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Jazz Education

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Jazz Education focuses on the tools needed to become a better musician.



Notz Recommended Reading


Order Improvising JazzImprovising Jazz by Jerry Coker

Excellent "ideas" book for Improvisors
I have to admit, when I first got this book I thought, well, it's sort of small, so it must not have very much in it. Boy, was I wrong. What I found was a pretty comprehensive summary of jazz theory and how it can be applied to various situations, from the solo performer to the band. Coker is very concerned with the "education" of jazz and strives to make the reader put together pieces of the musician (thought, intellect, practice, etc.) to make a coherent whole. What I found partically helpful were the chapters on motifs, superimposition, and altered extenstions. Although this can be found in almost any good jazz book, Coker's book uses understandable charts and clear idea presentation. He helps develop ideas for motifs and how they can be modified in improv, gives good information on how polychords work and some possible superimpositions, and a great summary of what good tone extensions are for various chord types. Also, there are chapters on rhythm, partically in band settings, basic theory such as chords and scales, and ideas for transcription off records. Each chapter has practice ideas (which of course I'm way too lazy to do), and there is a big appendix at the end of all types of chord progressions to practice, or at least in my case, look at. Definitely a book to check out if other theory books don't seem to "sum it up" well. from Midwest , May 27, 1999 Paperback - 115 pages Reprint edition (September 1986)

List Price: $12.00 Our Price: $9.60 You Save: $2.40 (20%)

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Order Mark Levine's Jazz Theory BookThe Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine

Mark Levine's 522 page Jazz Theory book is a very readable, comprehensive and thorough exposition of Jazz theory. As Mark says in the the introduction, "a great jazz solo consists of 1% magic, 99% stuff that is explainable, analyzable, categorizeable, doable. This book is mostly about the 99% stuff". The book covers, Chord Scale Theory, Playin' the Changes, Reharmonization, The Tunes and Jazz Repertoire, Salsa and Latin Jazz. There are numerous examples and excellent lists of contrafacts, tunes listed with sources and Aebersold volumes, and recommended listening lists. The book is worth it's cost and should be in every Jazz musicians library. Highly Recommended.

Clarifies the often murky jazz theory for aspiring players
As a novice jazz bass player I was perplexed and mystified by theory. How a knowledge of theory aids the new player is clarified and brought home by Mark Levine's Jazz Theory Book. Well worth the money. Wayne Renardson from Nashville, TN , January 9, 1999

Spiral-bound (January 1996)

Our Price $38.00
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Order Thinking In JazzThinking in Jazz : The Infinite Art of Improvisation (Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology Series) by Paul F. Berliner

Paul Berliner's 883 page book is the first real book to examine in detail the thinking process behind Jazz improvisation. He chronicles the lives of many leading Jazz musicians documenting the remarkable creativity and the lifetime of preparation that lies behind the skilled improviser's every idea. The book is a culmination of over 15 years research in Jazz, included are excerpts from interviews with leading figures and analysis of musical improvised performances.

A masterpiece
An absolutely groundbreaking work that cuts through all the misconceptions about improv & tells what it's really like. Honestly, this is the only book of its kind that really resonates with musicians and has this level of scope, clear & cogent writing, organization, musical examples (what transcriptions!), and respected primary sources.
A reader from New York, NY , July 13, 1998

Paperback - 883 pages (August 1994)

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The Bebop Revolution in Words and Music by Dave Olipht (Editor)

This is a book I came across when I was in Austin, TX. It is produced by the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1980 Ross Russell, founder of Dial records and author of Bird Lives ! donated his whole collection of Jazz memorabilia, recordings and manuscripts to the university. In 1994 it was decided to sponsor an exhibition and symposium based on the Russell collection. Sponsored by the University's music department a number of leading figures in Jazz were invited to participate. The book is a culmination and has interesting articles on Charlie Parker, The Dial recordings of Charlie Parker, Langston Hughes, Donna Lee, Bebop in the 1990s.
Paperback (October 1994)

Our Price: $20.00

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Creative Jazz Improvisation by Scott D. Reeves

Scott Reeves book has become one of the leading texts at many Jazz Education universities. It focuses on Diatonic Scales and Modes in Jazz, Chord Substitutions and Harmonic Structures and Forms, Altered Chords, Pentatonic and Intervalic improvisation. What is great about the book is that Scott examines in detail each scale/mode looking at its harmonic implications and giving examples of it's use in the Jazz vocabulary using transcribed solos. Scott does not make the mistake, in my opinion of expounding Jazz theory which cannot be backed up with examples from the key players vocabulary.

