Grooves for Piano Dudes

  • Products featured on Pianodao are selected for review by Andrew Eales.
  • When you purchase using the site’s retail links, Pianodao may earn a small commission, but this does not affect the price you pay.
  • Andrew offers playing advice online through his Video Feedback Service.

Heather Hammond is well established as one of the best-loved educational composers in the UK today, with more than 100 publications in print (piano and woodwind) from a variety of publishers.

The last time I took a good look at Hammond’s music was in my review of her Ballads Without Words, brought to us by EVC Music.

In this review, I’m considering a contrasting series of her music from the same publisher. Grooves for Piano Dudes currently includes three volumes of which the second and third (with a special Halloween theme) have just recently been released.

The three books are all suitable for intermediate players, and between them offer 37 fresh Hammond compositions in jazz, rock, blues and boogie styles…

Continue reading Grooves for Piano Dudes

Donald Thomson’s Halloween Piano Tunes

  • Products featured on Pianodao are selected for review by Andrew Eales.
  • When you purchase using the site’s retail links, Pianodao may earn a small commission, but this does not affect the price you pay.
  • Andrew offers playing advice online through his Video Feedback Service.

Having only just reviewed the Willis Music’s Halloween anthology Spooky Sounds here’s another dastardly publication, this time from EVC Music and scaring us with 19 original pieces from the excellent Donald Thomson.

I have previously praised Thomson’s Celtic Piano Music (reviewed here), and am equally enthusiastic about this collection. Let’s open it up to find out what’s lurking within…

Continue reading Donald Thomson’s Halloween Piano Tunes

Paul Birchall’s Blues, Boogie, Jazz & more…

  • Products featured on Pianodao are selected for review by Andrew Eales.
  • When you purchase using the site’s retail links, Pianodao may earn a small commission, but this does not affect the price you pay.
  • Andrew offers playing advice online through his Video Feedback Service.

Paul Birchall is a veteran keyboard and piano player with a career in commercial music spanning four decades of touring the world with the likes of M People, Jim Diamond, Snake Davis and Wang Chung. Now based in Manchester, he composes for TV, film, theatre, and for his own record label.

Some readers may know of Birchall’s Daily Expressions, previously published by the enterprising EVC Music. Now he’s back with a brand new publication. Blues, Boogie, Jazz & More (again from EVC Music) offers a superb mix of nine pieces in contemporary popular styles with full backing tracks, suitable for intermediate piano players…

Continue reading Paul Birchall’s Blues, Boogie, Jazz & more…

Ballads without words

  • Products featured on Pianodao are selected for review by Andrew Eales.
  • When you purchase using the site’s retail links, Pianodao may earn a small commission, but this does not affect the price you pay.
  • Andrew offers playing advice online through his Video Feedback Service.

Heather Hammond is one of the UK’s most widely respected and published educational composers, responsible for a string of popular titles that notably include the Cool Piano, Cool Clarinet, Funky Flute and Super Sax series from Kevin Mayhew. She is also much admired for her work with writing partner Karen Marshall; together they created the Get Set! Piano method series (Collins Music) and Intermediate Pianist (Faber Music).

Hammond’s most recent music, published with vision and panache by EVC Music, has further consolidated her growing international reputation, and EVC now brings us the combined Ballads Without Words, a compilation of two previous best-selling titles (suitable for upper intermediate players around UK Grades 4-5), joined by two brand new pieces…

Continue reading Ballads without words

Elena Cobb: Recital Piano Solos

  • Products featured on Pianodao are selected for review by Andrew Eales.
  • When you purchase using the site’s retail links, Pianodao may earn a small commission, but this does not affect the price you pay.
  • Andrew offers playing advice online through his Video Feedback Service.

Elena Cobb is without doubt one of the single most inspiring educators and committed visionaries that I have ever had the privilege of meeting.

A musical force of nature, she has made a global impact in music education through her Star Prize events at London’s Royal Albert Hall which attract young players from around the world, her festival and awards sponsorships, online networking (her Facebook community for Russian-speaking teachers has more than 10,000 members) and her music publishing.

Building her publishing business EVC Music from scratch, the last decade has seen Cobb supporting new music, in the process launching and expanding the careers of several excellent educational composers. It would be easy to overlook that Cobb is herself an outstanding composer.


