Max and the Lost Note

Jazz is an area of music that seems resolutely impervious to childhood, performed as it is almost exclusively in venues that require proof of age prior to entry. And yet children are not impervious to jazz. The instruments are intriguing, the tunes are engaging, the solos are an exotic adventure in performance possibilities, what’s not for a kid to like? Piano teachers (from all kinds of places on this planet) will tell you that students come to lessons wanting to ‘play jazz’ even though they aren’t quite certain exactly what jazz is. And this is where my latest children’s book discovery comes in: a story book that is an almost faultless introduction to the world of jazz, jazz musicians, listening and jamming, Graham Marsh’s wonderful Max and the Lost Note, published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books in 2009. Max is a jazz cat who plays piano and makes up his own tunes, but on this particular day he’s unable to

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