Favorite Icon, Full size
Songbook Review: Conversations Collection
Matt Johnson
Cover image of the songbook Conversations Collection by Matt Johnson
Conversations Collection
Matt Johnson
1992 / Dolce & Nuit Productions
102 pages / 12 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Conversations Collection songbook is the companion sheet music book to Matt Johnson’s 1992 recording, Conversations. All twelve pieces from the album were transcribed by the composer (Johnson). Ten of the twelve tracks on the recording are ensemble pieces, so the solo transcriptions won’t match the recordings, but with careful attention to the rhythms and the spirit of the music, pianists at a fairly advanced playing level should be very satisfied with the sheet music. The two piano solos on the album are “You Can’t Go Back” and “Sometimes, Words Are Not Enough,” and those should match the recordings. The music in this collection is very eclectic, ranging from bright and lively jazz to quieter and more reflective. Some of the rhythms are fairly complicated - especially in the faster pieces - but with some practice, they are a lot of fun to play.

The layout of the music is well-spaced and easy to read. There are lots of leger lines in many of the bass patterns, but you can always pencil in what the notes are if you have trouble reading them. Pedaling is also clearly marked and there are fingering suggestions in some sections. This is definitely not “easy piano,” but more advanced pianists will find plenty to enjoy. The easiest pieces are “She Fell Asleep In My Arms” and “Sometimes, Words Are Not Enough,” so you might want to start with those! The really good part is that Matt Johnson offers his music for free on his website (donations happily accepted!), so you can try it out! You can also download the recordings for free, so check out www.MattJohnsonMusic.com! His sheet music is also available from SheetMusicPlus.com.

The titles, the keys the pieces are in and the number of pages are:

My Favorite Time of Year - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 9 1/2 pages
Freckle On My Hand - Key of G (1 sharp) - 11 pages
Sassy - Key of B minor (2 sharps) - 10 pages
Never On Time - Key of F (1 flat)/ G (1 sharp) - 7 pages
Me Beija (Kiss Me) - Key of F minor (4 flats)/ F major (1 flat) - 8 pages
Into My Life You Came - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 9 pages
You Can’t Go Back - Key of Db (5 flats) - 8 pages
Conversations - Key of Ab minor (7 flats)/ Ab (4 flats) - 14 pages
She Fell Asleep in My Arms - Key of Bb (2 flats) - 6 pages
Carioca Lullaby - Key of Ab (4 flats) - 8 pages
Remembering Kristopher - Key of Bb (2 flats)/ B major (5 sharps) - 4 pages
Sometimes, Words Are Not Enough - Key of G minor (2 flats)/ E major (4 sharps) - 5 pages
April 21, 2019
More reviews of Matt Johnson songbooks