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Hey everyone,

I wanted to let the SOTW community know about my new publication, The Living Jazz Tradition: A Creative Guide to Improvisation and Harmony on CMA Press.

I began this project eight years ago because I observed a disconnect between how great improvisers play and how jazz is typically taught. I've seen countless students who turn to educational materials become overwhelmed and uninspired. Often, these students never experience the act of spontaneous music-making because they are buried in a confusing jumble of scales, chords, patterns, and licks.

The material in The Living Jazz Tradition is process-based and can be applied by students of all levels. The early chapters focus on playing by ear, developing a strong time-feel, and creative concepts including melodic improvisation over a drone, thematic development, and free improvisation. The chapters progress through a comprehensive guide to jazz harmony with hundreds of musical examples, integrated repertoire, and creative assignments. The book includes mp3 downloads of drum grooves, drones, and rhythm section tracks.


"The Living Jazz Tradition gives definition to many jazz subjects that are not discussed in mainstream jazz education. It is tremendously informative about conventional and abstract topics of jazz. I recommend it highly.”

- Jerry Bergonzi
“I’m very impressed with Steve’s book. His approach is practical and common sense—a perfect way for musicians of all levels to enjoy the art of improvising in life and music. I look forward to using it with my students. Steve’s approach offers a fresh direction, which inspires individuality.”

- Dick Oatts
The pre-publication version has been used in improvisation classes at Berklee, University of Washington, University of Idaho, Central Washington University, Edmonds-Woodway High School, and Billings High School.

You can read more at the new CMA Press website.

Thank you!
Steve Treseler
http://stevetres.com/
 

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Sounds great...and they're using it at Berklee??? The walls come a tumblin' down...
 

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I recently bought the book and have started to work through it. Frankly, I think it is VERY well organized. The initial chapters include ear training (Ch1), rhythm studies (Ch2) and creatively improvising using 1, 3 and 4 notes, then pentatonic scales, either solo or over drones (Ch3). The point of Ch3 is to get as creative and interesting as possible within the boundry of limited note choices. This material constitutes part one of the book; part two (Chs 4-11) moves sequentially into harmony and theory.

I am still working through Chs 1-3, which along with various scale and interval studies and etudes, comprises a good practice routine for me and I am already sensing significant improvement.
 

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I recently bought the book and have started to work through it.
..........
The point of Ch3 is to get as creative and interesting as possible within the boundry of limited note choices.
Now you raised my interest. My tutor keeps telling me: Lean on the rhythm, not multitude of notes!

I am still working through Chs 1-3, which along with various scale and interval studies and etudes, comprises a good practice routine for me and I am already sensing significant improvement.
Perhaps we will later see your review article published on:

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/content.php?769-education
 

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Harri - I'd be happy to do a review of this terrific method. Once I have worked further through it, I will write something up.
 

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I tried to buy the book. Looks like they're only shipping them to Australia, Canada, Denmark and the U. S. A. - at least that's the only quotes for shipping costs you can get. Their marketing is somewhat sub-optimal, as we say here ...
 

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Mr. Treseler started a post commenting on how his web page went viral after he made a post about jazz pedagogy and it spread all over Facebook. He was discussing it here and the posting has since disappeared. I can't find it from either search bar or looking at his sotw page under posts or started threads. So it has dissapeared.

And that is very sad, especially because this is really an amazing book so far! I bought it like 6 days ago and then it arrived about 3 days ago! This is seemingly impossible as I have the company address that then forwards to me.

Anyway. The approach to the text is radically different than anything I have read before. I have read many jazz improvisation texts. The intro sums it up very well. Treseler writes it in a very easy to understand way, but is expressing complex concepts. It is also not written in a modern textbook fashion. You know, block of text, example, picture, etc. it is written almost as if representing the way a person would be speaking it. Don't get me wrong, there are still blocks of text, but they are much smaller blocks followed by continuous examples. So it is never a situation where you have to find example 14.b on a different page. More like a professor in a classroom explaining a concept and drawing it out right there on a white board. Then there are various "woodshed" spots where it gives you good ways to practice the material in a practical and useful way.

I have only checked out the first 40 pages or so, but I imagine the rest will be equally easy to understand and practice.

It is also filled with inspirational quotes on topic from very famous people.

It comes with a link to download some type of accompanying audio that I have not checked out yet.

I imagine this would be a great text for a beginning or intermediate player especially as it explains things so well. I am in particular enjoying bridging much better understandings from concepts which were confusing that I learned in school.

I look forward to reading through this whole book.

Steve Treseler has really done a service to jazz education with this book!
I look forward to using this with future students.
 

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Sounds like he's removing barriers that have been put in place by academia to "add value" to the achievement of playing jazz and associate it with rigor and professionalism. In short - demystifying. A risky undertaking.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you so much Andre! I'm grateful that you are finding so much value in my book and I really appreciate your endorsement. After eight years of work, it's gratifying to know the material and approach are resonating with people!

Feel free to email me at [email protected] if you have any questions as you work through the book.

Here's a link for any other folks who might be interested: http://stevetres.com/the-living-jazz-tradition/
 

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As noted in my post above, I bought Steve's book about a year ago and have been slowly working my way through it. Like Andre251, I find the book easy to use and well laid out. The order which Steve places the topic areas is logical, with each topic leading to the next. The book includes topics about developing better time, improvising with a limited scope of notes over drones as both an ear training and creativity exercise, rhythm studies, playing by ear and harmonic movement and voice leading in various song forms and the blues.

Because there is a great deal of "meat on the bone" in all of these topics, I am about only 75 pages into this book and moving deliberately through the exercises. I own quite a number of improvisation studies books which are really good, but find Steve's the most user friendly and, for me at least, the most effective. Also, if you haven't heard Steve's playing, do yourself a favor and check him out...he is terrific!

If you want to learn to improvise in a holistic manner, rather than by learning a mountain of theory first, I think it would be tough to find a better resource than "The Living Jazz Tradition" (P.S. you will learn the theory by working the exercises).
 

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But you just did. That statement really says something.
I thought so too. But what exactly does it say? I asked that question over a year ago and bottle opener never bothered to answer it. So probably best to just ignore a useless statement, when the poster can't be bothered to follow it up and explain what they mean.

There are so many jazz method books out there. It looks to me like Steve is taking a fresh approach here and it might be really worth checking it out.
 

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I just purchased a copy of this book on amazon. Besides Steve's publishing company, there is another vendor that is selling it for $4321.00. I'm sure it's a good book but I'll stick with the 50 buck version. What's the scam? The same vendor sell's all his books at the same price. It has to be some kind of scam. Do they hope you'll click on the wrong seller so they score your credit card and 4 grand on top of it? I wonder why Amazon allows that kind crap.
 
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