This book gives another look at how jazz guitarist Cecil Alexander improvises. This time we discover how he uses pentatonic in both inside and outside phrases.
There are 54 licks in this book with inside and outside licks on major, minor & dominant chords.
The video that accompanies the book is personally the highlight for me as we get to see Cecil’s fingering choices for these licks. I find that paying close attention to the fingerings is helpful for me to nail the phrases.
In terms of value for money, these books from Jazz Lesson Videos give a lot of material to work relative to the price they are charging.
All in all, even though I have only practiced a portion of the lines from the book, I already started hearing new ideas outside from what I am used to. That’s great!
In conclusion, I recommend this book if you want some larger interval phrases and lines that are not bebop sounding. These pentatonic licks are a great way to get into more of that McCoy Tyner and also Joe DIorio kind of sound.
If you like this book, you might also enjoy Mastering the Dominant Pentatonic Sound over a Blues by Steve Neff that I reviewed back in April. Related to contemporary jazz guitar phrasing, Hristo Vitchev’s book & video set, Chromatic Methenyisms (Pentatonics Uncompromised) is worth checking out too.
Pros: Great jazz pentatonic lines in that combine interesting line shapes and rhythms.
Cons: No left hand or right hand fingering notated, you have to refer to the video for that. Occasional typos in the tablature.
TLDR: If you want some tasty pentatonic lines that go all over the fretboard with a jazz sound, this is it.
You can get this at: https://www.jazzlessonvideos.com/product-page/treble-clef-tab-bebop-workbook
Also… if you enjoyed this review and want to read my past reviews of Cecil’s works, do check out my review of his excellent Picking Masterclass and reviews on his musical exercises (Pentatonic Licks (Static Harmony) & Pentatonic Licks (II-V-I) by Cecil Alexander, Assorted Licks & Minor II-V Lines by Cecil Alexander and Musical Exercises Review: Bebop II-V Phrases, All The Things You Are Etude, Solar Etude (Melodic Minor Modes) and Green Dolphin Street Solo Arrangement by Cecil Alexander
You can read my previous reviews in this series featuring Cecil Alexander here:
Book Review: Bebop Workbook by Cecil Alexander
Book Review: 57 Double Time Lines by Cecil Alexander
Book Review: 56 Hip Licks by Cecil Alexander
Book Review: 50 ii-V-I Licks by Cecil Alexander
Book Review: 20 Bebop Etudes by Cecil Alexander
Book Review: 30 Exercises on Static Harmony by Cecil Alexander
For my thoughts on his work on the pickupmusic website, check out:
Licks Package: 10 Advanced II V I Licks by Cecil Alexander
Licks Package: 10 Must-Know Bebop Licks by Cecil Alexander