SHEET MUSIC REVIEW by Andrew Eales.
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Nikki Iles will be known to many readers for her Jazz on a Winter’s Night book and subsequent series for OUP, and her recent Tales for Alice and Tales for Peter Pan collections for EVC Music, all of which I have been hugely impressed by.
Over the years, Iles has also contributed to the ABRSM Jazz Piano Syllabus and composed several memorable pieces for the board’s standard piano grades, which are always popular choices. And now she’s back with two new books of jazz pieces for ABRSM, between them bringing 29 new piano solos to the intermediate and advanced repertoire, composed and arranged by Iles and a stellar array of luminaries of the contemporary jazz world.
With the drawing power of Iles and friends, and the marketing clout of ABRSM, these two books are sure to fly off the shelves, so let’s take a closer look while we can!
Continue reading Nikki Iles and Friends
Sheet Music Review
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
Sheet Music Review
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
A few months ago I had the pleasure of writing a world-exclusive first review of Nikki Iles’ latest piano collection, Piano Tales for Alice, published by Elena Cobb’s EVC Music.
At the time of the review, I concluded:
“All in all, Piano Tales for Alice is an absolute delight – perhaps EVC Music’s most exciting publication and essential purchase to date. Hats off to publisher Elena Cobb, composer Nikki Iles, and all involved in bringing this exceptional publication to market.”
I receive dozens of publications for review each term, and cannot possibly cover them all in the detail I would like to, still less actually use all this music with my own students (even though I have more than 60, of all ages and abilities).
In the case of this outstanding collection, however, such was my enthusiasm that I have since used it with two of my own students, Imogen (aged 11) and Bella (12), both of whom had recently completed ABRSM Grade 1.
Both girls chose Piano Tales for Alice from a small selection of books I showed them, and both have absolutely fallen in love with Nikki’s pieces. Quite simply, it has been a joy to behold the extent to which they have each been inspired by this collection, their imaginations alight to an extent that they have risen quickly to the fresh musical challenges in each piece.
What a privilege, then, to have been invited to a very special launch event celebrating this publication, hosted by publisher Elena Cobb at Fortnum & Mason in London’s Piccadilly…
Continue reading A Tea Party for Alice
Sheet Music Review
The rise and rise of EVC Music Publications as an exciting and innovative music publisher can’t have escaped the notice of any player or teacher active on social media, and like many I have watched their emergence over the last three years or so with growing interest.
I have previously praised a number of EVC Music’s publications. The Jevdet Hajiyev: Piano Collection 1 was particularly enterprising, and I am enthusiastic for Andrew Higgins’ excellent Birds: Études-Tableaux and the recent reissue of Graham Lynch’s wonderful Sound Sketches series. And I was delighted to report that the EVC Music Star Prize Event at the Royal Albert Hall last month was such a resounding success!
With the publication of Piano Tales for Alice – a brand new collection of easy pieces by acclaimed jazz performer and composer Nikki Iles – it seems to me that EVC Music has unequivocally arrived as a mature and significant force in music publishing.
Building on their activities thus far, with this publication EVC Music has hit the jackpot, bringing to market a genuine classic…
Continue reading Piano Tales for Alice