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1. Jazz: A History of America's Music
2. Jazz, Rags & Blues, Bk 4 (Book
3. All Music Guide to Jazz (Amg All
4. Jazz Composition: Theory and Practice
5. All Music Guide to Jazz : The
6. Jazz Piano and Harmony : A Fundamental
7. The Jazz Theory Book
8. Modern Jazz Voicings: Arranging
9. Smooth Jazz: Jazz Piano Solos
10. West Coast Jazz: Modern Jazz in
11. The Jazz Image: Seeing Music through
12. Instrumental Jazz Arranging: A
13. Solo Jazz Piano: The Linear Approach
14. Jazz-Blues Piano: The Complete
15. Jazz: My Music, My People: (ALA
16. Complete Jazz Keyboard Method:
17. All Music Guide to Jazz: The Experts'
18. This Is Our Music: Free Jazz,
19. An Understandable Guide to Music
20. The Jazz Piano Book

1. Jazz: A History of America's Music
by Geoffrey C. Ward, Ken Burns
Paperback: 512 Pages (2002-10-08)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$20.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679765395
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The companion volume to the ten-part PBS TV series by the team responsible for
The Civil War and Baseball.

Continuing in the tradition of their critically acclaimed works, Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns vividly bring to life the story of the quintessential American music—jazz. Born in the black community of turn-of-the-century New Orleans but played from the beginning by musicians of every color, jazz celebrates all Americans at their best.

Here are the stories of the extraordinary men and women who made the music: Louis Armstrong, the fatherless waif whose unrivaled genius helped turn jazz into a soloist's art and influenced every singer, every instrumentalist who came after him; Duke Ellington, the pampered son of middle-class parents who turned a whole orchestra into his personal instrument, wrote nearly two thousand pieces for it, and captured more of American life than any other composer. Bix Beiderbecke, the doomed cornet prodigy who showed white musicians that they too could make an important contribution to the music; Benny Goodman, theimmigrants' son who learned the clarinet to help feed his family, but who grew up to teach a whole country how to dance; Billie Holiday, whose distinctive style routinely transformed mediocre music into great art; Charlie Parker, who helped lead a musical revolution, only to destroy himself at thirty-four; and Miles Davis, whose search for fresh ways to sound made him the most influential jazz musician of his generation, and then led him to abandon jazz altogether. Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Tatum, Count Basie, Dave Brubeck, Artie Shaw, and Ella Fitzgerald are all here; so are Sidney Bechet, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and a host of others.

But Jazz is more than mere biography. The history of the music echoes the history of twentieth-century America. Jazz provided the background for the giddy era that F. Scott Fitzgerald called the Jazz Age. The irresistible pulse of big-band swing lifted the spirits and boosted American morale during the Great Depression and World War II. The virtuosic, demanding style called bebop mirrored the stepped-up pace and dislocation that came with peace. During the Cold War era, jazz served as a propaganda weapon—and forged links with the burgeoning counterculture. The story of jazz encompasses the story of American courtship and show business; the epic growth of great cities—New Orleans and Chicago, Kansas City and New York—and the struggle for civil rights and simple justice that continues into the new millennium.

Visually stunning, with more than five hundred photographs, some never before published, this book, like the music it chronicles, is an exploration—and a celebration—of the American experiment.

From the Hardcover edition.Amazon.com Review
First off, let's get the kudos down: Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns deserve far more than simple gratitude for bringing jazz to the limelight with this lavishly illustrated volume. The book features among its 500-plus pictures many of the previously unseen shots of musicians and venues glimpsed in Burns's 10-part documentary, Jazz. (See our Ken Burns Jazz Store for the lowdown on the series.) Jazz: An Illustrated History follows the film episode by episode, and it's filled with rich historical detail in the early chapters. Like the series, however, the book trails off after a certain point in chronicling jazz's history. It gives background aplenty on early New Orleans music, the migration of jazz up the Mississippi to major urban centers, and the developments of swing and bebop. After bebop, the history gets a bit perfunctory. Dozens of major figures get mere sidebar coverage. Little is said of substance on Latin or Brazilian jazz, European contributions to the music, fusion, or umpteen smaller deviations from the mainstream. There are wonderful essays that highlight elements of jazz culture, particularly Gerald Early's consideration of race and white musicians in jazz and Gary Giddins's five-page essay on avant jazz. And there are fine sidebars as well. But developments during and after the 1960s are dealt with primarily in impressionistic guest essays rather than detail-oriented historical narrative. It is, of course, difficult to capture all jazz history in any single volume. So perhaps this ought to have been called Jazz: A Historical Appreciation, since the hundreds of images certainly create an intense sense of the music's milieu. --Andrew Bartlett ... Read more

Customer Reviews (30)

4-0 out of 5 stars For Class
Used in class to accompany the video documentary. Mostly redundant information, but having it physically in front of you is nice for sections with lots of information crammed in.

3-0 out of 5 stars A good, basic text with a little more
For those who know nothing about jazz but who want to learn, this book is a good introduction.Full of great stories and photographs, it traces the history of the music, mainly through the eyes of two musicians, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington.I like how the authors inter-weaved the storylines of not only Louis and Duke but other musicians as well to show how the music developed and branched off into different styles and genres.

As with most Ken Burns material, the subject is told using race as its home base; jazz is rightly seen as the great desegregator.

Sometimes, though, the effort to find romance gets a little ahead of itself; for example, it's revealed that nearly blind pianist Art Tatum's hearing was so acute that he could tell the denomination of a coin just by the way it sounded when it landed on a counter.Big deal--anyone can do that!

The main beef I have with this book is that Ken Burns and Geoffrey Ward are two non-musicians, and non-jazz people at that. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that, but the result is a book with a lot of facts and very little soul. Some jazz writers contribute well-crafted essays, as does jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, but that's about it.

The reading of the acknowledgments at the end of the book is telling: outside of Marsalis, they did not credit a single jazz musician.Can it really be true that, in a book about the history of jazz, they interviewed only one jazz musician?

They really do in fact do a fine job, but I would have liked to have seen input from more musicians as opposed to critics.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Jazz, A History of America's Music" - A superb journey of enlightenment of the American greatness that defied its contradiction
"Jazz," by Ward and Burns. In the foreword, Ken Burns cites essayist Gerald Early's quote that "Two thousand years from now, America will be known for three things: the Constitution, baseball, and jazz." And, so it is. This book is a sparkling, gleaming gem. I am a lifelong vocalist and music afficianado, and I tell you unequivocally that Ward and Burns have condensed the story of our need to explosively express ourselves into a digestible whole...America's venomous racism proved trumped by defiance and the will to be human and grow. It is a fascinating story they tell, and against almost unbelievable odds, jazz emerged as a link to all that is irreducibly real and a means of redemption for our errors. Everyone should read and savor this work; it is a triumph. Adisa Ben Achaki, 2009.

4-0 out of 5 stars JAZZ: A History of American's Music
Ward and Burns have compiled a great deal of research about the origins of Jazz and made it quite interesting by weaving interviews and personal stories of Jazz innovators into the mix.

For instance, Louis Armstrong describes Funky Butt Hall, in Storyville, New Orleans where he grew up."It was a real rough place.You have to take your razor with you `cause you may have to scratch somebody before you leave.The men never put their hats down.They put it on their arm to dance slow with the chick.And nobody better touch it either.After the dance was over, they'd ask did you touch my hat, partner?Yeah!Wop.He'd hit `em in the chops and fight was on."

The pictures are marvelous too.Among them, the authors included Bix Beiderbecke's family portrait in 1904.Bix was probably one or two-years old at the time.There's a photo--actually several pages from the 1914 Ladies' Home Journal with step-by-step pictures of the Vernon Castles teaching the Fox trot to the American public.There's a great 1919 Duke Ellington ad for hiring his `Duke's Serenaders' to play irresistible `jass'.

