Articles in the review category

Jack Gale - 12 Jazz Duets for Trombone

My copy of Jack Gale's "12 Jazz Duets" arrived yesterday, ordered from Hickeys (who don't seem to let me link directly to a product). I believe this book is also available for trumpet and maybe even a few other instruments with the same arrangements transposed. I was pleasantly surprised; I was having so much fun I was up till after midnight with the good old Silent Brass!

It includes 12 Duets with a playalong CD; there are two copies of each track, one with both parts, one on the left and one on the right channel, and another copy with just the backing changes. Gale's playing is impeccable and his phrasing and styling are worth trying to emulate. At the tempos on the CD things get pretty hectic, here is a sample of one of the more straight forward blues. The duets move from blues through to rhythm changes, scatting, bop and post bop lines in a variety of normal keys.

It's a great work out for probably an advanced amateur. I think this is a great stepping stone into working on more advanced lines like you would find in a J.J solo transcription book or similar. Personally I think going in cold with those transcriptions is a bridge too far for most people; he wasn't considered a genius because he stuck with the lines and ideas that the aforementioned advanced amateur can keep up with! However, if you could pull off the juicy bits of this book in a few different keys you would be well an truly on your way to making the next step.

Jazz Piano Comping for the Beginning Jazz Improvisor

Jazz Piano Comping for the Beginning Jazz Improvisor - Tom Anderson

I got this book on Amazon.com because I wanted to learn more about how to comp chords, thinking it might give me more of a harmonic framework when soloing.

It's not quite what I wanted ... I think I missed the "beginning jazz improvisor" and thought it was "beginning jazz piano comper". I'm no expert but I know my way around the basics; it starts right at the beginning and goes through chord theory, starting with majors and moving on to sevenths etc. At the end of each chapter is a written out song with voicings of mainly the type of chord the previous chapter talked about (I think they've done the same thing as the Jerry Coker "Improvising Jazz" book where the changes are for common songs but the title and written melody is different to avoid copyright).

That said, if I can find more time to learn the voicings in the chapters and make my way through the book it will be useful. If you do actually fit the title, it's probably to a bad, cheap buy.