Essential Guides  – check www. Christophernorton.com for full details. New solo performances (that is, those without backing tracks) have been commissioned and all existing band tracks and backing tracks have been assembled to create one of the most comprehensive collections of Christopher Norton you will ever have encountered. This applies to all instruments!

Brand New Microjazz Collections for Piano

The original Microjazz Collections for Piano spanned roughly Grade 1 to Grade 5 in terms of difficulty. Alongside the reissued catalogue, Boosey & Hawkes are delighted to announce that 2 brand-new Microjazz Collections for Piano are being launched – Microjazz Collection 4 and Microjazz Collection 5. These, in broad terms, span Grade 5 to Grade 8 in terms of difficulty, so they are a natural bridge to the more demanding Preludes Collections in particular.

The range of styles is, like the original books, quite wide. There are some lovely pop ballads, some big-band style pieces, impressionist, swing, Latin, shuffle, r’n’b…There is lots to explore. The backing tracks are really great to play with and UK pianist Iain Farringdon has done his usual superlative concert performances. It’s a great package!

Here are a couple of sample pages to whet your appetite:

Release date

December 1st 2021 was the official release date. So now you can buy them from all good retailers or by going to www.christophernorton.com

Christopher Norton


My publications:

For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my piano course, Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, the course features a large collection of progressive, graded piano repertoire from approximately Grade 1 to advanced diploma level, with copious practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.

You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Martin Bekaert says:

    Wow,

    Those songs sound fresh and cheerful, I would like to be able to play such piano performances in the future.
    When I am more advanced in the “play it again course”, I also want to learn some jazz pieces like this.
    I’m looking forward to it.

    Many greetings,

    Martin Bekaert
    Belgium

  2. Brenda says:

    These books will give all players an insight to what Jazz is all about. To those who have an interest in improvisation, the books will also give the players the exposure on how Jazz works, its good exercise for those who wants to explore more on Jazz

  3. These books are gems; exciting and inspiring introductions to Jazz and popular styles and will enthuse my students. I always love introducing them to new musical genres. These books encapsulate my teaching ethos; learning while enjoying!!!

  4. The late great Oscar Peterson encouraged all the pianists to study classically first. “It gives you a much better insight into the instrument,” he says. With that being said, learning jazz further amplifies improvisation, composition, elevates knowledge of melody and an extended palette of chords. I have already commenced incorporating some jazz music into my practice along with the continued classical piano studies.

  5. Fran Kesselman says:

    These look like great jazz books for some of my students in addition to their classical studies! Thanks for the offer.

  6. amypianist says:

    Christopher Norton’s MicroJazz series is one of my favourite collections for the piano. It’s so good for teaching students to develop their sense of rhythm in a fun way!

  7. Joyce Kelly says:

    I need to get out of my comfort zone and try jazz. This book would be a good incentive. I’ve loved the Chris Norton pieces I’ve heard.

  8. Many thanks to all those who took part in this competition which has now closed. 🙂

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