All in all the book is a great ode to Jazz and its creators.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great!
prompt shippping during holiday season, book was delivered exactly as description stated. I am very pleased. ... Read more

2. Jazz, Rags & Blues, Bk 4 (Book & CD)
by Martha Mier
Paperback: 24 Pages (2010-09-27)
list price: US$8.99 -- used & new: US$7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0739075314
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Jazz, Rags & Blues, Books 1 through 5 contain original solos for late elementary to early advanced-level pianists that reflect the various styles of the jazz idiom. An excellent way to introduce your students to this distinctive American contribution to 20th century music. The CD includes dynamic recordings of each song in the matching book. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction into sight-reading jazz compositions
The concept of jazz piano is not complete without learning "comping" or free-composing of melody and improvisational ideas over a basic chordal structure. So, in that respect, this series will not teach you to be a jazz pianist. However, these are really fun, cute, and even artfully composed pieces that will be a great addition to your existing "classical" piano repertoire.

Quite a challenge because of their non-diatonic notes and irregular rhythms. The simplicity of the melody over a simple open 5th or other such basic patterns allows the beginning pianist to be introduced to more advanced ideas without going completely over their head. I strongly recommend this for beginning pianists with at least a year or so of sight-reading experience.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book for newbies to Jazz, etc.
I got this book for my 16 year old son per request from his piano teacher and he seems to like it very much. It is something different from the traditional material for this level. I don't get tired of listening to this type of music as quickly as the other lesson books. ... Read more

3. All Music Guide to Jazz (Amg All Music Guide Series)
by Vladimir Bogdanov, Chris Woodstra
Paperback: 913 Pages (1996-11-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$9.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0879304073
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The definitive reference on jazz recordings and performers, All Music Guide to Jazz is designed for devoted fans and newcomers alike, identifying thousands of topnotch CDs, albums, and tapes in all jazz styles. Alphabetized biographical profiles introduce readers to 1,300 jazz artists and their key recordings selected and reviewed by top critics. 30 charts. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A must for every jazz lover.
Excellent descriptions and partition. Good idea are the individual lists of instruments showing the main artists of these instruments and the style of music they play.

An improvement would be to show all artists which appear on each CD.

I am eagerly waiting for the third edition. ... Read more

4. Jazz Composition: Theory and Practice (Berklee Press)
by Ted Pease
Paperback: 256 Pages (2003-08-01)
list price: US$39.99 -- used & new: US$20.52
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0876390017
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
When you think of jazz composers, who comes to mind? Jelly Roll Morton, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Bob Brookmeyer. This book is about what they (and many others) do. Jazz composition has evolved into a disciplined art that often evidences great emotional depth and breadth of sophistication. Berklee College of Music legend Ted Pease demystifies the processes involved in writing jazz tunes and in composing episodic and extended jazz works. Jazz Composition: Theory and Practice is a by-product of Pease's 25 years of teaching jazz composition. The accompanying CD helps demonstrate melody, harmony and rhythmic elements of jazz and also includes a variety of music-writing exercises focused on learning these same elements to help you begin producing your own effective jazz compositions. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is just what I needed!
I have been seeking a way to get back into music composition after having made the transition from a rock percussionist to a jazz drummer recently. I wanted to be sure that I was writing material that my ensemble would be able to embrace. I wanted one book that would take up my spare time in order to achieve this goal and I'm happy with the information I am gaining via this outstanding book. Jazz Composition: Theory and Practice (Berklee Press)

5-0 out of 5 stars A really great book!
This book is an excellent guide for the beginning to intermediate jazz composer.This book assumes some basic knowledge of jazz style and notation.The resorces are are excellent for jazz harmonization and melodic composition both tonal and modal.This book does not, however, go into much depth in regards to part writing for an ensemble.I think this book is good preparation for Sammy Nestico's "The Complete Arranger" book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jazz Composition At Your Fingertips
This is a great book for those who know a respectable amount of jazz theory and want to understand the practice and art of jazz composition. Throughout the book, you are given exercises and opportunities to write your own pieces and comes with a CD. Although this book teaches you modal harmony, chromatic harmony, blues writing, ect., there is no substitute for a jazz composition professional teacher who would be valuable to check your work and offer criticism and suggestions.

Writing pieces on your own is basically made easier in terms of form and structure.

5-0 out of 5 stars great!
It starts with melody, and what is cool has exercises throughout, so you can really learn on the way... if you are interesting with jazz theory, I suggest this book, and also "modern jazz voicings" compliments it very well.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent book
This excellent book realy help me to teach modern jazz theory and composition on Jezek Conservatory Prague.I recommend this book to all my students.
... Read more

5. All Music Guide to Jazz : The Definitive Guide to Jazz Music
by Vladimir Bogdanov, Chris Woodstra, Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Paperback: 1400 Pages (2002-11-01)
list price: US$32.95 -- used & new: US$153.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 087930717X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This entertaining, easy-to-use reference now reviews and rates more than 18,000 sizzling recordings by over 1,700 musicians in all jazz styles - from New Orleans jazz to bebop, fusion, and beyond. Colorful profiles describe the artists' lives and careers, while anecdotal histories portray selected jazz legends. "Music Maps" chart the evolution of jazz instruments, plus the influence of significant players, vocalists, and sidemen. Providing essays on styles plus details on labels, producers, and more, this definitive guide will help readers begin or fine-tune a great jazz collection. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars The best guide available
This book covers the whole range of styles in Jazz, with specialist essays on individual areas, and 'family trees' of the key players in Jazz history.
It is more comprehensive than any other volume I have found. The only area I have any critisism of it is in its coverage of European and British Jazz where (as I assume its an American publication) it is a little poor. For this reason it only gets 4 stars. In all other respects this book will keep you entertained for hours and hours. An essential Jazz reference volume to own.

5-0 out of 5 stars Get it and don't forget it
All you need to know at your fingertips.Largely trustworthy
advice and insights on artists and albums.Handy biographical
info too.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply the Best
I never go into a jazz store without the book or notes from the book in hand.It has rarely steered me wrong in ten years of use. Don't believe me. Just look up an artist you have several selections by already and see how close their observations are to your own. The book is in plain english but with smart reviews that do not seem preachy yet make the point.The whole AMG series is fine but the jazz one is great especially if you are building your tastes or collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy this one first
In addition to this great book, I own the Penguin guide and the Rough guide and all three are very worthwhile (see my other reviews).In my opinion this is the one you should buy first as it includes numerous essays and lists about jazz music styles, instrument types and musicians that the other two guides do not.These features are a really useful guide to knowing where to start with jazz.This guide also appears to have the largest number of reviews. The reviews in the AMG seem a bit more generous and open-minded than those in the more conservative Penguin guide.I suspect that this is because you are getting the opinions of a larger number of reviewers, with a wider range of tastes.In summary, this is probably the most useful of all of the three guides that I have.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beats Penquin Hands Down
This is THE resource for jazz record buying as it is far more comprehensive than any alternative.I take it with me to used vinyl stores because unlike any other guide, it attempts to include all major releases by an artist, not the ones that happen to be in print.On top of that, each artist and each release is considered in context, unlike the Penquin Guide, which attempts to apply a pecking order to artists based on their perceived "significance." ... Read more

