This book is for anyone who writes, plays or listens to jazz. It explains the writing process and the construction of jazz pieces. I’ve attempted to answer many of the questions that arrangers and composers ask themselves when they are writing. Players who read this book will better understand the arrangements that they play and will get more from their listening which will make them better at interpreting the music they perform. Listeners will get into the creators’ heads and appreciate the jazz experience to a greater degree.
- David Berger -
What The Experts Are Saying
"I love David Berger's new book, Creative Jazz Composing and Arranging. His vivid description of his own musical development from childhood on imparts many valuable insights. The discussion of the musical content is clear and concise, while a respect and passion for the music and the creative process is evident throughout. The big band scores are brilliant pieces of music that are steeped in the rich tradition of jazz, but also convey the unique musical character that is David Berger. It is a joy to be able to get inside the head of one of my favorite jazz writers and bandleaders. Beside the wealth of information, understanding and encouragement contained in these pages, the anecdotes related to Duke Ellington and the musicians who performed in his orchestra are just one more reason to get this book in your hands."
- Bill Dobbins -
Professor of Jazz Composition and Arranging, Eastman School of Music
"Among the musicians I know who pay attention to the broad concepts and fine details of composing and arranging jazz music, no one pays more attention than Dave Berger. He thinks about everything: formal ideas, textural contrasts, emotional expression, instrumental color and variety, motivic development, expectation and surprise, - more things than I can think of to enumerate. And he produces music that achieves an artistically satisfying balance in its elements - all the while maintaining continuity with the spirit that brought him to jazz in the first place. That alone is a remarkable achievement. That he has had the patience and focus to dissect his creative thought processes meticulously, down to the level of the finest details, and lay those thoughts bare so that others might learn from them is even more remarkable. If someone has thought about it, David has described it. I don’t know anywhere anyone interested in this could learn more or learn it any more directly."
- Chuck Israels -
Bassist, Composer, Arranger, Author
David Berger's new book is the best I've seen on the subject. He discusses the art, and aesthetics of jazz composition and arranging rather than simply focusing on the techniques and mechanics of harmony and orchestration (although that's in there as well). The text is a fun read, with musical anecdotes peppered throughout. Berger also includes full scores accompanied by well-recorded examples by his own orchestra. I've been telling myself for several years that I should write a jazz comp/arranging book, but with Creative Jazz Composition and Arranging by David Berger, I no longer have to.
- Andy Farber -
The Juilliard School, BMI Jazz Composers Workshop
"When I first started playing with the National Jazz Ensemble in the late 70’s, Dave Berger’s work as chief composer and arranger made quite an impression on me. I marveled at what seemed to me a magical, mysterious ability to create and arrange music for big band. In his Creative Jazz Composing and Arranging, Berger demystifies this ability for the reader by clearly demonstrating - in a voice that is personal, humorous, as well as instructive - the techniques needed to become a master arranger. Creative Jazz Composing and Arranging is an important addition to the teaching canon and wonderful tool for any artist, whether they are just learning how the magic of this music is made or refining their existing style.”
- Ted Nash -
Saxophonist/Arranger JALCO, BMI Jazz Composers Workshop
"This eBook, Creative Jazz Composing and Arranging, by David Berger, is an incredibly clear, engaging, and a most useful book that every aspiring composer, young or old, with experience or NOT, should have in his/her library to study and to refer to for years to come. The breadth, extremely in-depth, and viable information is meticulously disseminated in an easy accessible manner with no stones unturned. The clarity of all the annotated and audio examples are harmonically and stylistically diverse. David Berger’s candidness is very refreshing and, at times, very humorous. You don’t just get data, you receive “real life” anecdotes to support his reasonings and decisions, which, hopefully, will become yours, as well. The audio examples and scores illustrate the patience and clarity one needs to become a solid and world-class composer/arranger. In my opinion, this book is the next best thing to having a one-on-one private lesson with David Berger. I look forward to the arrival of Volume 2."
- Rufus Reid -
"A student today has several choices of arranging books. But a book is like a tool; there is a certain one for a particular task. David Berger’s book is designed for the intermediate to advanced student who has decided to become a professional jazz arranger along with the realization that a solid understanding of the tradition is essential. Mr. Berger provides an in-depth analysis of his music and thought process. More importantly, his 50-years of professional experience (and candid recounting of his own journey as a young student) provides invaluable and practical wisdom that is not readily found in written form."
- Rich DeRosa -
University of North Texas
"Dave Berger has created a great resource for jazz arranger/composers in his new book Creative Jazz Composition and Arranging. With four very diverse scores and accompanying mp3 recordings much can be assimilated from listening and studying his music. Dave provides a lengthy analysis of his creative process based on years of writing and studying Ellington and other writers. Although not for the beginning arranger it is certainly a book to work up to after gaining some basic jazz writing experience. Thanks Dave!"
- Gary Lindsay -
University of Miami
"I have known David Berger for many years and was honored to be asked to write some words about his new book on arranging. He always has been an intelligent and creative person and this book brings all those qualities out. He takes you through the process from beginning to end when working on a piece, a process I do to this day. His approach and clarity of explanation should be invaluable to the budding Arrangers/Composers of the world. Carefully then check out the accompanying scores. There is so much wonderful information. This book is a valuable addition for music teachers worldwide and I heartily recommend it. By the way I still write my scores the same way since my beginnings, pencil to score pad. Love the process."
- Michael Abene -