Tag Archives: Book

John Coltrane Reference Book

Here is a review of the forementioned John Coltrane Reference Book.

Porter combines meticulous scholarship with an eye for telling details, the revealing and necessary details about Coltrane’s life and music that constantly open up new perspectives. There is no gratuitous quoting of literary figures irrelevant to Coltrane, or bizarre factoids (the attendance at a New York Museum of Modern Art Chagall show the year Coltrane’s classic quartet recorded at The Village Vanguard (see page 69 in Ratliff).

Though the price is still daunting……$150

The John Coltrane Reference

There is a new Coltrane book out by Lewis Porter, Chris DeVito, David Wild, Yasuhiro Fujioka, and Wolf Schmaler.

Few jazz musicians have had the lasting influence or attracted as much scholarly study as John Coltrane. Yet, despite dozens of books, hundreds of articles, and his own recorded legacy, the “facts” about Coltrane’s life and work have never been definitely established. Well-known Coltrane biographer and jazz educator Lewis Porter has assembled an international team of scholars to write The John Coltrane Reference, an indispensable guide to the life and music of John Coltrane.

The John Coltrane Reference features a a day-by-day chronology, which extends from 1926-1967, detailing Coltrane’s early years and every live performance given by Coltrane as either a sideman or leader, and a discography offering full session information from the first year of recordings, 1946, to the last, 1967. The appendices list every film and television appearance, as well as every recorded interview. Richly illustrated with over 250 album covers and photos from the collection of Yasuhiro Fujioka, The John Coltrane Reference will find a place in every major library supporting a jazz studies program, as well as John Coltrane enthusiasts.

At a whopping $150 for 608 pages, is this a must own for Coltrane nuts?

Hardcopy Of The II-V Patterns

The II-V patterns are one of the most downloaded things here. I’m currently working on another revision of them, which would probably make it 400+ pages. That is a LOT to print out. I’m considering making them available to people via Lulu.com for like a $1 over what it costs to print them. So, if the patterns were 400 pages exactly, to print them coil bound, it would be $12.53. So, I’d make them available for $14 or something. The money would go to running this site (which is not cheap people!)

So, here is a poll to figure out how many people would be interested in that.

Would you pay for a hard copy of the II-V patterns?

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Fourth Obession – Wil Greenstreet

Sometimes, people send me stuff to look at. Wil Greenstreet sent me his book, Fourth Obsession – inroads to out there. This book, obviously, deals with Fourths, something a lot of books touch on, but never really focus in on. This book does that. Starting out with the basics, being able to play fourths through the full range of your horn, then applying different rhythms to the fourths. Then backwards, then zig-zags, then zig-zags backwards, then zig-zags with rhythms, then zig-zags with rhythms backwards. You get the idea. And that is only the first 18 pages of 183 pages. Subsequent chapters deal with strings of fourths (in three, four, five, and six), root movements and fourths (whole-steps, minor-thirds, etc), and twelve-tone rows. All these get the backwards, zig-zag, zig-zag backwards, and with rhythms.

Whew! I don’t think he left out any combinations. Maybe I should consult with Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss or Archimedes to see if there are any other combinations.

After playing things out of this book over the weekend, there are some very cool lines to be found. The layout of the book is top-notch (except for the occasional use of the Jazz Text font, which I personally disdain). The material is presented clearly, the text is easy to read, and understand. The exercises, while not completely written out like in Walt Weiskopf’s books, are presented in a way where you can follow them (example being on the left page one would see the string of fourths in a group of five going up in half steps, and on the adjoining page the rhythms to practice them with). Should provide anyone with hours and hours (if not weeks or months) of stuff to practice. One thing that I wish was included were some etudes that encompass all that was presented in the book. I think that would have been a great bonus to have.

Looking for something to dig into? Then get this book. 9.5/10 (.5 deducted for lack of etudes, and illegal use of the jazz text font). The book can be purchased for $23 ($20 + $3 shipping) from Wil Greenstreet.

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)