6. Jazz Piano and Harmony : A Fundamental Guide (Book & CD)
by John M. Ferrara
Paperback: 99 Pages (2000-04-22)
list price: US$19.95
Isbn: 0970136706
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A comprehensive guide to jazz piano and harmony for thebeginning to intermediate pianist/musician. The subject content startswith basic triad and seventh chord construction, and continues withinversions and voice leading, left hand voicings, improvisationtechniques, tensions, spread voicings, diatonic harmony andsubstitutions, secondary dominants, harmonic analysis, cadences, andblues. There are over fifty full pages of music examples, along withexercises to help the student comprehend the subject matter. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excelence well explained book
i really recomend this book to anyone who wants to learn jazz.
I have all his books and i learned all he teach on this books before but
i didnt understand how to use all this knowlege until i read these books.
Its a great book. yeaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Juan L. Anglero

4-0 out of 5 stars Good
Good overall. I expected it to have samples for the professional classical-pianist which would want to practise on but elementary jazz pieces ;)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good reference - not for a beginner
This book has some great information in it, but the concepts are not explained thoroughly enough for a beginner, especially the later chapters.Furthermore, I found the CD to be pretty much worthless - it gave me the impression that he was just winging it without having thought out his presentation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sophisticated without being overwhelming.
If you've been considering studying jazz piano, this is the book you must definitely own...I first purchased Mark Levine's Jazz Piano book, and though this is a fantastic reference source on the stylistic history of jazz piano with many examples, it is a bit overwhelming to manage from a practical standpoint. There is just so much, one doesn't know where to start.
Mr. Ferrara, on the other hand, has a gift for focusing the student on critical areas. His chapter on voice leading is so enjoyable and wonderful to work through that it is both inspiring and demystifying.
For [the money], you get the book and CD, in which Mr. Ferrara lectures and plays some tasty examples...
Here is what you get:
1.) Step by step chapters on chord construction: You begin with triads and work your way through four-part chords.
2.) Voice Leading techniques: as you play chords, your transitions can be creative and smooth. Mr. Ferrara takes you through this with a tasteful progression that is fun to play--that is, IT DOESN'T FEEL like an exercise. My teacher had me apply a bass line to it while doing the voice leading in the right hand. I've also applied other apporaches (i.e. stride with voice leading). Better yet--you can use this in actual tunes--and you will be playing as a professional does. I can't tell you how happy you'll be to hear yourself voicing chords this way. I have plenty of books, and I rarely see other authors address the topic with the clarity that Mr. Ferrara does. Some ignore it altogether.
3.)Diatonic Chord Substitution: this is usable theory that is easy to understand and apply.
4.) A Complete listing of the II-7--V7--Imaj7 progression in all keys: This is fantastic practice--and critical.
5.) Spread Voicings: beautiful voicing ideas. You'll be constructing chords by spreading their notes over different registers of the piano.
6.) Secondary dominants.
7.) Improvisation note palettes.
8.) Blues progressions and scales.
9.) Tensions with an accompanying chart to show how and where to apply those 9ths, 11ths, and 13ths.

I should also mention that certain sections are designed like a workbook. You label chords, write them in note by note (great reading practice), develop progressions, understand substitutions, and more. This means you can also practice away from the piano.

For [the money], you get enough to keep you busy and entertained for a while. Mr. Ferrara's book is easily worth twice as much. I already have his second book, and it looks just as promising. I'm still working with this one, and I am so convinced of its quality that I wanted to recommend it to others who may be confused about what resources to use. You won't be sorry if you purchase this. Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Jazz Pizzazz
Jazz Piano and Harmony written by John Ferrara is geared to beginners and intermediate players, especially classical players who want to learn jazz piano basics.Chords, inversions, diatonic harmony, and improvisation techniques are all covered in a well-organized, progressive manner.Three and four part chords are shown to be related to a major scale which is actually the basic way improvisational melodic lines are derived: from chord scales.The discussion on inversions illustrates how left hand voicings can move smoothly from one chord to another utilizing common tones.The bottom line is that it gives you a way to construct left hand accompaniment to a melodic line.For classical players who are primarily note readers, this removes a lot of the mystique from the concept of playing a chordal arrangement with only a melodic line and chord symbols.The chapter on chord scale construction shows how simple it is to create chord scales that will work over diatonic and non-diatonic structures.This gives you the option of playing and thinking linearly, rather that playing around the chord tones which most untrained players tend to do.The written exercises are excellent in helping the student assimilate the material.I would highly recommend this book which has been designed to help a good pianist become a great musician!! ... Read more

7. The Jazz Theory Book
by Mark Levine
Spiral-bound: 522 Pages (1995-06-01)
list price: US$42.00 -- used & new: US$28.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1883217040
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Endorsed by Jamey Aebersold, James Moody, Dave Liebman, and others, The Jazz Theory Book presents all the information any student of jazz needs in an easy-to-understand, yet thorough, manner. For intermediate to advanced players, and written by one of the acknowledged masters of jazz, it is used by universities around the world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (62)

5-0 out of 5 stars A "Must Have" for your Jazz Shelf
This is the book I wish I had a long time ago. The author knows his stuff and dissects jazz in a meaningful way. Each theoretical idea is accompanied by a four bar example which will probably take you through the entire lexicon of jazz by the time you're finished. It is not bed time reading - by any means. You have to bring to the book what you already know and build on it.

Another note: The book is spiral bound, so you can prop it up on your piano, or fold it back and it doesn't fold up and fall off. I know that's a little thing... but think of some of the other books you bought and you'll know what I mean.

5-0 out of 5 stars practical and accessible
I had to purchase this book for a Jazz Theory & Analysis course.Usually I sell my text books back but this will be one I keep.Mark Levine lays things out in a very practical and accessible way.He includes multiple song examples for each point.If you are wanting to learn how to play Jazz better or understand how it works this is a great book

4-0 out of 5 stars 90% duplication of Mark Levine's other Jazz book
I am writing this review to point out that Mark Levine publishes TWO Jazz theory books " The Jazz Theory Book (1995)" and "The Jazz Piano Book (1989)." Amazon shows incorrect dates for these books. I purchased both here on Amazon. To my suprise, the two books are virtually the same with frequent identical paragraphs of text, illustrations, chapters, etc. Jazz Theory Book is essentially an update version of Jazz Piano Book. Both are superior well written music theory works but it is not necessary to own both.Either one of them is a must have for any aspiring Jazz pianist or theory hound. I am keeping the Jazz Theory Book since it is newer.I feel that Amazon or someone should point this 'duplication' out.

5-0 out of 5 stars A remarkable achievement
I'm primarily a guitarist, I learned to play blues by ear many years ago. But, as I grew more interested in playing jazz, it became clear that there were gaps in my knowledge that I wasn't going to get around by relying on my ear. This book has done an excellent job addressing those gaps.

It was not an easy book to get through. I don't have easy access to a piano, so playing many of the examples on the guitar didn't get the point across completely. Also, piano voicings and guitar voicings aren't ever going to match up completely. But, it was still a valuable experience. At some point I would like to go through the book again with a piano in front of me. In fact, I didn't absorb everything the first time through, I will no doubt read the book again anyway to pick up some of the loose ends.

One of my favorite parts of the book was the section on blues scales, things that I was familiar with. He was able to tie my understanding of the blues to a better understanding of jazz. I think I'll be a better blues player because of it.

I don't read standard music notation very well. I've seen some reviews where the use of standard notation was said to be a shortcoming of the book. I disagree. If you want to play jazz, learn to read music.

