Category Archives: Reviews

Saxophone Solos Vol. 2: Over Modal Classics

Review: Saxophone Solos. Vol. 2: Modal Classics

Professor of Music and Coordinator of Jazz Studies at William Paterson University, David Demsey, offers his insight on one of the newest and hottest Jamey Aebersold Jazz publications, “Saxophone Solos. Vol. 2: Modal Classics” by Tony DaGradi. This book and CD set is recommended for Intermediate and Advanced jazz saxophonists looking to expand their vocabulary and style and is a powerful followup to DaGradi’s previous Aebersold release, “Sax Solos Over Jazz Standards.”

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Can you hear it?


For those of you who keep up with the blog here at Aebersold Jazz, you will have noticed that it has been a while since we posted last.  Fortunately (for us!) we have been fairly busy for the last few weeks around here.  But, to tide you over until something more substantial, I thought I would share with you some of Jamey’s thoughts on Ear Training, as taken from the introduction of Jamey Aebersold’s Jazz Ear Training Book.  Without further ado, here is what Jamey has to say!

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Are They Real or Fake?

jazz fakebook

If you have been a musician for a little bit of time, and certainly if you’ve been one for a long time, you have probably come across a fake book of some kind.  These are usually huge volumes of tunes, be it jazz standards, pop hits, blues songs, broadway classics, or any number of genres.  Many musicians, especially gigging musicians, will often invest in one or more of these tomes to increase their personal database of tunes.

But what is a Fake Book, and where did they come from?  The first question is easiest to answer with a picture (You know what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words).

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Anyone Can Improvise! DVD


As I strip away the cellophane covering, the first thing I notice is Jamey’s fabulous hair! It’s so dark and full… Anyway…  In all seriousness, I open the case and there is a small booklet in the front cover.  It says, “Note: This DVD contains much information!” No kidding… it goes on to say on the front,

“Don’t feel like you have to grasp and understand everything in the first viewing.  Take your time in digesting the various concepts and ideas.  You may want to view it in sections.  If there are things you don’t understand please feel free to contact me.” – Jamey Aebersold

For those of you who were un-aware, if you do the practice exercises in the FQ Red Handbook and mail them to Jamey, he will actually grade them and send it back to you.  Jamey’s mailing info can be found on  This little booklet is just an abridged version of the Nomenclature, Jamey’s talk on jazz as the “Natural Music,” Practice Methods for beginning scales and chords, and an introduction to the scale syllabus.

Finally, I actually start the DVD.

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That Sure is Bright! Mighty Bright!

You’re out at a show.  You’ve got your music in front of you.  You are ready to go.  The lights go down.  It’s at this point that you realize you cannot see your music anymore.

Maybe this has happened to you, but it has definitely happened to me.  Now, to every gig I go to and play, I bring my Mighty Bright Music Stand Light.  Being the boyscout that I am, our motto, “Be Prepared” has always had a place in my heart and mind.  Whether the area is well lit or not, I am ready.

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