Review of “Amazing Phrasing” by various authors

I purchased my copy of Amazing Phrases by Dennis Taylor about a month ago and wanted to take time to write a review.

The book is published by Hal Leonard and includes a CD. I purchased the version for tenor sax but the book also exists for also sax, trumpet, keyboard and guitar.  The book includes 50 ways to improve your improvisation skills with a focus on phrasing. The contents of the books can apply to just about any instrument.

The author breaks phrasing down into three components: Harmony, Melody and Rhythm. Due to the wealth of material covered in the book – some of the topics are covered in a couple of pages whereas in other books entire chapters or even entire books have been written about the topic. For example the Bebop Mixolydian scale is introduced in a couple of pages and Steve Neff has written a book entitled “Mastering the Dominant Bebop Scale” that is 191 pages. David Baker has written an entire book series on “How To Play Bebop”. You may be thinking that I am slamming the author for his short treatment of many topics but I’m not. I really like how the author introduces the improvisor in a condensed form to so many fascinating and practical ways to approach improv.  Once you are exposed to the concepts and the good examples you can then dig deeper using some of the other jazz resources I have written about and or to use the backing tracks on this site.

I recommend that you purchase this book.

For Tenor Sax

For Alto Sax

For Guitar

For Trumpet

For Keyboard

Review of “Triad Pairs for Jazz” By Gary Campbell

According to the author Gary Campbell “The focus of this book is on mastering the manipulation of triad pairs while presenting a general guide to determining chord applications”.

Before I read this book I read Walt Wieskopfs Intervalic Improvisation book. I’m glad I read Intervalic Improvisation first because the explanation of how triad pairs are derived and applied seemed to be more detailed. The author recommends his book “Connecting Jazz Theory” for an in-depth study of applications.

This book has a wealth of exercises using three and four note triad pairs. The exercises are designed to show how the triad pairs can be mixed up to provide additional interest and variety. The author has sections in the book that provide examples of how triad pairs can be linked together. Also included is the use of “Approach Tone Variations” ( e.g. using the lower neighbor tones), Triad pair mutation ( e.g. two notes from one triad and four notes from another triad ). The book ends with several example solos that are based upon using triad pairs.

If you are interested in studying triad pars in jazz improvisation – this book is for you.

You can purchase the book from the following:

You can purchase the Connecting Jazz Theory book from the following:

You can purchase Expansions from the following:

Review of “Elements Of The Jazz Language For The Developing Improvisor

Elements Of The Jazz Language For The Developing Improvisor was written by Jerry Coker.  Jerry published his first book “Improvising Jazz” in 1964 and has authored many jazz books. In my opinion he is an outstanding author with a great deal of practical information.

Jerry has analyzed many jazz greats and observed 18 common devices that comprise the jazz language.

A few of the devices include

  • Change-Running
  • Digital Patterns
  • 7-3 Resolution
  • 3-b9

The book has a CD which illustrates the examples and the author provides exercises to practice and ingrain the devices.

I highly recommend this book and you can purchase it from the following link.


Elements of the Jazz Language for the Developing Improvisor