It seems like it’s just been a minute since Cecil released his Bebop Workbook recently… and now the new 56 Hip Licks book is out!
And some of these are indeed “out” and hip as the name says it outright (all puns intended).
At 211 pages, this is a massive PDF file!
However to keep things in control, keep in mind that Cecil actually only plays these in the key of C on both the accompanying audio and video examples. Backing tracks are included (the same ones that Cecil plays over on the video) so that gives a practice environment once you get the fingerings down and want to play them at tempo.
Compared to his recent Bebop Workbook (which is literally more exercise-based), this eBook is essentially in the style of his previous Jazz Lesson Videos releases. In terms of practicality, I do enjoy this format as a quick way to grab ideas for woodshedding.
All in all, I’m always excited to check out what Cecil releases since his lines are interesting and inspiring. This is definitely one for Cecil Alexander fans… and if you like the examples in the promo/lesson video (embedded above), you might like this release.
Pros: Great sounding lines, some way more outside sounding than others. Challenging and rewarding!
Cons: No tutorials, analysis or talk about the concepts behind the lines. Some typos in both the tablature and notation (a glaring one in the very first lick, if you actually refer to the video to compare).
TLDR: For fans of Cecil’s playing, this might be useful for you to get more ideas to improvise more interesting phrases.
You can get this at: https://www.jazzlessonvideos.com/product-page/concert-56-hip-licks-tab
Also… if you enjoyed this review and want to read my past reviews, 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: 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