Tag Archives: Greg Fishman

Jazz Phrasing For Beginners by Greg Fishman

jpfbGreg Fishman has a number of excellent books out. I’ve reviewed and highly recommend his Jazz Etudes Book Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 and his Saxophone Duets book. His latest book is Jazz Phrasing For Beginners, which is aimed at the beginning student. It contains 10 melodic tunes that great examples of idiomatic “classic” jazz tunes such as “C Jam Blues” and the like. The tunes are great studies in good voice leading and use of jazz rhythms. Also great motivic (or sequential) development. You get 2 CDs with the book. One CD that has Alto Sax demos and backgrounds, and one that has Tenor Sax demos and backgrounds.

As a book for someone who is just starting to play, this would be a good first book before diving into something like Jim Snidero’s Jazz Conception Easy. The etudes are short, and emphasize excellent idea development. However……
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Jazz Saxophone Etudes By Greg Fishman Vol. 2

Greg Fishman has been at it again. This time, he has come out with yet another book of Jazz Etudes. Again, he has named each Etude after a street in Chicago. I’ll just take Greg’s books in lieu of a tourist map if I ever visit Chicago. Really. I believe he’s covered every major street in the town, or at least the ones worth mentioning.

Back to the latest book. Greg says “I think that the new etudes are even more melodic than they were in the first book.” Eh, well, perhaps. The tunes in the last book were pretty good as well. I think my gripe with the first book carries over into the second book, i.e. still not a lot of explanation about voice leading. Perhaps that will be in a forth coming tourist’s guide to voice leading? How many streets does Chicago have? Are we going to run out if you do a voice leading book and another etude book?

For $19.95, with two CDs (one for Tenor, one for Alto) that have an etude track and a track where you can blow a few choruses, it is a simple choice. Duh! Get the book! 10/10 for the price, and the quality of the tunes.

(P.S. Greg Fishman is moving to Phoenix, Arizona. Why anyone would want to move there is beyond me. It gets so hot it can melt your dashboard. This last summer I think they had weeks of triple digit heat. My mom visited my brother who lives there, and she said it was like being in an oven the whole time she was there. Anyhow, I’d expect to see the next etude book filled with Arizona street names, assuming Fishman runs out of Chicago streets)

Jazz Saxophone Duets by Greg Fishman

I had rave reviews of Greg Fishman’s “Jazz Saxophone Etudes” book. I really like the tunes in that book. They are melodic, sound great, and are idiomatic of good jazz solos. The concept of including two CDs (one for Alto, and one for Tenor) was, well, fairly obvious (yet no one else does this, ie: Snidero’s Jazz Conception books, or Mintzer’s Etude books).

So, in the mail the other day, I received Fishman’s latest creation, Jazz Saxophone Duets ……

Yup, it’s as good as his other book. There are 10 duets. Two versions of each. One version is for two like instruments, such as two Tenors, or two Altos. The other version is for Alto and Tenor (Alto on the top line, Tenor on the bottom). Each “Duet” could be an etude that could, perhaps should, have been in Greg’s other book. The tunes sound great.

Oh, and they have a rhythm section accompaniment track as well. Did I mention this book contains three CDs. One CD of all the etudes done on Altos. One CD of all the etudes on Tenors. And one CD of all the etudes Alto and Tenor. And on each CD you have the Duet with both parts played, just the top line, just the bottom line, or just the rhythm section (which is on all the tracks). How cool is that?

Two little complaints. First, when I ripped the CDs into iTunes, all the CDs showed up as the Tenor version. That was a pain. Also, the Artist column didn’t make sense, and I had to change that. Second, I kind of wanted another couple of medium tempo tunes. There are 5 tunes that are metronome 200 or above, One ballad (mm=69), one near 200 tune (mm=192). So, that leaves three tunes at mm=126, mm=132, and mm=152. I think if there were two more tunes in the 130 to 160 range, this book would be a perfect 10.

In all, this is a very cool duet/etude book. It’s for advanced intermediate on up players. I give it a 9 out of 10.

Update: 11/12 07:14 GMT by E :Greg Fishman emailed the following:

"Since the three CDs are all almost exactly the same length and same number of tracks,
i-tunes thinks they're all the same disc. I tried correcting this many times by submitting the correct info for each CD separately to the CDDB database, but it didn't make a difference. After several weeks of trying to get the i-tunes database to see the difference, I just stopped trying. This is not my fault or the book's fault; it's just an i-tunes glitch, but I know it's a pain.

Regarding the medium tempos, I did have two more tunes planned, but due to the format of including four versions of each duet, I ran out of space on the CDs. As it stands, the CDs are 74+ minutes each. It would have meant including more CDs or cutting some of the faster duets. I ended up simply picking what I thought were the best duets."

Yes, seems the CDs are indeed filled to the brim. However, the first thing I did when I got the book was add them to my iTunes library. Makes one wonder if it even makes sense to include audio CDs anymore. Why not just a data CD that has the tracks ripped in high quality MP3 format?

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!