People Get Ready is a new collection of 13 solo piano arrangements of popular songs by Black musicians, suitable for late intermediate to early advanced players.
Brought to us by Faber Music, the publication presents itself as a “celebration of black songwriters”, offering a selection of iconic works that certainly fulfil that aim, while also tapping into the zeitgeist of the present moment.
People Get Ready is in my view an important and excellent publication, so in this review I will consider each of the 13 songs, include YouTube clips of the originals, as well as adding insights about these new piano arrangements, which have been produced by Faber regular Oliver Weeks.
Faber Music have established a reputation for producing interesting and beautifully presented piano collections in recent years, ranging from their standard-setting Faber Music Anthologies series to less imposing but equally attractive compilations.
Their latest is called Play Piano for Well-being, which offers a typically diverse assortment of popular and easily accessible pieces.
In common with last year’s Peaceful Piano Playlist, this new addition similarly compiles a wide range of music in the manner of a Spotify playlist, the hope being that the “31 uplifting piano solos” contained within will bring delight to players and listeners alike.
Hot on their heels, Faber bring us their Easy Piano Anthology, a new book in the series that is aimed at less advanced players, including an enticing selection of arrangements suitable for the elementary to early intermediate player (around Grades 1-4).
Over the last three years, Faber Music seemed to establish a pattern of releasing deluxe Piano Anthologies in the run up to the Christmas season. For 2020, they have ‘upped the ante’ by bringing forward the next title in this stunning series to the Spring, with further anthologies (Contemporary and Easy) already in preparation.
The Faber Music Jazz Piano Anthology builds on the quality of its predecessors to deliver a sumptuous and brilliantly conceived book of jazz standards, newly arranged as piano solos for more advanced students and adult piano enthusiasts everywhere.
Faber Music have in recent years welcomed the onset of the Christmas shopping season with the publication of lavish anthologies, making perfect gifts for the pianist in your life (or indeed for yourself!).
First (in 2016) came the Faber Music Piano Anthology, a stunning hardback collection including 76 popular intermediate and advanced classics, which I reviewed here.
In 2018 they followed this with the lush Faber Music Christmas Piano Anthology, an essential seasonal purchase which I reviewed in more detail here.
New for 2019, the Faber Music Soundtracks Piano Anthology is a collection of 58 pieces which have appeared in movies or TV shows, including popular classics alongside recent film scores.
Faber Music’s ‘Easy Piano Series’ has steadily been establishing itself as one of the brightest jewels in the publisher’s sparkling catalogue of educational piano music. New for 2019, this collection of seasonal favourites sets out to maintain the high standards of the series…
Radiohead hardly need any introduction. Since forming in 1985, they have established themselves as one of the most unique and admired bands in the world, selling more than 30 million albums and regularly topping listener and critical polls.
Australian pianist and teacher Josh Cohen will perhaps be a new name to some readers however, although he has garnered an impressive following of some 70,000+ followers on YouTube, drawn to his improvised solo piano arrangements of popular songs by Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Sigur Rós and David Bowie.
Now, thanks to Faber Music, 11 of Cohen’s arrangements are being published (with the approval of Radiohead themselves) in a beautifully presented collection.
Here’s Cohen explaining in his own words the journey that brought us this publication:
And now they’ve brought out the Faber Music Christmas Piano Anthology, which proves to be a massive and hugely impressive collection of the best and most popular seasonal tunes, expertly arranged for piano solo at intermediate to advanced level.
There’s been a gap in the market for something like this – it’s never easy to recommend a collection for all ages that covers the most wanted classic and contemporary festive songs. So is this it? Let’s find out …