It's a challenging read, but worth all of the effort that I put into it. I expect it to also act as a long-term reference. If anything ever happens to it, I'll buy another copy.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent reference
The Jazz Theory Book is a excellent reference book.I was told by a few great guitarist that I should purchase the book if I want the complete information about Jazz.They were correct about the book. ... Read more

8. Modern Jazz Voicings: Arranging for Small and Medium Ensembles (Berklee Guide)
by Ted Pease, Ken Pullig
Paperback: 136 Pages (2001-05-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$15.42
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0634014439
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The definitive text used for the time-honored Chord Scales course at Berklee College of Music, this book concentrates on scoring for every possible ensemble combination and teaches performers and arrangers how to add color, character and sophistication to chord voicings. Topics covered include: selecting appropriate harmonic tensions, understanding jazz harmony, overcoming harmonic ambiguity, experimenting with unusual combinations and non-traditional alignments, and many more. The accompanying CD includes performance examples of several different arranging techniques."A no-nonsense, meat and potatoes source of basic and not-so-basic information about everything relating to jazz writing - covers several courses worth of information."- Kenny WernerPianist, Composer and Author of Effortless Mastery ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Arguably a jazz arranger's best starting point
My first foray into jazz arranging (taking a class at the local college) used what I consider the companion book of this one: Arranging for Large Jazz Ensemble (Berklee Methods). Although there is a lot of overlap between the two, this book contains more of the fundamental information that a first time jazz arranger needs, not only including the ranges of instruments, scoring requirements, and basic compositional ideas, but also the structure of a small band and how to achieve a full sound with less instrumentation. I found that this book also presents everything in a slightly simpler, easier-to-digest manner than the other, making this a much more practical book for someone who might be wanting to learn about jazz arranging on their own. The CD contains excellent examples of all the theories and techniques covered, again, making it easy to use for someone studying on their own. All in all, I would highly recommend that this book be used in tandem with its sister book, as they complement each other quite well and together cover all the ground any jazz arranger needs to know about. Ff you have to choose between the two and you are just starting out in jazz arranging, however, this is the book you should start with first. (At least, that's what I did.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, and nearly perfect!
I picked up this book to help me with my Jazz Studies classes. It is amazingly simple and clear, with just enough illustrations to make things easily understood, and a great dose of exercises for practical application. I found it clearly laid out and logically arranged. It's easy to find topics that I'm looking for just from the index, and there aren't pages of unnecessary information to go through before finding the needed resources.

You will need a clear understanding of music theory, but not necessarily of specific jazz, since vocabulary specific to jazz writing is defined and clarified.

The information is laid out as a reference, with information on each instrument, scale, chord, etc., carefully presented for quick reference.

5-0 out of 5 stars Maravilhoso - Wonderful
O Autor dá um banho em matéria de pragmatismo. É um excelente material de ensino e um bom livro para pequenas consultas também. Traduz a didática americana da melhor maneira.
The author makes a goal on pragmatism. It is an excellent material for teaching and a good book for small queries as well. Translates the american-teaching way very best.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent!
Well, I used old russian sources before, and had a lot of problems withunderstanding of voicings. I just can say - this book is amazing! Very clear, logical, exercises... if you need to know about how to change basic chords to more complex, this book is your helper.

3-0 out of 5 stars A helpful book, though my experience with it was a little frustrating
The material presented is great, and will prove helpful in my study of arranging.

I did have one problem with the book however. In the introduction it states, "Because this book is intended for an expanded audience beyond students enrolled at Berklee, it includes substantial amounts of new text, many new musical examples, solutions to exercises and an accompanying CD."

Yes, it's all there except the solutions to the exercises and I am finding that frustrating. I contacted the publisher and got this reply:

Our Senior Editor clarified that the author meant the exercises begin with a measure of answers filled in for the student.They will clarify the "solutions to exercises" mention in the next printing of the book.My apologies for any confusion this may have caused you.

Anyways, I found this aspect frustrating and a hinderance to my getting the full benefit of this book. ... Read more

9. Smooth Jazz: Jazz Piano Solos Series (Jazz Piano Solos 2nd Edition) (Jazz Piano Solos (Unnumbered))
by Hal Leonard Corp.
Paperback: 96 Pages (2001-12-01)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$8.83
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0634028642
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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16 contemporary favorites: Bali Run (Fourplay) * Cast Your Fate to the Wind (David Benoit) * Just the Two of Us (Grover Washington, Jr.) * Morning Dance (Spyro Gyra) * Mountain Dance (Dave Grusin) * Rio De Janeiro Blue (Randy Crawford) * She Likes to Watch (Rippingtons) * Songbird (Kenny G) * This Masquerade (George Benson) * We're in This Love Together (Al Jarreau) * and more. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Nothing else like it
Somehow they managed to simplify the arrangements so that they still sound professional, but not so tricky that onlya gifted few can play them. I have many sheet music transcriptions of Bill Evan, Chick Corea, Mehegan jazz studies, etc that I purchased over the years, but most are so technically challenging that you can forget about getting in a relaxed groove, so I ended up just playing some playable classical sheet music from time to time to keep in practice. But this jazz piano series of Hal Leonard has really filled a need, in my opinion.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lots of Fun
This is a wonderful book. It will work with the intermediate or advanced student as there is room to explore and add your own touch. After all that is Jazz! ... Read more

10. West Coast Jazz: Modern Jazz in California, 1945-1960
by Ted Gioia
Paperback: 428 Pages (1998-10-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$19.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0520217292
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Ted Gioia tells the story of jazz as it has never been told before, in a book that brilliantly portrays the legendary players, the breakthrough styles, and the world in which it evolved. Gioia provides readers with lively portraits of great musicians, intertwined with vibrant commentary on the music they created. 9 photos. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars West Coast Jazz a hit
I recently read West Coast Jazz for a history of jazz class I was teaching.Excellent, it is now going around the band I play in and others have recently bought it.His comparisons of different musical compositions is great and I am now in the process of listening to many of the examples he uses again.I grew up with this music and it is a real pleasure to go back and reread my youth.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book About a Great Era of Jazz
Finally, a book that takes the West Coast jazz movement seriously, instead of as a footnote to the New York Cool school. Gioia has compiled a wealth of information destined to be forgotten about a style that is considered unworthy of being taken seriously by the East Coast-centric, anti-white jazz critics. Mostly white people playing jazz by the beaches of California made no sense to them and still doesn't. Open any history of jazz. Try finding any mention of Bud Shank, Pete Jolly, Jack Sheldon, etc. One of the great movements in jazz was rejected because it did not fit into the steroetype of gritty, dark, and Black-made (compare Blue Note album covers with Contemporary Records album covers). The only one given any attention was Chet Baker, and this was due to his romantic James Dean-like image rather than his brilliant trumpet playing. Don't get me wrong, there were many excellent black participants in the movement, such as Hampton Hawes and Buddy Collette but I do truly believe that there is a racial bias against West Coast jazz. Okay, I am stepping down off my soapbox. This book belongs in the cannon of great jazz history books. It is a well-researched, fascinating journey through the jazz world of Los Angeles primarily, but also the San Francisco Bay Area, starting with a wonderful foray into the the life of Central Avenue, Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray (who probably would have been ignored too had they not left LA). Any fan of the music needs to own it and every jazz critic should be tied to a chair and have it read to him. Then he should be untied and played Art Pepper records all night. Should also be required reading in whatever California public school music and arts programs are left as an essential expresion of the distinct California aesthetic, as important as the architecture of Frank Gehry and the photography of Ansel Adams.

