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.