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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
What's your favourite chops bible?

Probably old hat to a lot of you, but new for me: Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book". I'm a bit of a theory junkie and have read aroud quite a bit, but I have to say that Levine's book is astoundingly good. It is the only theory book I have read that has made me *want* to practice, and made me play through the examples at the keyboard and on the horn. Examples and patterns are nearly all from recorded solos, and the commentary wonderfully informal, without being technically sloppy. Great detail on Coltrane changes and other exotica for the more adventurous. This is theory, without the BS, for musos. Definitely worth the cover charge.

So, any contenders?

S.
 

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I'll get the obvious out of the way so nobody is filled with the righteous spirit of bop and lecture on the importance of ....the Omnibook of course.
With that out of the way. I like Mike Steinel's Building a Jazz Vocabulary which could be used from beginner to advanced. It covers theory and vocab. The cool thing about the book is its compilation of vocab from parker to coltrane to hubbard to davis to brecker to liebman etc. Lots of stuff from a variety of periods. He also reduces most of Patterns for Jazz into a few pages and fills the rest of the book with vocab beyond patterns. Cool book.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Steinel's book comes a very close second for me. In matters practical it is a perfect complement to Levine's chapters 4 and 6. Levine provides overall way more discussion of Theory, though, so for me it wins as a more "complete" reference. Luckily I have plenty of bookshelves, so I don't have to choose :)

Does anyone *not* have the Omnibook??!! Doesn't help with chord voicings or Trane changes much tho.....

S.
 

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Funny that the Omnibook comes back up today - I was just telling a friend that I've taken up practicing clarinet with it. Just when you think you've got a tune nailed, play it on your doubles for a reality check!

P.S. and back on topic... I like Steinel's "Building a Jazz Vocabulary" too. It's got several years worth of work in it.
 
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