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The Best of Charlie Christian: A Step-by-Step Breakdown of the Styles and Techniques of the Father of Modern Jazz Guitar (Guitar Signature Licks)
The Best of Charlie Christian: A Step-by-Step Breakdown of the Styles and Techniques of the Father of Modern Jazz Guitar (Guitar Signature Licks)
by Wolf Marshall
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.02
52 used & new from $10.00

43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Transcriptions. Good Recording., February 21, 2006
I have been buying a bunch of Jazz Guitar instructional material the past few months. After a long laps I'm finally starting to play a bit every day and moving forward again. Feels great. Getting back into the game the thing that really strikes me is how much eaiser it is to find good jazz instructional material than it use to be.

That sets me up for this review. These are great transcriptions (with tab) of some of the finest solos of the daddy of electric jazz guitar. I mean if you want to learn a bunch of Charlie Christian solos then this book is the place start. (I mean learning them by ear is better but you know... some of us have jobs and stuff...)

I've been a huge fan of Christians playing in the Benny Goodman sextet for, oh fifteen or sixteen years now. I've heard these solos literally hundreds of times. So I feel somewhat qualified to say that these transcriptions are dead on. Also it's nice to have the recordings Mr. Marshall put together to have everything all in one place where you can get at it easy.

Now there is very little analysis of the solos. So if you are just starting to learn to play jazz you are going to want some other books. Mike Stinel's book "Building a Jazz Vocabulary" is the book that helped me start to put things together all those years ago. There are lots of great books out there.

But this book would be great in conjunction with something like that. Of course all the usual comments apply. Learn one of charlie's licks. Play it in every position. Every Key. Figure out what it is you like about it and expand on the ideas. And so on, and so on.

The nice thing about doing that with a players actual licks instead of say just working through "The Be-Bop Bible" or something is that Charlie's licks are going to breath more. Be real pieces of music. It's much more inspiring than just working through "The Bible". (Though, you know, we should all do that too... Mix it up...)

One more thing about starting with Charlie that I think is great. He uses a lot of really simple ideas and makes them sound amazing. Like he will play a line that if you read it from "The Bible" you might think was kind of lame. Too simple you might think. But then you hear Charlie play it in context and it's great. It's real music. Then you start to understand how jazz cats use simple things make great music. It's not all as complicated as maybe you thought. (At least not always... You know, if you start by trying to cop Coltrane's licks it's going to get pretty complicated pretty fast, but I guess my comment is predicated on the assumption that maybe that's not the place for all of us to start day one...)

Finally, and I hope Mr Marshall would agree with this; If you are using this book to learn licks please make sure and get the original recordings too. Do your self the favor. The recordings that come with the book are very good for instructional purposes but there is no substitute for hearing Christian, Young, and Goodman just tear it up. Then Mr Marshall's recording is there to help you cue up the right measures and all.

Ok, well I'm done yapping. Good luck with the jazz.

--Rock


Principles of Mathematical Analysis (International Series in Pure and Applied Mathematics) (International Series in Pure & Applied Mathematics)
Principles of Mathematical Analysis (International Series in Pure and Applied Mathematics) (International Series in Pure & Applied Mathematics)
by Walter Rudin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $140.92
104 used & new from $50.00

585 of 640 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book should be called "Tada! You're a mathematican!", October 26, 2005
OK... Deep breaths everybody...

It is not possible to overstate how good this book is. I tried to give it uncountably many stars but they only have five. Five is an insult. I'm sorry Dr. Rudin...

This book is a good reference but let me tell you what its really good for. You have taken all the lower division courses. You have taken that "transition to proof writing" class in number theory, or linear algebra, or logic, or discrete math, or whatever they do at your institution of higher learning. You can tell a contrapositive from a proof by contradiction. You can explain to your grandma why there are more real numbers than rationals. Now its time to get serious.

Get this book. Start at page one. Read until you come to the word Theorem. Do not read the proof. Prove it yourself. Or at least try. If you get stuck read a line or two until you see what to do.

Thrust, repeat.

If you make it through the first six or seven chaptors like this then there shall be no power in the verse that can stop you. Enjoy graduate school. You half way there.

Now some people complain about this book being too hard. Don't listen to them. They are just trying to pull you down and keep you from your true destiny. They are the same people who try to sell you TV's and lobodemies.

"The material is not motivated." Not motivated? Judas just stick a dagger in my heart. This material needs no motivation. Just do it. Faith will come. He's teaching you analysis. Not selling you a used car. By the time you are ready to read this book you should not need motivation from the author as to why you need to know analysis. You should just feel a burning in you chest that can only be quenched by arguments involving an arbitrary sequence {x_n} that converges to x in X.

Finally, some people complain about the level of abstraction, which let me just say is not that high. If you want to see abstraction grab a copy of Spanier's 'Algebraic Topology' and stare at it for about an hour. Then open 'Baby Rudin' up again. I promise you the feeling you get when you sit in a hottub for like twenty minutes and then jump back in the pool. Invigorating.

