Overview of the book

The main purpose of this book is to give the student an inside view of Jazz Standard chord progressions by showing my analysis of a considerable number of complete songs.

Insights In Jazz analyses over 230 songs. The baseline method outlined by Conrad Cork in his Harmony with LEGO Bricks (no longer available) is extended and updated according to the needs of those songs so that you can see how to apply the method to your favourite songs. Free MP3 audio tracks of 55 bricks used are provided to allow you to hear how they sound.

The main body of the Insights in Jazz book is around 70 pages long and explains the approach to analysing the chords progressions of jazz standards. Follwoing are useful appendices summarising the system and finaly there are over 230 pages of roadmaps of analysed jazz standards to kick-start your understanding of how the method works.

Reliable chord progressions are provided for a body of songs that are likely to be called on the bandstand (and some others for interest) with complete analyses of bricks and joins presented as visual roadmap charts. Once you see a chart, you find the song form and changes hard to forget. The roadmaps are also provided as part of the PDF e-book allowing you to electronically search for features across all the songs in order to rapidly make the associations that facilitate memorising.

Whatever your level of jazz musicianship this book will help free your mind up for developing better improvisations and interacting with other musicians on stage.

Now, for me, playing songs in different keys is something I commonly do on the band stand. Accompanying singers without preparation is viable, rather than being a nightmare.

The student faced with learning a basic repertoire of jazz standards in order to be able to survive on the bandstand is faced with a list of problems. Even when a list of songs to be learned has been selected, there are then several barriers remaining (getting hold of books containing the songs, or transcribing them and then analysing the chords progressions into a form that can be memorised). In order to give the reader a hand with this, I provide analysed chord progressions for a couple of hundred of the most commonly played jazz standards.

It is my belief that songs are most easily learned if they are presented in a simple, logical, and above all visual manner so as to appeal to the various ways that the brain works. Therefore, each song is presented as a ‘Brick Wall’ showing how the bricks and the joins relate to the chord progression while also clearly showing the shape of the song structure.

There is a useful discussion group where you can chat and share experiences with the method.