Tag Archives: Education

Beyond The Horn – Backgrounds

Yes, you knew it was coming. Backgrounds to practice Walt Weiskopf’s great new book, Beyond The Horn. A lot of these are based on “standard” tunes. A couple are original chord changes. All of them are very challenging to play with the Etudes out of the book. It’s different, it’s fun, it will bust your chops for sure. Enjoy!

  Beyond The Horn Backgrounds in Band-in-the-Box format (10.5 KiB, 15 hits)
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Beyond The Horn

Walt Weiskopf and Ed Rosenberg, have released a great new book, Beyond The Horn. It is more of a follow up to his great Around The Horn book. The 246 pages are filled with Octave Displaced Triads, and a bevy of Octave displaced minor, melodic minor, harmonic minor and a bunch of other modes. Plus, there are some etudes based on original and standard chord songs that incorporate the material studied throughout the book in them. The funniest title, for me, was “You’re Modern” which is based on the chords to “I’m Old Fashioned” by Jerome Kern. Get it?…..get it? Aw, nevermind.

They forward in the book says that the material was tried out with a captives from the Eastman Music school. Supposedly no students were injured in the testing….though it doesn’t say that…..

All of Walt Weiskopf’s books are must haves in your library. His Around The Horn, “Coltrane – A Players Guide To His Harmony, Intervallic Improvisation, and Augmented Scale In Jazz are well written, easy to read, concise books every saxophone player should have. This book gets a 10 out of 10.

II-V-I Patterns

I have updated the II-V-I patterns yet again. I consolidated some of the other patterns I had (like the Ray Brown ones). There are now 286 pages (or 286 4 bar patterns in all keys) to enjoy. Also gone is the Jazz Font. I am in favor of a more clean, professional look using Bill Duncan’s Fonts for Finale for this going forward.

  II-V-I Patterns in Bb (4.6 MiB, 12,286 hits)
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  II-V-I Patterns in Bb Pages 1 to 100 (1.7 MiB, 11,391 hits)
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  II-V-I Patterns in Bb Pages 101 to 200 (1.9 MiB, 10,920 hits)
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  II-V-I Patterns in Bb Pages 201 to 289 (1.6 MiB, 10,930 hits)
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  II-V-I Patterns in Eb (4.7 MiB, 11,590 hits)
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  II-V-I Patterns in Eb Pages 1 to 100 (1.7 MiB, 10,416 hits)
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  II-V-I Patterns in Eb Pages 101 to 200 (1.9 MiB, 10,347 hits)
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  II-V-I Patterns in Eb Pages 201 to 289 (1.6 MiB, 10,863 hits)
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  II-V-I Patterns Reference (600.9 KiB, 11,963 hits)
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These patterns were designed to be used with Aebersold Vol. 3, Track 2. Also included is a 24 page reference of the patterns.

Intermediate Jazz Conception

Jim Snidero has added another volume to his Jazz Conception series. Intermediate Jazz Conception features 15 songs based on chord changes to “St. Thomas”, “On Green Dolphin Street”, “Confirmation”, “Well You Needn’t” and others. The Alto version features Jim Snidero (as do all the other Alto versions of his books), the Tenor version features Ted Nash.

For style and sound, all these books are excellent….

You’d be hard pressed to find a better sound on Alto than Jim Snidero’s. On tenor, previous versions of the book have featured Walt Weiskopf and Eric Alexander, who are excellent players. However, I think Ted Nash’s sound is great in this book. I’d say better than the other two (but that is just my opinion).

The book’s tunes. Honestly, the tunes (or etudes) in this volume are lack luster. The first tune, “Splank Street”, has a great sound to it, but the tune never goes anywhere unlike in previous Jazz Conception books (IE: Basie’s Blues). “St. Sonny” is ok, “Confirmed” and “Freedom” are good. But there is nothing that just screams “cool” to me. In the original Jazz Conception book we had a ton of cool tunes like “Passages”, “Bird’s Blues”, or “Groove Blues” to name a few. But this volume, they are playable, but….not memorable.

Rating. It’s a solid edition to the Jazz Conception series. I give it a 8. I love Ted Nash’s playing in this book. But the tunes are not as good as they have been in previous Jazz Conception books. I’d still love to see Jim Snidero tackle a more contemporary play-along. Something that is really lacking out there.

Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band Play-Along Series

This is pure gold. 10 songs, playing with the Gordon Goodwin band. The solos are written out. The chart is there. Everything. You get a small clip of the band playing the tune (full band), and then you get the band minus your part and the solos. It’s the actual recording. Hunting Wabbits, yes, it’s the same as the recording. If you listen hard, you can hear a very faint bleed in from the solos.

You need to get this. You need to get both the Alto and the Tenor versions as the written solos are not the same in both books (IE: the solo for Swingin for the Fences is in the Alto book, but not in the Tenor. The solo for Jazz Police is in the Tenor book, but not the Alto).

On a scale of 10, I give this series of books a 12. No, a 14. Hell, ok, 15. It’s good stuff. Very good stuff.

Update: 02/17 21:49 GMT by E :You can get the book via Aebersold, or J.W. Pepper

The Lighthouse Omnibook – David Liebman & Steve Grossman

There are a couple of books every saxophonist should have in their library. The Charlie Parker Omnibook in Eb, Michael Brecker Collection Vol. 1 and Michael Brecker Collection Vol. 2, Stan Getz and now, The Lighthouse Omnibook.

This great collection contains all the solos off Elvin Jones’ Live At The Lighthouse album. This book is great. The notation is a little questionable (IE: bad formatting in Finale, etc), but the content is amazing. I have a transcription of Taurus People I got from someone in college that was ok. The transcription in this book nails it.

For anyone looking to learn how to improvise in a more modern style, get this book. 9.8 out of 10 (.2 deducted for poor notation in areas, which could easily have been fixed).

Zinn Practice Regimen For Saxophone III

NOTE – An updated version of this Regimen is available here

One of the most downloaded things on Jazz-Sax.com is the Zinn Practice Regimen. It was inspired by Daniel Zinn, master saxophonist/woodwindist when he took over saxophone instruction at CSUH about 10 years ago.

I updated it a couple of years ago, and I’ve updated it again. Changed the font, clean it up and came up with some new ideas to maim, I mean break, I mean develop fingers and skills. This is probably the last revision of it, as I think it encompasses all that I want it to, and takes about 30 minutes to play through. Enjoy

  Zinn Practice Regimen III (592.7 KiB, 52,667 hits)
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Xmas Guide 2005

Yes, it is only November. But there is no time like the present to start thinking of presents for people (woohoo, good play on words there E).

To start things off, iLounge has a very good, free, Holiday buyers’ guide available. Of course the guide is for people who own an iPod. And if they don’t own an iPod, that would be the #1 thing to get people. An iPod nano is only $199. Amongst the things they recommend are AKG’s new K 701 headphones. I own a pair of AKG 271 headphones, and they rock. The 701s are around $399.

Other things to consider getting a musician are:

This is just a start…..I’m sure there are other potential presents out there.

Jazz Saxophone Etudes By Greg Fishman

Greg Fishman has released a great new book titled Jazz Saxophone Etudes. What sets this book apart from others is the addition of two CDs, one for Alto and one for Tenor. You use the same etude for both instruments. So, you don’t have to deal with bad transposition jobs that you find in say, Bob Minzter’s books. Plus, the CDs feature extended rhythmn section only parts that allow you to stretch out and play on the tunes.

The tunes are based on standard changes. There are two blues etudes, two rhythmn changes etudes, and etude based on the changes to “A” Train, etc. All the etudes are named after streets in Chicago, which figures as Greg Fishman is from Chicago.

The one thing I would want more of in the book is voice leading. It would have been great to include the voice leadings to the solos, along with some analysis of what was used. It was mentioned briefly in the front of the book, then….nada. It would really make this book stand out if it had detailed, one page sheet on the voice leadings used in the solos. Anyhow, I’ve done a bunch of them for my students so they can see how he constructed the solos.

Rating for this book. 10/10. For $20, this book rocks. You get excellent solos, great sounding CDs, and a lot of information. Go get it!

Articulation At Fast Tempos

harry63 writes “In slow and medium swing tempos I understand that “off-beat” articulation is used most often (I know there are times of course, that you don’t use this articulation, but I am generalizing on purpose). With fast tempos this articulation can really make your playing sound heavy and tend to drag. I am curious to know what sort of articulation patterns you all use at break-neck tempos?”