This book along with Steve Rochinski’s Jazz Style of Tal Farlow : The Elements of Bebop Guitar book are really useful books for long term study & reference. At the simplest level, this book is carefully curated collection of Charlie Parker motives along with how it can be played with different fingerings over different parts of the guitar neck. Steve also opens up the concept that the motives don’t have to fit a particular chord but could be used over different chords or chord progressions.
From a simplistic view, this could be just looked at as a lick book. But, if you really dig into the book and see what Steve is explaining – it helps get away from a chord scale or modes approach specifically in a bebop context. Great stuff throughout.
When you really start reading through every line in the book (both the examples and the explanations), what I got from it was that this book is a practical dissection of the REAL basis for jazz guitar melodic improvisation during the bebop era. Steve breaks down the motives that he’s included and show how different melodic variation techniques creates other strong jazz lines that express the harmony in the song. One of the concepts that he mentions (in part two of the book) is the importance of being able to outline foreground, middleground and background levels of the harmony relative to the rhythm section. This is such an important part of playing through changes. I really like how Steve explained this in the book.
Throughout this 61 page book, there’s a lot of knowledge and experience being distilled. The only thing that bothers me is the fact that this book is OUT OF PRINT and I wish Hal Leonard (or any publisher) could make this book available again as I feel it’s a strong addition to the jazz guitar pedagogy.
Pros: Great book, good jazz lines and a good concept to get you out from the whole chord scale or modes approach to jazz improvisation.
Cons: Out of print so it’s very difficult to locate a copy of the book at a reasonable price.
TLDR: If you like jazz guitar and if you can ever locate a copy of this, buy it.
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