Book Reviews
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Improvising & Soloing In The Pocket

A Play-along Workbook Designed to Improve Your Improv

Stretch your improv and play along with a "'first-call band'". In the Pocket offers nine original pieces in a variety of styles, each clearly notated for melodies, chords, and scale forms. Each piece also has a theory worksheet for additional study. But it is the included DVD that makes In the Pocket shine - professionally recorded in a state-of-the-art studio with top-tier musicians, the play-along tracks let you ""sit in"" with the best. An included video round-table discussion gives plenty of background and playing tips for each piece, setting the stage for beginning improvisation or advanced players. In the Pocket is available for any instrument and can be enjoyed by soloists or small ensembles. Richie Cannata and Sean J. Kennedy set the bar much higher in music education and play-along books with In the Pocket!

"Here is a great new play-along book featuring original compositions played by a first-call band of contemporary jazz musicians, and alos includes theoretical ideas and notes on how to approach each tune. Very well done and fun to play along with!"

— Randy Brecker
GRAMMY™ winning trumpet / flugelhorn player


REVIEW

Improvising and Soloing In The Pocket is multimedia package, published by Carl Fischer®, that takes nine of the ten original tunes from the self-titled CD, Richie Cannata, and puts it all into a play-along format for melodic instruments.

In the book, the nine instrumental tunes, with Rock, Samba, Bossa Nova, Funk and Rock-Shuffle grooves, are all clearly notated as leadsheets with melodies, chords and scale forms. The second half of the book includes 'theory worksheets' which gives the soloist some concepts and ideas on how to approach each tune, with scales/modes and even chording suggestions.

The play-along tracks on the included media disc are professionally recorded — a remix of the actual tracks from the Richi Cannata CD — with some of today's top contemporary jazz musicians; drummers Joel Rosenblatt, Kevin Hupp and Michael Dore, with percussionists Louisito and Gerardo Velez.

As a bonus, the media disc also contains short videos, one for each tune, where Sean J. Kennedy, Richie Cannata and Julio Fernandez have a round-table discussion on the backstory for each tune.

Improvising and Soloing In The Pocket Book/CD is available in four versions (C Instruments, Bb Instruments, Eb Instruments and Bass Clef Instruments), making it accessible to musicians playing any instrument. Based on the melodies, notation and improve concepts, In The Pocket is best suited for intermediate to advanced players.

I highly recommend Improvising and Soloing In The Pocket; it is well organized and written, making an excellent resource for even the most beginning improviser. I'm going to be putting the C Instruments version to good use — playing on my vibes and marimba!