5-0 out of 5 stars From Central Avenue to Something Else!
This is a highly distinguished book on the history of West Coast jazz, a phenomenon that existed from the mid-40's until about 1960--at least in terms of it being a special brand of jazz distinct from other styles (East Coast, Traditional, etc.).
It developed in the black section of Los Angeles along Central Avenue where clubs abound, and mainly followed the flowering of bebop as created by Bird and Diz and Bud Powell, among others. The Cool School, led by Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan, is dealt with fully, and there are chapters on important West Coast highlights such as the Lighthouse groups, Shorty Rogers, Art Pepper, and Shelly Manne. There are even a couple of chapters on the San Francisco scene, especially Dave Brubeck. Gioia's writing is excellent, scholarly but lively and interesting. A must-have jazz book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A excellent book, an incredible bargain
The best book on jazz (or any other topic!) I've read in the past fewyears. The author manages to sustain a wonderful balance among scholarship,human interest, and serious criticism. I thought I knew something aboutthis topic -- found out I knew very little. The section on Brubeck's earlyyears is, by itself, well worth the price of the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is a truly great book.l
I have a rather large selection of albums from this era and this bookcovered many of them.I could seem to hear them in my mind as I read thebook.This book not only explores the music well, but the people whoplayed it.Would like another copy for a friend. ... Read more

11. The Jazz Image: Seeing Music through Herman Leonard's Photography (American Made Music Series)
by Heather K. Pinson
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2010-06-07)
list price: US$50.00 -- used & new: US$40.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1604734949
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Typically a photograph of a jazz musician has several formal prerequisites: black and white film, an urban setting in the mid-twentieth century, and a black man standing, playing, or sitting next to his instrument. That's the jazz archetype that photography created. Author K. Heather Pinson discovers how such a steadfast script developed visually and what this convention meant for the music.

Album covers, magazines, books, documentaries, art photographs, posters, and various other visual extensions of popular culture formed the commonly held image of the jazz player. Through assimilation, there emerged a generalized composite of how mainstream jazz looked and sounded. Pinson evaluates representations of jazz musicians from 1945 to 1959, concentrating on the seminal role played by Herman Leonard (b. 1923). Leonard's photographic depictions of African American jazz musicians in New York not only created a visual template of a black musician of the 1950s, but also became the standard configuration of the music's neoclassical sound today. To discover how the image of the musician affected mainstream jazz, Pinson examines readings from critics, musicians, and educators, as well as interviews, musical scores, recordings, transcriptions, liner notes, and oral narratives.

... Read more

12. Instrumental Jazz Arranging: A Comprehensive and Practical Guide (Instructional)
by Mike Tomaro, John Wilson
Paperback: 536 Pages (2009-10-01)
list price: US$49.99 -- used & new: US$30.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1423452747
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Instrumental Jazz Arranging consists of a systematic presentation of the essential techniques and materials of jazz arranging. Authors Mike Tomaro and John Wilson draw upon 50+ years of combined teaching experience to bring you a book that addresses all of the basic needs for beginning arrangers. Topics include counterpoint/linear writing, jazz harmony, compositional techniques, and orchestration. All topics serve to address issues concerned with true arranging in great detail. The book may be used in both individual and classroom instructional situations. The accompanying CDs - 170 tracks in all! - include many of the examples in the book, plus templates for assignments formatted for Finale . ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars "Instrumental Jazz Arranging" by Mike Tomaro
I recently purchased a copy of the long awaited book by Mr Tomaro.I attended one of his seminars(IAJE 2004)in Long Beach Ca .It was a fantastic seminar on arranging very well planned and super educational, they even had a small ensemble to play the examples he handed out to us that day ! This book is an educational jewel ,a must on the shelf of any aspiring or seasoned arranger..I recommend it highly !...

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Have Book
This is the best Jazz Arranging book I've purchased, and I have a lot of them.Although written primarily as a textbook, it's a very valuable addition to any arranger's library.The authors have started with the assumption that the reader is not an expert in a lot of areas that they cover, and explain it very clearly.There are 2 CDs with examples played by real players, and it's full of examples.You can't go wrong with this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars WHADDAYA NUTS?!?!?!?
Are you CRAZY?!?! How could you NOT own this one? I've been waiting for this book for years....literally. I first saw Mike giving a clinic on this book at the IAJE conference (R.I.P.). The clinic handouts were chapters from the book. Man, what a great book! Each year he gave a clinic on a different chapter. So many ideas, clearly presented, TWO cds worth of examples, and the book is HUGE!!!! It's got to weigh 10 pounds (Ok, I'm probably exaggerating, but it's FULL of material). The appendix of horn voicings ALONE is worth the price of admission. I own several arranging books, and use all of them for different reasons. This book is a loooooooong awaited addition to my library. You won't be disappointed! ... Read more

13. Solo Jazz Piano: The Linear Approach (Berklee Guide)
by Neil Olmstead
Paperback: 320 Pages (2002-11-01)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$24.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0634007610
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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A step-by-step approach to solo jazz improvisation for piano. Learn to improvise using the techniques pioneered by piano greats Lenny Tristano and Dave McKenna. This methodical approach to learning the art of solo jazz piano improvisation will free your creative sense of music. It begins with a review of chord symbol interpretation, walks through bass line development, and ends with how to play several melodic lines simultaneously in stimulating musical conversation. You'll learn how to develop solos that embellish and support the melody, and use lead sheets to help you generate your own musical ideas. Twenty-one lessons present techniques, practice exercises, and tunes based on jazz standards. Notated transcriptions of sample improvisations illustrate each lesson's technique, and the accompanying CD lets you hear a master improviser put these ideas to work. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved It!!
I bought this book because I just started playing in my high school jazz band. This book is more oriented toward solo and small group jazz piano playing but it is still a valuable tool. I have been playing for about seven or eight years and I would consider my self to be advanced, so this book has really proven to be a challenge for me. The concepts in this book are very advanced so a beginner or intermediate should probably start with some more basic theory since this book assumes that you already know how the chord structures work and that you can read music in any key. The cd that comes with the book really explains a lot too. Overall I am very glad I bought this book

3-0 out of 5 stars Poor Binding! Careful!
When a book is focused on teaching jazz piano you would expect it to be able to rest easily on a piano or a music stand in order to be read. Unfortunately the binding is such that the book is always closing and the pages never stay open. The first time I used it I tried to "open the book" just a little bit so that the pages would stay open and I wouldn't have to hold them. Much to my surprise, the very first time I LIGHTLY folded the pages back, the pages fell out of the binding completely! It was like snapping a dried twig. Now I have a broken book with pages falling out of it.

Bottom line: Content is decent, but the binding is horrendous and renders the book useless.

5-0 out of 5 stars absolutely to be reccommended to serious jazz students & pros
I was genuinely surprised by the quality of this work. I am a classical pianist who has dabbled in jazz from time to time. This book, together with the Mark Levine's books (Jazz Theory, Jazz Piano, and Masterclass) have gotten me psyched up about jazz. Years ago, jazz books seemed a muddle to me (for example John mehegan's 4-book series and David Baker's stuff), mostly because I came from the classical 18th-19th century theoretical background.The only thing that worked for me was studying LPs until they wore out (my age is showing). I still study CDs deeply, but these books really help to fill gaps, at least as far as analysis goes. There is very useful information in this volume.

5-0 out of 5 stars It is an excellent book!
The book is very well organized.There is no deception on the part of the author or the publisher to sell this book.The details of the book clearly let you know what the book covers.As a student of jazz piano, intermediate, I find this book very helpful.I really like the way the author introduces the concepts and then gives examples and etudes to practice. It is one of the best jazz piano books I've bought. But it is not the only book I use to learn how to play jazz piano. You should have an open mind and study all you can from different books in order to progress musically. You'll find similarities in jazz beginner/intermediate piano books, but the good books, like this one, provide you with the proper guidance you need. In my opinion, Neil Olmstead "poured his heart out" in this book.As a music educator myself, I really appreciate the great effort Professor Olmstead put into writing this outstanding book.
In order to get another great insight on jazz piano improvisation, I also highly recommend the following book:
Mel Bay's Essential Jazz Lines: Piano Style of Bill Evans One of the authors of this book, Per Danielsson, offers a lot of great free guidance on jazz piano on the internet. Check out his web site.

I'm currently studying both books and I'm highly motivated to practice.Good luck with your jazz piano learning journey.

