The value of any jazz book, relative to cost, (This one is $11) lies in the results itgets for you. Some books are packed with info.....that you'll never absorb. but you'll feel really knowledgable when you've read them all.
Others are 3 page PDF lessons that cut to the chase and provide enough stuff to get going and keep you going for months, if not years.
I've spent a small fortune on books. Biographies, Anecdotes, Jazz theory, Repair manuals, Method books, transcriptions, Aebersolds, Fake Books, and the list just grows.
The trick, for me anyway, is getting the best of what's available for addressing very specific goals.
For a reference on Jazz Theory, Mark Levine's book is a "good 'un."
Technique is a tricky one. There's a zillion method books and each has its devotees. Truth is, you don't need 'em. That's not to say you don't need to practice the stuff they contain, I just mean that they provide a convenient way of getting through the daily grind and making sure all the I's are dotted and the T's are crossed. Even so, you can get all that stuff by taking the ideas represented on the link above and apply/extend/ it to all your scales, chords, etc. The true benefit of a good method book, IMO, is that the book walks you through all of thetechnique stuff, in a progressive, logical, well paced manner.
Klose, Rubank, Viola, Teal, Coker, etc. They all get the job done.
Licks and Patterns books is a trickier one still. Somedesignedto be used verbatim. Some are written to get thesound of the chord into yourears and under your fingers. Some are taken from the solos of great players. Some are all three of the above,
There's a vogue that goes with jazz pattern books. These things are work. Even a great collection of great licks, is self administered masochism on a daily basis when you're absorbing it. A change is as good as a holiday...is as good as a new pattern book.
The real quantum leap in pattern books, is the addition of CD's or MP3 files demonstrating the patterns. They're a great help when you're picking up the phrasing and feel of new material and a great sheet music only books of the past. Again, they're a great help, but you can build your own collection of licksand phrases. Transcribe some licks from your favourite players. Keep a notebook and transcribeone new pattern or lick each week.
Some good licks and pattern material:
Tim Price's lessons.
Steve Neff's lessons
Keith Ridenhour's lessons
Transcriptions at saxsolos.com
Oliver Nelson's Patterns
David Baker's books
like I said, there's a zillion of 'em.The above are all good for different reasons.
Levine is beyond most of us, truth be told, so don't sweat it. The Levine book is great and explains stuff very well, but it goes way beyond what beginners like you and I need to get started.
What are you looking to work on? Where are you at? Are you looking to get a basic vocabulary together? Do you need something to help you get comfortable with jazz rhythms and phrasing? Do you specifically want to work on one ii-V7 exercises?
Give us a a clearly defined goal. Be as specific as you can.
"I want to learn to play jazz." That's a wish. Find a leprechaun and good luck.
" I will learn 1 new lick this week and learn it in 4 keys. I'll also practice applying it over the A section of Rhythm changes." That's more like a goal. From there, we can plan a course of action that will achieve the results we crave.
Pick one area you wish to improve upon. Let us know what it is and I'm sure someone here will be only too glad to advise of the tools and books they used to get from here to there.
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