Having recently signed to Hal Leonard as global distributors for EVC Music, her music is once again in the spotlight, and there’s never been a better time to remind readers of two excellent collections which showcase Cobb’s own, brilliant creative voice…

Continue reading Elena Cobb: Recital Piano Solos

Sam Wedgwood’s ‘Next Level’

  • Products featured on Pianodao are selected for review by Andrew Eales.
  • When you purchase using the site’s retail links, Pianodao may earn a small commission, but this does not affect the price you pay.
  • Andrew offers playing advice online through his Video Feedback Service.

Sam is the latest member of the Wedgwood clan to be making a big name for himself as a composer of well-crafted and catchy piano pieces suitable for intermediate students.

Following the popularity of the two Sam Wedgwood’s Project books from EVC Music, the publisher’s latest release is his new collection of solo and duet pieces, Next Level.

Here’s the Pianodao review…

Continue reading Sam Wedgwood’s ‘Next Level’

Piano Tales for Peter Pan

  • Products featured on Pianodao are selected for review by Andrew Eales.
  • When you purchase using the site’s retail links, Pianodao may earn a small commission, but this does not affect the price you pay.
  • Andrew offers playing advice online through his Video Feedback Service.

In the few years that I have been reviewing music publications on Pianodao, there have been a few standout releases which have gone on to become real favourites with my own students.

An obvious winner in this sense is the brilliant Piano Tales for Alice, composed by Nikki Iles and published by EVC Music, which I reviewed here in 2018.

Hot off the press, the much anticipated sequel Piano Tales for Peter Pan is out now, and for those who have been keen for its arrival I have good news:

Nikki Iles has done it again! Piano Tales for Peter Pan delivers another equally delicious mix of wit, imagination, and jazz-tinged brilliance. So let’s take a look…

Continue reading Piano Tales for Peter Pan

Andrew Higgins: Seasons

  • Products featured on Pianodao are selected for review by Andrew Eales.
  • When you purchase using the site’s retail links, Pianodao may earn a small commission, but this does not affect the price you pay.
  • Andrew offers playing advice online through his Video Feedback Service.

From time to time I review a music book here which subsequently establishes itself as a favourite with my students; such a book was the brilliant Birds: Études-Tableaux composed by Andrew Higgins, which I reviewed here.

I was therefore naturally pleased to receive Higgins’ latest collection, Seasons, which is again published by the forward-looking publisher EVC Music, whose many recent useful and eye-catching publications have made such a positive mark on the pedagogic repertoire in recent years.


Rather than lazily giving us more of the same, Seasons is quite a different proposition from Higgins’ last book, so let’s take a closer look…

Continue reading Andrew Higgins: Seasons

Graham Lynch’s “Art Preludes”

  • Products featured on Pianodao are selected for review by Andrew Eales.
  • When you purchase using the site’s retail links, Pianodao may earn a small commission, but this does not affect the price you pay.
  • Andrew offers playing advice online through his Video Feedback Service.

A recent review that I read elsewhere suggested that Elena Cobb’s EVC Music has “cornered the market in pedagogical, developmental publications for piano”. While this is something of an overstatement, it is certainly great to see EVC at last receiving its due recognition for a published catalogue that has continued to go from strength to strength.

EVC Music is not just about pedagogy though; the company has been steadily bringing to market a growing and glowing range of performance works by contemporary composers, the latest of which is Art Preludes, a suite of five new pieces by British composer Graham Lynch.

Interested in finding our more? Then read on…

Continue reading Graham Lynch’s “Art Preludes”

Jazz on a Winter’s Night

  • Products featured on Pianodao are selected for review by Andrew Eales.
  • When you purchase using the site’s retail links, Pianodao may earn a small commission, but this does not affect the price you pay.
  • Andrew offers playing advice online through his Video Feedback Service.

Jazz music and Christmas have a beautifully nostalgic association for many, and it’s no surprise that jazz pianist Nikki Iles’ Jazz on a Winter’s Night has been such a huge success since its 2009 publication.

Jazz on a Winter’s Night proved to be a milestone publication that spawned three outstanding sequels in Jazz in Springtime, Jazz on a Summer’s Day and Jazz in Autumn, each including a selection of seasonally themed jazz standards and originals composed by Nikki herself.

I was thrilled to recently notice that Oxford University Press have now brought out a second collection of Christmas classics arranged by Nikki in a range of jazz styles that once again pay homage to legendary jazz musicians.

In this review I will recap what makes the original book such a classic must-have for every advanced pianist before taking a closer look at its excellent new sequel…

Continue reading Jazz on a Winter’s Night