3-0 out of 5 stars This book works against itself
This book has a wealth of information for people who want to develop their left hand in order to play solo jazz piano. The problem is, the author expects the reader to laboriously plow through tons of non-intuitive etudes with strange right-hand melodic lines in order to practice his techniques. It would be much more helpful, and much less confusing, if the author just provided left-hand etudes, or less unorthodox melody lines for the right hand. I was excited to approach this book, but I was really looking for a much more straightforward approach. (If I wanted to learn to play like Tristano, I would transcribe a difficult Tristano solo.) ... Read more

14. Jazz-Blues Piano: The Complete Guide with CD! Hal Leonard Keyboard Style Series
by Mark Harrison
Paperback: 96 Pages (2006-06-01)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$11.02
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0634062247
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This comprehensive book/CD pack will teach you the basic skills needed to play jazz-blues piano. From comping to soloing, you'll learn the theory, the tools, and the tricks used by the pros. The accompanying CD features many of the examples in the book performed either solo, or with a full band, including a full chapter of complete songs. Topics covered include: scales and chords * harmony and voicings * progressions and comping * melodies and soloing * characteristic stylings. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good, just what I needed
I find this book the perfect follow up for the other one Blues Piano from same author, which I consider a master piece. I just started and I am very happy with it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific for Jazz Beginner
This is a great book and CD for the jazz beginner.I'm pretty much self taught in piano, in my sixties, and not very accomplished.However, Harrison's book and CD (along with the book How To Play Popular Piano, by Monath, which focuses heavily on using the left hand strictly for chords and the right hand for melody)has helped me enjoy playing more than ever and really begin to enjoy playing jazz.You can move around easily in Harrison's 80 tracks in the CD for practice and listening.There are Jazz Solo pieces at track 72 and beyond that are fun to listen to and try to play and let me see how close I am to really being able to play the improvisational jazz like I want to.The bass and drum accompaniment is very good.I have other beginner material, but the quality of Harrison's music is the best I've found for this purpose.There is plenty of theory and advanced material, but I'm able to pick and choose what I'm interested in.I highly recommend it for the beginner.Of course, the better your skills at reading music, the more helpful this book will be. For me, the best part has been learning 7th chords for the left hand while using the jazz scales for improvisation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent for Intermediate Pianists!!!
I just love this book!
It gives you the foundations for all types of Jazz-blues styles. By the time you finish this you'll be able to know exactly what is being played on a jazz-blues or blues record. This will help to really continue your developement after you get through the book.
It covers harmonic foundations, rythmic motifs, comping, and improvisational keys used in the various jazz-blue styles.
If followed properly, by analysing all the lessons and transposing them and mixing and matching the different styles and also improvising on the different examples, this book will take you from intermediate to advance in a matter of months.
This is a jewel.

5-0 out of 5 stars You're just two hours from sounding "bluesy"
I've been playing jazz piano for about two years now, and have had great success with The Jazz Piano Book (as one might imagine). The next book that has served me well is Post-Bop Jazz Piano - The Complete Guide with CD!: Hal Leonard Keyboard Style Series, which is from the same series as the Jazz Blues Piano book under review. So, when I began looking for a book to help me sound bluesy, something noticeably lacking from my skill set, I gravitated toward this book for that reason and because my piano instructor didn't have this book (although he had many others in the same series). I have to say, that overnight, this became my favorite book to work from. There are a lot of reasons for that. First is that this book contains a good dose of easy-to-digest jazz music theory and explanation. The student can choose to skip over this and concentrate on playing the exercises, but I chose to read everything carefully and to try and understand and apply it, and I found it very useful. I was also quite pleasantly surprised when I found myself playing a ii-V-I progression (the backbone of jazz music) in a fashion I had never been shown before (with a moving bass note changing the mode of the chord). I was fascinated, and it made it easy for me to work on doing it in all twelve keys (which is normally drudgery), and to quickly press on in the book. As I played through the exercises, read through the material, then reached the exercises that are on the CD, I kept working on the suggested chords. Because I'm not a raw beginner, the first twenty pages went very quickly, and all of a sudden I found myself at about twenty pages in on exercise 9practicing a straight up blues lick. That's right: two hours and I was playing blues. Very, very exciting. Like all piano books, including a number I have reviewed, this still requires practice and stick-to-itive-ness, but this book provides some small rewards on every page, which I find quite motivational and desirable. I can easily picture myself working through this entire book in a relatively short period of time. Beginning piano students will still need to work on some of this material with an instructor, but anybody with a good technical foundation in piano and at least a small amount of jazz knowledge should be able to work through most of this by themselves, thanks to the useful and well executed CD. Although there are many options and levels available, if you want to sound jazzy or bluesy, without a lot of fuss and without spending a lot of money or time, I really think this book is the best and simplest place to start.

4-0 out of 5 stars Jazz Blues-Piano
I'm having a lot of fun with this book/CD, especially the piano, bass and drums pieces with accompanying written music for the chords.One can improvise along with the CD music with the right hand, and learn how to comp with the left in due time.

The book conatins a little music theory, a little of which is good.But some of it is,in my view, unnecessary to enjoy jazz blues.

The combo book/cd is well worth the price! ... Read more

15. Jazz: My Music, My People: (ALA Notable Children's Book; ALA Recommended Book for Reluctant Young Readers)
by Morgan Monceaux
Hardcover: 64 Pages (1994-08-30)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679856188
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Striking portraits, biographical sketches, personal reminiscences, and collage paintings chronicle the historical evolution of jazz from the perspective of forty African-American musicians who played key roles in its creation. ... Read more

16. Complete Jazz Keyboard Method: Beginning Jazz Keyboard
by Noah Baerman
Paperback: 96 Pages (2006-05-04)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$5.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0882849093
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Anyone with basic keyboard skills (equivalent to Alfred's Basic Piano, Lesson Book 2) can dig right in and begin learning jazz right away.Spanning from the major scale and basic triad theory all the way through 7th chords, pentatonic scales and modulating chord progressions, this book features a full etude or tune demonstrating every new concept introduced.Beginning Jazz keyboard breaks the age-old tradition of dry, intimidating and confusing jazz books, and provides an actual step-by-step and enjoyable method for learning to play in this style.The CD demonstrates examples and offers opportunity to play along. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Swingin'
Most jazz piano books I've come across have either been too advanced or too easy....or simply don't have enough good material.This one is at an ideal level for me and has plenty of good material.I got it 3 months ago, and have really made a lot of progress using it--and the CD (which I picked up separately).The book is well-written and well-organized.The exercises and songs are musically-satisfying, and can have you sounding pretty impressive (or, at least approaching that level) after a few weeks of practice.Depending on your rate of progress, there are several months worth of material here.Lots of exposure to Major and minor 7th chords, chord progressions, and various ways to solo (produce a melody line). I've actually learned quite a bit of music theory without too much of a struggle.The author seems to be a good teacher and has certainly come up with some excellent material.I don't think I've found any mistakes in the scores (which may be unusual for a music book).

The version I purchased from Amazon came with a DVD.The DVD supplements the book and is certainly worth watching a few times.As an 'extra feature', it contains the same soundtrack as the CD, but the menu makes it rather tedious for listening, especially for moving from track to track.I recommend getting the CD.

4-0 out of 5 stars Cross the Keyboard Line
My guitar instructor began teaching me chord theory and changes, and he recommended this book as a guide.I do not play piano, so it has been very helpful for me to look at jazz progressions and theories without the safety net of guitar TABS and chord position charts.Mr. Baerman is very careful in the layout of the contents, increasing the complexity of the lesson material at a nice pace, and not losing sight of the fact that these are lessons, not show-off opportunities for the instructor. I also purchased the Mastering Book and am quite happy with them both.My only qualm is that there was no CD included with the beginner course.

