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I'd recommend the Jazz Piano Book. In addition to covering theory, it had chapters on comping and latin playing, for example. In other words, it covers rhythm and melody, not just theory. The Theory book is more comprehensive, but doesn't cover anything but theory.
One word of warning; it's not a method book where you go chapter by chapter and slowly learn to play jazz piano. It's more like a reference work. Each chapter, even if only 5 or 10 pages, contains concepts that you could work on for 6 months. But it is right on point in that you know if you learn something from it, you're learning the real deal. My jazz piano teacher refers to it a lot.
In Jazz Theory book Mark Levine expands and deepens the materials from Jazz Piano Book, and also demonstrates their practical use on examples of solo great artists, and not just pianists. At the end, there are 28 pages of repertoire and 27 pages of discography with details to listen to.
I'm keen on sax and guitar jazz so should I maybe get the the Theory book rather than the Piano book, to get a wider context for the theory?
edit - actually forget that, I'll get the theory book because it's 522 pages as opposed to 307 pages for the piano book! The theory book also was written second so that's probably why it expands on the content of the first piano edition. Thank you!
Not familiar with either book, but I'd still say likely both. Failing that, the piano one. When I took jazz improve - a long time ago - our teacher - David Baker at I.U. - held additional weekly sessions with piano players alone. Chord voicings are very important in jazz piano, but they aren't covered, obviously, in instruction for single-note instruments.
I studied the Jazz piano book from beginning up to chapter 11. I decided to take a short break as I found it really boring. That was about a year ago. I may resume my studies soon. But I haven't had the enthusiasm or desire
The Mark Levine jazz books are good solid references, but - for me - they tend to sit on the shelf. If you're looking for something more active & practical - take a look at Jazz Keyboard Harmony by Phil DeGreg.
We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Howdy and happy Friday night. My students as I said before in this thread found his book to be rambling and non-sequential. That being said, I'm sure there is some great stuff in there. On the broader level, it really does come down to you finding a teacher and them assessing what you need to work on in my opinion.
I can vouch for Phil DeGreg, he is a very good musician / Pianist. He was one of the Piano tutors on the Jamey Abersole courses I did many years ago.
I have both the Levine book and the DeGreg book and wouldn't say one was better than the other.
I know Phil. He's a terrific pianist and teacher, and the main reason why my son attended the conservatory where Phil was the jazz piano professor (he retired a couple years ago). Now he's a big reason why my kid is able to support himself as a pianist.
At the risk of straying too far off-topic, here's Phil's cool arrangement of Lady Madonna:
Yeah I did eventually buy it and it's definitely a reference book. It contains a lot of good stuff. I understood most of it, I can recognise some of it when I hear it on a recording, and I can execute only a very small proportion of it. It's ordered in a kind of conceptual order, not in the kind of order you should learn these concepts in, and without extra guidance it would be difficult for a beginner or intermediate to know how to navigate it.
I sight read through most of the examples which was a great ear training experience, I think it's important to read it with your fingers on the keys rather than away from the piano.