This book is a must for anyone learning Jazz. It covers just about all theoretical aspects essential to playing Jazz. Mastery of the concepts covered in this book would ensure a well rounded player. The thing I like the most is that each chapter has a solo in it and also most of the licks come out of solo's not just ones that he made up.
A reader from Memphis, TN , July 16, 1999.

Paperback - 260 pages 2Nd/spiral edition (April 1995)

Our Price: $43.00
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Order Jazz Styles And AnalysisJazz Styles: History & Analysis With 1 CD: Jazz Classics Compact Disc by Mark C. Gridley

Jazz Styles: History & Analysis With 2 CD's: Classics Cd & Demo Cd by Mark C. Gridley

This is the USA's #1 best-selling introduction to jazz -- ideal for both non-musician and music major alike. Mark Gridley's text details the basic musical principles, important styles, musical trends, history, innovations, and instruments of jazz. Easy-to-read, tightly organized, and filled with tips to help increase listening enjoyment, it focuses on what jazz is, how it is made, and how to listen to it. It guides students through the full spectrum of jazz history -- from Africa to New Age -- examining the major artists and providing an abundance of examples throughout the text and in the accompanying cassettes and CDs. Using a point-by-point differentiation of styles, it focuses on the inner workings of the music -- helping students learn to hear the substance and subtleties in the music itself. Some of the highlights are:

bulletJazz Classics Demonstration CD: 26 historic recordings by Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and others.
bulletJAZZ Styles Demonstration CD: 171 demonstrations of jazz sounds and methods.
bulletTwenty-one guides for listening to classic recordings.
bulletAppendix for non-musicians explains the elements of music.
bulletAppendix for musicians illustrates comping, bass lines, modes, chord progressions.

"He hits it on the head!" -Dizzy Gillespie

"...a cornerstone for any jazz book collection." -American Library Association

"...a broad, penetrating view of jazz history...luminously clear..." -Down Beat

" of the most readable books about the inner workings of jazz..." -Cadence

"...a work of immense value not only to educators and players, but also to nonmusicians and jazz fans of all persuasions ...neat summaries of important jazz innovators and musical trends." -Jazz Times

"...Gridley's educational work is jazz folks' BIBLE, the First of all others." -Jazz Journalists' Association

"...the most important jazz research book since Leonard Feather's Encyclopedia of Jazz." -High Fidelity & Stereo Review

There two versions of the text available one with just the classic CD, the other with both the classic and style CD.
Paperback - 442 pages 6th edition (January 1997)

Our Price: $55.00
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Our Price: $73.20
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Jazz Fake Books

A fake book is a musicians term to describe books of tunes which enable them to "fake" that they know the tune. The best legal fake books on the market are produced by Chuck Sher.

You can search the table of contents for their books using the tool below.

First, click on the button that indicates how you want to search; by the song's Title or Composer. Then, type in the Title or the full name of the Composer you are seeking.

Search by   TitleComposer

Order The New Real Book Vol. 1The New Real Book Vol. 1
by Chuck Sher

Spiral-bound Vol 001 (February 1988)

Our Price: $38.00
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Order The New Real Book Vol. 2The New Real Book Vol. 2
by Charles Sher

Spiral-bound Vol 002 (November 1991)

Our Price: $38.00
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Order The Worlds Greatest Fake BookThe Worlds Greatest Fake Book
by Chuck Sher

Spiral-bound (June 1983)

Our Price: $32.00

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View the entire books listed below
The New Real Books - Volume One
The New Real Books - Volume Two
The New Real Books - Volume Three
The Worlds Greatest Fake Book
Order The Real Little Ultimate Jazz Fake BookThe Real Little Ultimate Jazz Fake Book : C Edition : Over 625 Songs by Herb, Dr. Wong (Compiler)

If you can't find the tune you want in Chuck Sher's books, this Hal Leonard's small Jazz Fake book, contains most of the mainstream Jazz standards and is a useful library edition. As is common practice these are the basic lead-sheets with very little Jazz Chord substitution.
Paperback - 448 pages Spiral edition (March 1993)

List Price: $29.95 Our Price: $23.96 You Save: $5.99 (20%)
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