Dave Liebman: A chromatic approach to jazz harmony and melody.

[These are my own concepts taken from Dave Liebmans Brilliant Book A chromatic approach to jazz]

This first idea is a simple way of weaving in and out of unrelated harmony.

Here the C natural slides into the C# and then into an F# arpeggio which then revolves by letting the C# fall back into the C natural of the F major arpeggio with a flat 5 resolving to the fourth.

Dave Liebman A Chromatic approach to jazz harmony

The next example is an extended line with a substitution of a substitution creating chromatic interest.

Dave Liebman concept of chromatic jazz harmony



Below we see a concept of weaving through two different key centres. Thinking F for D minor and then through F# and sidestepping back to resolve the line.

Dave Liebman chromatic approach to jazz idea


A chromatic Dave Liebman concept


A chromatic approach to jazz harmony and melody Dave Liebman concept

Flat 5 substitution. D minor and A flat major.

flat 5 substitution b5 sub Dave Liebman Chromatic approach to jazz line



Dave Liebmans book is an excellent and inspiring means of absorbing chromatic improvisational knowledge and ideas for your own playing.

511-P62qKeL copy

I am not promoting this book. But I am very grateful for its existence and for its powerful inspiration to me on a daily basis. Anyway, below is a brief overview.

This book should be seen as a method to help the artist to develop his or her own way when trying to improvise chromatically. Through the concepts and examples offered, the improvisor should be able to use this material alongside already familiar tonal ideas. Specifically, the book serves as a guide for organizing chromaticism into a coherent musical statement meant to satisfy both the intellectual and emotional needs of artistic creation.
The reader will be introduced to more than one way of conceiving chromatic lines and harmonies. There is nothing theoretically complex or new in the text, it is the organization of the material as well as many musical examples and transcriptions (Bach, Scriabin, Coltrane, Shorter, Hancock, Beirach, Liebman a.o.) which should serve to inspire musicians to expand their usual diatonic vocabulary.
This book also provides insight into the style of playing that David Liebman is known for. In addition the book contains 100 assorted solo lines and 100 chord voicings.

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My Top 5 music educational books I use!

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When it comes to learning music I still love to lean into the old dusty trusted paper. Man, I still really love paper!  

The smell of candle fragrance, coffee and paper makes me want to enter into that private world of knowledge and digest!

I love the feel of a book. the allure and all that awaits like a beautiful women. To enter that secret world where magic happily appears and all that was old and grey is transformed into the fresh and colourful.

Paper always brings with it a sense of peace and stress relief from the distractions of computer learning. A book is a place where texts and messengers and news feeds have no place.

A book is a place where the mind is still and childlike filled with curiosity but all the time knowing  that it will eventually absorb the magic that is presented before it and turn the pages of stardust into living breathing art. Man, I love paper! 

Here are the top 5 music education text books and scores I use at the moment,

5] Twentieth Century Harmony -Vincent Persichetti



4] John Mclaughlin Improvisations [Transcriptions]-Mediastarz



3] Exploring Jazz Piano Book 2- Tim Richards



2] Jazz composition theory and practice-Ted Pease [Berklee press]



1] A chromatic approach to jazz harmony and melody-Dave Liebman