No but really. Anyone who passes you an analysis book that does not say the words metric space, and have the chaptor on topology before the chaptor on limits is doing you no favors. You need to know what compactness is when you get out of an analysis course. And it's lunacy to start talking about differentiation without it. It's possible, sure, but it's a waste of time and energy. To say a continuous function is one where the inverse image of open sets is open is way cooler than that epsilon delta stuff. Then you prove the epsilon delta thing as a theorem. Hows that for motivation?

Anyway, if this review comes off a combative that's because it is. It's unethical to use another text for an undergraduate real analysis class. It insults and short changes the students. Sure it was OK before Rudin wrote the thing, but now? Why spit on your luck? And if you'r a student and find the book too hard? Try harder. That's the point. If you did not crave intellectual work why are you sitting in an analysis course? Dig in. It will make you a better person. Trust me.

Or you could just change your major back to engineering. It's more money and the books always have lots of nice pictures.

In conclusion: Thank you Dr. Rudin for your wonderfull book on analysis. You made a man of me.

--Rock
Comment Comments (33) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 12, 2016 6:20 AM PST


The Cats
The Cats
Price: $9.99
49 used & new from $4.49

7 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This album is like being suplexed by jazz. I ofcourse mean that in the good way..., October 26, 2005
This review is from: The Cats (Audio CD)
OK, let's keep this simple. JC and Kenny Burrell. An I'm talking the real JC, not that carpenter. If you are a Guitarist and you don't own this album I just don't see how you can show your face in public. You are failing as aperson. If you claim to love Jazz and you don't have this album, you sir or madam are a liar. Get this album. Don't be an idiot. It's John Coletrain and Kenny Burell. Did you not hear me?

--Rock
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 19, 2008 11:13 AM PDT


Riemannian Manifolds: An Introduction to Curvature (Graduate Texts in Mathematics)
Riemannian Manifolds: An Introduction to Curvature (Graduate Texts in Mathematics)
by John M. Lee
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $59.47
42 used & new from $54.85

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nice modern treatment., October 26, 2005
I just got this fella, and I'm really just through the first four chaptors but so far I'm very pleased. He really tries to tie the definitions and theorems to something you can think about. He gives three "model spaces", the n-sphere, R^n, and hyperbolic space and keeps coming beck to them as he does new things. I like that after he defines connections he shows some in R^n. You know, things like that. Anyway, I'm not a specialist but this seems to me as good an introduction to Reimannian curvature as you could ask for. At least as good in my opinion as Del Carmo's book.

So thanks again Dr. Lee. You keep writing them and we'll keep reading them.


Introduction to Smooth Manifolds (Graduate Texts in Mathematics)
Introduction to Smooth Manifolds (Graduate Texts in Mathematics)
by John M. Lee
Edition: Paperback
30 used & new from $50.00

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, October 26, 2005
It's very readable. He has a good descriptive, conversational style. It's also very thorough. For example after he gives his definitions of the tangent space he copmares and it to the competitors and shows equivalence. There is plenty of work in coordinates but things are defined in the proper coordinate invariant ways. Nice coverage of vector bundles and a whole chaptor on the cotangent bundle which is nice.

Lots of Lie groups... he introduces symplectic manifolds and talks about Hamiltonian mechanics on the cotangent bundle. What I'm saying is all and all he talks about a lot of wicked good stuff.

One warning: The word transversality appears I believe once in the whole book and that's in an exercise. Intersection theory does not seem to be covered at all. That's not a complaint. That stuff is in lots of good books that don't go anywhere near a lot of the things that are in Lee's book. I'm just saying if you are thinking of using this as a reference for a course that has transversality on the syllabus you will need a second book. Let's say Hirsch's differential topology for the classic, or Guillemin and Pollack's book by the same name for something that doesn't have function spaces as it's second chapter.

So yeah. Good book. Thanks Dr. Lee.


What's with the Mutant in the Microscope?
What's with the Mutant in the Microscope?
by Kevin Johnson
Edition: Paperback
34 used & new from $0.01

11 of 44 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars You kookie Christians..., November 25, 2004
I liked you people better back when you would just come out and torture scientists till they recanted or accepted death at the fiery stake. At least back then everybody knew where everybody else was standing. "And yet it moves."
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 13, 2015 9:17 PM PST


Music for the Fifth World
Music for the Fifth World
19 used & new from $2.91

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too few people have heard this, July 19, 2003
Ok, Jack, Vernon, and Sco. Plus Michael Cain. Please help me. I've been a fan of this album for ten years. Sure some of it is a little out there (like in a tribal type way). But "Miles", "Two Guitar Chant", and "Darkness to Light", make the trip more than worth while. Also Scofield's solo on "Deception Blues" is the closest thing I have ever heard to what he would sound like in a rock band. (Why can't he and Bowie do an album together for me?) Anyway, if you can get this album on the used list, I say go for it.


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