Modern Jazz Theory and Practice

The Post-Bebop Era

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  • Suggested Retail Price: $29.99
  • Format: Book with Online Audio
  • Pages: 80
  • Dimensions: 9x12
  • Audio Tracks: 80
  • ISBN: 9780876392218
  • SKU: 00334720
  • Publication Date: June 01, 2022

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Learn to use and understand advanced jazz harmony! This book reveals the post-bop jazz innovations established by such iconic jazz artists as John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Clare Fischer, Herbie Hancock, and Chick Corea, as taught at Berklee College of Music. You will learn techniques such as multitonic systems, the principles of non-functional pattern development, unusual use of deceptive motion and resolution of dominants, frequent modulation, use of specialized voicing techniques, and tension-driven melody/harmony relationships.

If you have a solid understanding of functional major, minor, and modal systems, this book will help you take your music to new levels of depth and interest in the post-bop jazz traditions—in your compositions and in your performances. Accompanying online audio tracks of a live jazz combo illustrate each example and concept in a real musical context.

You will learn to:

  • Construct advanced jazz sonorities and contexts
  • Build sophisticated, expressive melodies based on advanced chord progressions
  • Understand how chord progressions relate to the psychology of musical expectation
  • Articulate nuanced musical sensibilities for harmonic obscurity, surprise, and ambiguity
  • Use characteristic post-bop conceptual approaches to harmonic progressions, such as multitonic systems and the Axis System
  • Create non-functional chord patterns, with depth and clear contour

“In his book Modern Jazz Theory and Practice, Mr. Rochinski has given us a new level of comprehension and usefulness of the harmonic practices in jazz as it has developed over the past seventy years. Using his own compositions as well as well-known pieces by many of the greats from contemporary jazz history as musical examples to digest and analyze, Steve brings conceptual understanding from multiple viewpoints so that generations of musicians will be able to personally express themselves and develop their own special palate. It’s a delicious feast for my mind and ears that I’ll be diving into again and again!”

Howard Alden, GRAMMY-Nominated 7-String Guitarist and Recording Artist (Concord Records, K2B2 Records), Recognized by Downbeat Magazine in 2009 as “one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all-time”

“Music, the most abstract of all art forms, engages the listener by portraying myriad human emotions. A musician, whether composing or improvising, chooses chords, notes, and rhythms that best describe their life experiences. Steve Rochinski’s book, Modern Jazz Theory and Practice: The Post-Bop Era, not only shows what has transpired musically in the last seventy years but explains why these developments touch and move us so deeply. An indispensable treatise that informs the creative soul.”

Tim Hagans, Multi-GRAMMY Nominated Composer, Trumpeter, and Conductor

“Steve has gifted the curious minds of both the developing student and the established improvisor, with an exciting new take on the Berklee approach to harmony, and the ever-evolving language of improvised jazz-based music. Utilizing concise analysis in combination with clear explanations and excellent refence materials, Steve has compiled a brilliant and inspiring book. I wish I had this book when I was studying at Berklee back in the late ’80s.”

—Ingrid Jensen, Multiple Award-Winning Jazz Trumpeter, Recording Artist, Band Leader, and Jazz Educator

“Here is a wonderful resource for any musician seeking to understand the magical and subtle workings of modern jazz harmony. Steve’s background as a professional jazz player, writer, and instructor brings thoroughness and clarity to a subject sometimes thought mystifying. What I wouldn’t give to have had this resource in my earlier years!”

Michael Rendish, Founding Department Chairs of Harmony and Electronic Music at Berklee; TV Film Composer/Conductor

“Steve has compiled a beautiful thesis of the integral elements of jazz. This is so well organized and thoughtful, motivating, and inspiring. One of the aspects in the realm of jazz education over the past fifty years has been the need for something comprehensive and all encompassing. Steve’s book is a great resource for all manner of folks serious about jazz.”

Walt Weiskopf, Performer, Composer, Author


Steve Rochinski

Steve Rochinski is an independent jazz musician, educator, recording artist, composer, arranger, and author. He is a professor emeritus of harmony…