Top positive review
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Essential reading for anyone interested in playing Jazz Piano
on 16 December 2008
Along with the author's Jazz Theory Book, I'd consider this (which preceeded the Jazz Theory Book by a few years) absolutely essential reading. Especially so if you are a beginner/intermediate pianist who is struggling to do some self-taught learning. That's how I learnt - and this book helped me to find the answer to virtually everything I wanted to know.
Don't get me wrong though - this book isn't for beginners. Levine assumes you can read music and already possess a technique that is functional, if not amazing. The book covers beginning II-V-I's and basic shell voicings, then moves on to cover areas such as scale theory, block chords, advanced voicings (slash chords, upper-structures, quartals etc), latin jazz etc. What makes this book so special - like his Jazz Theory Book - is that the author brings the theory alive with fully referenced recommended listenings. It was clearly a labour of love for him.
Despite getting on for being 10 years old (and having a bizarre front cover) if you only bought one book to learn about playing jazz piano, this is undoubtedly it.