5-0 out of 5 stars Start Here even if you know nothing (or very little)!!!!
This book is a great investment if you are new to piano and love jazz or are stuck in major/minor boredom and want to look into more exotic chords and scales. I am a drummer/guitarist who wanted to learn more about theory, finally go beyond the "hunt-and-peck" stage on my keyboard, and understand the world beyond the pentatonic scale on my guitar. I feel very enlightened, and especially love the tables that summarize all the key info, and a CD is always a bonus. Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
what a help easy to follow the teacher and I seen him on TV playing he's a Pro,and I'm mastering it quite well open a new door to many posibilities,if you have not gotten it yet get it!a whole new world a waits you and it's so easy!

5-0 out of 5 stars It's a need for a keyboardist
Great value for money
It'a all you need to get your music basics on the run
the complete trio (Begining Jazz keyboards, Intermediate Jazz keyboards and Mastering Jazz keyboards) is all a keyboardist with Jazz aspirations need for a succsessful music carreer... ... Read more

17. All Music Guide to Jazz: The Experts' Guide to the Best Jazz Recordings (All Music Guide to Jazz, 3rd ed)
Paperback: 1378 Pages (1998)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$21.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0879305304
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
More than 14,000 sizzling recordings in all jazz styles are now identified in the third edition of this definitive, easy-to-use guide. 1378 pages, 6-1/8" x 9-1/4"Amazon.com Review
The AMG Jazz encyclopedia is the resource of choice foranything you might care to know about jazz musicians, jazz history,and jazz recordings. The print is small and there's not a lot of spacewasted on photos and filler--in fact, the only non-text additions are51 music maps, smartly illustrating which performers played in whichcategories of a range of topics, from accordion and big bands to vocalgroups and significant fusion players. There are short essays ontopics like ragtime, cool, acid jazz, jazz history, and jazz in film,plus indexes for jazz books, venues, and videos, producers, writers,and labels, and a much-appreciated comprehensive index. The bulk ofthis extraordinary reference, however, consists of musician profiles(more than 1,700) and reviews of their recordings (more than 18,000),arranged alphabetically from Greg Abate to John Zorn, providingbiographical details of well-known figures such as Artie Shaw, DukeEllington, Thelonious Monk, as well as his son T.S. Monk and moreobscure artists such as Don Byas, Richard Tabnik, Oscar Pettiford, HotLips Page, and Chubby Jackson.

The profiles are well researched, short, and richly informative andentertaining. Take Bob Scobey, for example. In one brief paragraph,you learn he was a Dixieland trumpet player and band leader fromTucumcari, New Mexico, lived from December 9, 1916 to June 12, 1963,and was a popular trumpeter in his prime. He played in Watter's YerbaBuena Jazz Band in San Francisco (one of the most influential bands inthe Dixieland revival), formed his own Frisco Jazz Band, opened ClubBourbon Street in 1959 in Chicago, and died four years later of cancerat 46. The profiles are reason enough to appreciate AMG Jazz,but the recording reviews are even more impressive. Following eachbiography is a comprehensive list of the artist's recordings, with astar rating (0 to 5), information about who plays what, how long itruns, what sort of music it is, notable high points, low points, orboth, and any other songs or notes of historic or musical interest.Mesmerizingly addictive to jazz musicians, accessibly, enjoyablyinstructive to the novice, reliably erudite for the scholar, vastlyentertaining for the browser, and irreplaceable as a CD-purchaseguide, the All Music Guide to Jazz sets the standard for what amusic-reference book should be.--Stephanie Gold ... Read more

Customer Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Resource for "Treasure Hunters!"
My reasons for liking this book is probably different than most people. As an LP collector, I welcome information on vinyl no longer in print. I also like the fact that this book tells you the original title for the LP. Many CD's change the title and add alternate cuts. If I am going to purchase CD's I'd prefer the programming to be just like it was on the original LP.

As far as the reviewer's being too easy with their ratings , I've purchased nearly 600 LP's and CD's from various sources over the past year and many of them I bought at the recommendation of this book, only 1 of them was not to my taste (The World Saxaphone Quartet's Tribute to Ellington).

I've also had the opportunity to utilize the penguin guide as well others guides, I actually found the Penguin to be way to critical on some of the greatest recordings in Jazz History. The Penguin also doesn't seem to be as user friendly to vinyl fans.

One area that this book may come up short is for fans of "Smooth Jazz" it is easy to see that the author is not a fan of this genre (neither am I for that matter)!

I'd recommend this book strongly to anyone wanting to purchase a Vinyl and CD collection. I'm sure an argument can be made for the Penguin book, it is also a sound option, but as for me I'll take the AMG!

4-0 out of 5 stars Tadej Tu�ek, Slovenia
Excellent and essential book for jazz beginners. I'm looking forward to 4th Edition because 3rd one is already out of date! I hope that new one will have some european and avant jazz like Internet version does.

5-0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect, essential for every beginner.
When I first began listening to jazz years ago I was overwhelmed by the amount of stuff out there.I didn't have a lot of money so I didn't want to buy albums that I wouldn't like.I wanted to get the best.This book was a god-send.Of the 100 or so jazz albums I own, I have only returned two that were recommended by this book.Most of the jazz I own was purchased after studying this book.The info is great, the reviews are usually on target and easy to read (what is so hard about the stars?).If you are just getting into jazz, or need info on an artist that you don't know anything about, get this book.ESSENTIAL.

3-0 out of 5 stars Useful, practical... not profound
The AMG website is no doubt the best and most efficient way of finding out the basic facts about a recording, be it in circulation or not. Its printed counterpart for jazz is practical, but it lacks the depth, scholarship, style and vitality of the Penguin Guide. It also, crucially, lacks an index. However, it is helpful in that it isn't concerned -as the Penguin is- with whether a recording is available or not. That way it tantalisingly points to material that has not been reissued or is still only on vinyl. Those of us who love the hunt for rare records will be delighted by this. The writing is competent and highly informed, but stops short of erudition and wit. It's also slightly overenthusiastic, as if there were few bad recordings in jazz. Of course there are, in their thousands. And sophisticated listeners want to become discerning; they want to know why something good is good, and why something poor is poor. To become discerning you need more challenging books than this. But it remains essential as a basic reference item for its breadth alone.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Review of Jazz Recordings
If you only want one book to guide you through the host of recordings that are/may be available then this is the one. The rating system seems to be totally objective and extremely reliable. I have bought several CDs as a direct result of the reviews and never been disappointed.

Suffice to say that I will buy each and every edition such is its value to my purchasing decisions. ... Read more

18. This Is Our Music: Free Jazz, the Sixties, and American Culture (The Arts and Intellectual Life in Modern America)
by Iain Anderson
Paperback: 264 Pages (2007-07-01)
list price: US$22.50 -- used & new: US$21.78
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 081222003X
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This Is Our Music, declared saxophonist Ornette Coleman's 1960 album title. But whose music was it? At various times during the 1950s and 1960s, musicians, critics, fans, politicians, and entrepreneurs claimed jazz as a national art form, an Afrocentric race music, an extension of modernist innovation in other genres, a music of mass consciousness, and the preserve of a cultural elite. This original and provocative book explores who makes decisions about the value of a cultural form and on what basis, taking as its example the impact of 1960s free improvisation on the changing status of jazz.

