Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Book review - The Jazz Theory Book

Well I do believe it is about time for another book review. I can't think of a better follow up than a wonderful, detailed book by Mark Levine called 'the Jazz Theory Book'. Mark Levine, is a jazz pianist of some acclaim, he does know of which he speaks. For a full biography on Mark click here.

Of all the theory books in my collection, I would recommend this one first, to anyone interested in understanding some of the common theoretical concepts used in music. Most specifically Jazz - hence the title! Does this mean only a Jazz player will get something from this? Absolutely not. All the concepts covered are devices used in all genres of Western music.

Of course the theory discussions within are great, but the one thing about this book that sets it apart, is the amount of research that went into it. Mark did a wonderful job, backing up each concept introduced with real-world examples of the concept in action. The sheer volume of research and information - including one of the deepest 'Recommended Listening' sections I have seen - makes this book a 'must-have' for any musician's library.

If you have an interest in learning the theory behind the music, put this book on your Christmas list for sure. You won't be disappointed. From chord/scale relationships, to re-harmonization s, to the inside scoop on 'Coltrane changes', plus lots more - this book covers it.

Is it the 'be-all-and-end-all' of theory publications? Likely not, but there is certainly something in it to benefit any level of player. It's clear, concise, well-presented and researched. It certainly made me a fan.

Happy Reading!

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