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I'm thrilled to announce the national release of my book The Living Jazz Tradition: A Creative Guide to Improvisation and Harmony on CMA Press. This has been a labor of love over the past eight years and it's hard to believe the book is finally here!
I began this project because I observed a disconnect between how great improvisers play and how jazz is typically taught. I've seen countless students who turn to educational materials become overwhelmed and uninspired. Often, these students never experience the act of spontaneous music-making because they are buried in a confusing jumble of scales, chords, patterns, and licks.
The material in The Living Jazz Tradition is process-based and can be applied by students of all levels. The early chapters focus on playing by ear, developing a strong time-feel, and creative concepts including melodic improvisation over a drone, thematic development, and free improvisation. The chapters progress through a comprehensive guide to jazz harmony with hundreds of musical examples, integrated repertoire, and creative assignments. The book includes mp3 downloads of drum grooves, drones, and rhythm section tracks.
A whole team of folks made this happen. Special thanks to my publisher Michael Stegner at CMA for putting hundreds of hours into this project, Chris Stover for editing my early drafts, and to Chris Bruya at Central Washington University and Vern Sielert at University of Idaho for piloting the pre-publication version.
We look forward to hearing your feedback. Be sure to check out the forums--I'll be there regularly to answer questions. Thank you!