"All About Blues: Jazz for the Orff Ensemble" provides step-by-step jazz instruction based on the Orff approach, which serves as a guide from the world of children's games through the poetry of the vocal blues to the sophistication of jazz blues.
The material and lesson plans in this book can stand alone, but there are cross-references to pages in the author's "Now's the Time: Jazz for All Ages" book (available separately) and he recommends using the books in tandem. The tunes are in arranged in order of simple to complex and according to certain stylistic features. Pieces are presented in progressive order of difficulty to provide for sequential learning, but each piece can also stand on its own. Every tune introduces a new element to build a large expressive musical vocabulary of the blues. While some early games and songs can be used with preschoolers, most of the Orff instrument arrangements are geared toward elementary and middle school performers, but can be adapted to high school jazz bands. The pieces and sequences can also be adapted for piano students. Most of the arrangements are for diatonic instruments. When chromatic notes are essential, the author suggests the piano, chromatic Orff instrument or vibraphone. The CD features selections from the author's student ensembles at The San Francisco School between 1983 and 2011. These 24 tracks are from previous recordings by his students.