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.”

This second book of Jazz Solos is a focus on chord changes to well-known modal “Standards.” Specifically,  it gives the player an opportunity to solo over one chord for an extended period of time. Learn the “secret” techniques employed by jazz masters to improvise musical and meaningful jazz solos. This book includes parts for both alto and tenor sax and the CD contains both full performance tracks and “rhythm section only” play-a-long tracks.

Below is an excerpt from Mr. Demsey’s article on “Saxophone Solos. Vol. 2: Modal Classics” by Tony DaGradi :

 “It is the substance of Dagradi’s solos that make this book an important addition to the jazz repertoire. It is often a problem that  intermediate students who have become fairly proficient at playing over ii-V changes often digress to beginning level when confronted with some of the above repertoire, because their “stuff doesn’t work!” These tunes’ harmonies do not require ii-V vocabulary because they often have pedal points, changes that don’t resolve traditionally, and altreed or “slash chord” harmonies that require some deeper knowledge of chord-scale relationships and pentatonics.”

Mr Demsey’s review, featured in the November/December issue of “Saxophone Today,” can be downloaded as a PDF below:

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Get the full product description as well as ordering information on “Saxophone Solos. Vol. 2: Modal Classics” by Tony DaGradi at

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