The Jazz Piano Book
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The Jazz Piano Book is a tutorial by Mark Levine that aims to summarise the musical theory, including jazz harmony, required by an aspiring jazz pianist. Upon its publication in 1989, it quickly garnered widespread praise from both established jazz musicians and educators for its concise, friendly tone and its comprehensive scope. Kenny Barron described it as "One of the best jazz piano books I've ever seen – very easy to understand."[this quote needs a citation]
Its target readership appears to be reading musicians who are new to jazz, implicitly classical musicians—there is very little discussion of physical pianistic technique, and only a very brief summary of musical intervals intended as a refresher. Another significant omission is any discussion of post-stride solo piano techniques—it is generally assumed that a bass player will be present to provide a root for the voicings that are discussed.
The book covers a range of topics including left-hand voicings, scales and modes, improvisation, chords and 'comping. Much of the book involves musical theory, as Mark Levine states in the introduction. Jazz standards are cited frequently, often with notated examples, to help to explain a particular topic or idea.
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