Author: Valerio John
Copyright © 1998
Published by Hal Leonard
I haven't seen this book personally, but John Valerio's other books are written in a methodical and logical manner and I would expect no less from this one. He presents his vast knowledge of jazz, theory, and music history in every concept he explores. The books are well written, the musical examples are clear, and he progresses from one idea to the next in a way that doesn't make you feel like he left something out. His books are a quality addition to your jazz book library.
This book provides a step-by-step approach to learning basic piano realizations of jazz and pop tunes from lead sheets. Systems for voicing chords are presented from the most elementary to the advanced along with methods for practicing each system. Both the non-jazz and the advanced jazz player will benefit from the focus on: chords, chord voicings, harmony, melody and accompaniment, and styles.
Almost all reviews on Amazon give this book a solid 5 star rating with comments ranging from it's a great book to get started reading jazz leadsheets to it's helped with open and rootless voicings to one short excerpt that sums it all up:
"I highly recommend this book as that critical first step in that it provides you with stylistic 'rules' that keep your efforts sounding 'authentic' until you have enough knowledge and experience to branch out using others' ideas and those of your own."
Some things that people are saying about this book:
"Extend voicing styles"
"This is that critical first step"
"Beautiful voicings and more"
"Great for pianists looking to cross over to jazz"
"I highly recommend"
"Step by step lessons for playing with a lead sheet."
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Volume 1 of this educational jazz piano book contains 15 jazz piano exercises, tricks, and other interesting jazz piano techniques, voicings, grooves, and ideas Scot Ranney enjoys playing.
Volume 2 has 14 jazz piano exercises and tricks of the trade, and quite a bit of it is Calypso jazz piano related material, including some Monty Alexander and Michel Camilo style grooves. Jazz piano education is through the ears, but books like this can help.
Volume 3 contains 12 jazz piano exercises and explorations by the acclaimed jazz piano educator, pianist, author, and recording artist Tim Richards.
Volume 4 is by Jeff Brent, a jazz pianist, composer, teacher, and author of "Modalogy" and other acclaimed jazz theory and education books. In this book Jeff shares detailed analysis of transcriptions of live performances. He covers everything from the shape of the songs to the tricks and licks he uses in improvised lines to the ideas behind his lush chord voicings.
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