Bert Ligon's Connecting
Chords with Linear Harmonyis my
favorite jazz improvisation technique book of all times. It explains and exemplifies jazz lines:
their foundation, variations, development and common useage on jazz
recordings. ALL students of mine that came accross this book had (basically) the same opinion as me about this!
And here's why it's the best of its kind :
Ever had a big "?" while learning a lick or transcribing a solo? You know: it sounds good and makes sense, it's the "right" scale... but you just can't understand why the improviser choose these notes... (or how to emulate it)
Yeah. I can relate!
Even simple licks sung by Chet Baker... I didn't always "get it" at first!
Bert Ligon's book
got rid of most of my personal "?" regarding improv. It showed me the absolute "basics" for all lines, some variations on them and then hundreds (yes, hundreds) of examples from my favorite jazz recordings.
Not 'just scales' ... or 'practice these exercise' ... JUST the stuff that is straight from jazz legends. Period.
Not a Method
It's not a method per se and I find it hard to categorize. We could call it a "jazz improvisation technique" book... and the "technique" part is straight-forward because the approach is based on only ONE fundamental concept.
Chords with Linear Harmony
exemplifies the principles of obvious and necessary resolutions between chords. Jazz solos have to clearly outline the changes by drawing upon these resolutions.
The most basic thirds and sevenths resvolving :
Has That "Ring of Truth"
And the author demonstrates clearly that the resolutions happen naturally in the music from all time eras. Famous compositions and improvisations are mostly (if not all) based on three basic outlines (and their variations) :
It makes a lot of sense as it is based in the major scale, our good old friend. No extraneous explanations and concepts "out of left-field". It really "rings true" to me. And, most of all...
It's Anchored in "Real Music"
The three basic outlines above get their full meaning only through examples from actual jazz repertoire and improvisation. Good news :
The book contains more than 250 jazz lines
from famous recordings!