Top positive review
42 people found this helpful
Excellent "ideas" book for Improvisors
on 27 May 1999
I have to admit, when I first got this book I thought, well, it's sort of small, so it must not have very much in it. Boy, was I wrong. What I found was a pretty comprehensive summary of jazz theory and how it can be applied to various situations, from the solo performer to the band. Coker is very concerned with the "education" of jazz and strives to make the reader put together pieces of the musician (thought, intellect, practice, etc.) to make a coherent whole. What I found partically helpful were the chapters on motifs, superimposition, and altered extenstions. Although this can be found in almost any good jazz book, Coker's book uses understandable charts and clear idea presentation. He helps develop ideas for motifs and how they can be modified in improv, gives good information on how polychords work and some possible superimpositions, and a great summary of what good tone extensions are for various chord types. Also, there are chapters on rhythm, partically in band settings, basic theory such as chords and scales, and ideas for transcription off records. Each chapter has practice ideas (which of course I'm way too lazy to do), and there is a big appendix at the end of all types of chord progressions to practice, or at least in my case, look at. Definitely a book to check out if other theory books don't seem to "sum it up" well.