By examining the production, presentation, and reception of experimental music by Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, John Coltrane, and others, Iain Anderson traces the strange, unexpected, and at times deeply ironic intersections between free jazz, avant-garde artistic movements, Sixties politics, and patronage networks. Anderson emphasizes free improvisation's enormous impact on jazz music's institutional standing, despite ongoing resistance from some of its biggest beneficiaries. He concludes that attempts by African American artists and intellectuals to define a place for themselves in American life, structural changes in the music industry, and the rise of nonprofit sponsorship portended a significant transformation of established cultural standards. At the same time, free improvisation's growing prestige depended in part upon traditional highbrow criteria: increasingly esoteric styles, changing venues and audience behavior, European sanction, withdrawal from the marketplace, and the professionalization of criticism. Thus jazz music's performers and supporters--and potentially those in other arts--have both challenged and accommodated themselves to an ongoing process of cultural stratification.

... Read more

19. An Understandable Guide to Music Theory: The Most Useful Aspects of Theory for Rock, Jazz, and Blues Musicians
by Chaz Bufe
Paperback: 74 Pages (1994-01-01)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1884365000
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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This guide explains the most useful aspects of theory in clear, nontechnical language. Areas covered include scales (major, minor, modal, synthetic), chord formation, chord progression, melody, song forms, useful devices, (ostinato, mirrors, hocket, etc.), and instrumentation. It contains over 100 musical examples.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good concise addition to your other Theory books
This is a short and concise book that covers considerable material.As such, I found this book to be a good ADDITION to my library (I also recommend Tom Kolb's book for music theory that is more guitar centric).Note that I highlighted the work addition, this book combined with my other books and my guitar lesson's proved to be a useful reference.I have found that reading the same material written different ways helps me to better understand it.

That said, I do not recommend this book if it is to be the ONLY music theory book you plan on purchasing.However, if you are looking to augment your library, or to clarify some concepts, it would be a good choice.

4-0 out of 5 stars The to-the-point theory book I have needed...
I found this book very useful.I learned basic scale and chord theory a long time back and had those integrated into my playing. But I have been confused about modes, clusters various scale families and higher level ideassuch as pointillism, etc. especially found in jazz.

This book cuts through the clutter found in most books by getting straight to the subjects and often citing their use in blues, rock or jazz standards.There are also suggestions about how to use these ideas in your own arrangements or solos.

The book is short and to the point (74 sparse pages, multiple music examples/diagrams on almost every page):

Scales and scale families with good discussion of intervals ~ 25% of content
Chord construction from scale theory~ 15% of content
Chord progressions including brief sections on voice leading, subs, other topics. ~20%
Melody, Song forms, Musical devices, and Instrumentation guidelines ~ 40%
Good Bibliography with comments - 1 page

One criticism I think is legit against the book is that it is probably too brief for any given subject, except possibly scale theory and usage with/in chords.For example, the section on substitutions is a page and a half; voice leading, a page and a half.If you want a helicopter view of everything relevant to the serious contemporary musician - with some teasers into areas of theory that are less practical - this is a good book. If you need to study any topic in depth, it will only get you started.This is the book I was looking for. I plan to use the bibliography for more directed study.

5-0 out of 5 stars 5 stars without reservation
This book removes a lot of mystery.It does require some note reading and/but is not instrument specific.It is by far the must understandable generic theory book I have ever read.(www.NorthernMusician.com)

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent guide
The reviews from "Jazz Player" and "Guitar Player" are correct. This book delivers exactly what it promises: a lot of very useful information for the performing (or would-be-performing) musician in an easily understandable format. This is an excellent short guide.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent little book -- bizarre reviews
I picked this up on a lark at the local bookstore.Its perfect if you want to make music yourself and need to learn the really useful parts of music theory.The author discusses examples from many styles (Bartok, Allman Bros., Devo, etc.) and he does not waste your time with anything unimportant or pedantic.I really appreciated his efforts to guide the reader away from overworked musical ideas, and his clear presentation.As to the spelling of quartal/cuartal, what could possibly matter less? ... Read more

20. The Jazz Piano Book
by Mark Levine
Spiral-bound: 307 Pages (2005-06-01)
list price: US$32.00 -- used & new: US$22.27
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0961470151
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Endorsed by Kenny Barron, Jamey Aebersold, Richie Beirach, and more, this book presents all the information a student of jazz piano needs in an easy-to-understand, yet thorough, manner. For intermediate to advanced pianists, written by one of the acknowledged masters of jazz piano playing. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (38)

4-0 out of 5 stars Tells you where to go, no always how to get there.
This is a great book. You'll need to couple it with a few other resources to really get it.For example, he tells you to learn all the ii-V-I sequences in every key, but doesn't write them out for you.It's so much easier to have them in a practicable form (try JAZZ CHORD HANON).The book gives a basic overview of theory in the first chapter, but you will NEED to study something beforehand, or you will be lost.Also, THE NEW REAL BOOK contains a lot of the songs that are used in this book.Overall, though, the stuff is all in the book.It just takes some digging to understand it all.I hired a piano teacher to help me with it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Clear Practical Concise
Music theory can be a confusing subject, especially for improvising musicians. This book clears that confusion and is perhaps the most practical tome on the subject I have ever seen.

Although it is primarily for pianists, the melodic examples apply to all instruments.

As a guitarist, I benefited greatly from Ted Green's books; even more from personal lessons with him. Ted's works are wonderful, but are mostly "instrument specific" books. This book is really about "harmony" ( the useful part of "music theory") so it applies to ALL instruments. Even if you are a guitarist, or play any monophonic instrument, you will get MANY ideas from this book.

Mark Levine ( the author) is obviously a person of experience and this work demonstrates his practical understanding of music theory as it is really used by professional musicians. He provides many examples from Jazz-Standards that illustrate each idea. He wastes no time justifying statements or elaborating esoteric BS. Every page uncovers a world of practice possibilities, yet, the organization of the book's chapters makes progress seem smooth; almost effortless.

You must be able to read music ( at least a little ) to get the most from this volume. However, even some of my students who do not read at all have benefitted from reading it.

Practice is the key. Knowledge is nothing without practice. If for no other reason than Mark's practical advice on HOW to practice, this book is worth the money.

I recently purchased another copy of this book for a student who had to quit taking lessons because she had a baby. The service I got from Amazon was fast. The book arrived in perfect condition.

After re-reading the book, I am almost shocked at how much of my theory-teaching style is borrowed from this book. Even after twenty years of using the information here, I still get something useful every time I open it.

This is a truly GREAT work on the subject. This will be the fifth copy I have purchased and gifted to others. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
One of the jazz bibles for pianists. You could use it if you're beginner or if you have a moderate/advanced level. In any case, it's a very good reference for the jazz piano theory as well as the songs suggested by the author in order to strengthen the theory. You won't never regret purchasing it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Superior book but be aware The Jazz Theory Book is essentially an updated version of The Jazz Piano Book.
I am writing this review to point out that Mark Levine's TWO Jazz theory books " The Jazz Theory Book" (1995) and "The Jazz Piano Book" (1989) are very much the same book. (Amazon shows incorrect publication dates for these books.) I purchased both here on Amazon. To my suprise, the two books are virtually the same with frequent identical paragraphs of text, illustrations, chapters, etc.

Jazz Theory Book is essentially an update version of the earlier Jazz Piano Book. Both are superior, well written music theory works but be advised of this similarity. Either one of them is a must have for any aspiring Jazz pianist or theory hound.I feel that Amazon or someone should have pointed out this 'duplication'. I purchased my books from Amazon.

5-0 out of 5 stars Levine's book has become an essential even for non-pianists
Play a (fill in the blank) instrument? You will likely find Levine's Jazz Piano book, based on usable chord structures, harmony, and voicings to be an original source of ideas no matter what you play.

This book is less about black dots and more about ideas. Insights you'd only get after hanging out with people who play real music. Inside stuff.

I have had my copy for many years and buy them for others. The response is always the same: What a fantastic book!

... Read more

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