Jazz Piano Book Mark Levine


Van Cliburn Piano Competition Gold Medalist

Jazz Piano College | books on jazz | Mark Levine

Pearl Piano is a family business with five generations of experience. Our team now includes Wayne’s son and daughter, Carey and Pearl.

We continue to serve concert artists from around the world as well as major institutions, including Canada National Ballet School, Heliconian Club, and the CBC.


Our story begins with Wayne Chen, whose great-grandfather founded the first piano-building company in China. After apprenticing with his grandfather for ten years, Wayne won the post of chief technician at Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.

In 1987, he was invited by Steinway & Sons to continue his training at the factory in Hamburg, Germany. Afterwards he traveled to the United States to work for Chicago Symphony Orchestra. During his time in the U.S., Wayne also worked at the renowned ProPiano Company in New York City, during which time he rebuilt concert grands for both the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Wayne came to Toronto in 1993 and started Pearl Piano in 1994 to realize his dream of rebuilding his own pianos. Until his recent semi-retirement, Wayne was the technician at all the major concert venues in Toronto including Massey Hall, St. Lawrence Centre, and the Toronto Centre for the Arts.

Rob has been playing piano and organ for almost fifty years, encompassing all styles of music, including but not limited to, classical, jazz, new-age, rock & roll and latin.

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Jazz Piano Book By Mark Levine Review And Study Guide

The Jazz piano book covers many topics, but does not always do so in an orderly fashion. Especially for those who have not already done advanced jazz piano studies, it can be difficult to navigate through the many notions. This review is therefore intended to be a study guide for Mark Levine’s Jazz piano book.

Limits Of The Jazz Piano Book

I have already pointed out what in my opinion is the biggest limitation: the almost total absence of functional harmony. If you don’t already know the concept of tonality, secondary dominants, major and minor cadence, it will be useless to know hundreds of voicings, because you won’t know which ones to use at the right moment. In summary, here are the major limitations of this work.

  • It’s not a book for beginners, you need to have some knowledge of jazz piano to follow and understand it.
  • It doesn’t have a functional approach to harmony, in fact it often mixes modal and tonal approaches, which is a bit confusing
  • It does not approach jazz piano from a chronological or stylistic point of view
  • Some parts are a bit dispersive and can confuse and discourage a beginner pianist
  • Topics are not addressed in progressive order of difficulty.

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    After Reading More Opinions Against Mark Levine’s Approach In His Book I’m Reading The Jazz Piano Book I Am Looking For Suggestions For Some Good Books

    The Jazz Piano Book by Mark LeVine  Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists

    My orginal post to this wonderful subreddit led me to start looking for other sources of information.

    I stumbled upon this review of The Jazz Piano Book in which he brings some very harsh criticisms of Mark Levine’s methods. He basically calls them shortcuts. I will add an excerpt that is relevant to the chapter on scale theory.

    He then lists several sources as “good examples”

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    The Merits Of The Jazz Piano Book

    The greatest merit of Mark Levine’s Jazz Piano Book is the great variety of topics covered. The main strengths lie in the voicing section, but it also provides important insights into improvisation. In summary, here are the main pros of this manual:

    • It covers a large number of topics
    • It is very detailed, especially in the voicing part.
    • It offers many written examples
    • It suggests numerous exercises to learn the various techniques
    • It recommends exercises for learning more than one technique at the same time

    Review: Jazz Piano Book The By Mark Levine

    306 pages


    This is a must have book for jazz pianists because it covers just about every jazz piano building block there is. This is one of the top jazz piano books out there. It almost doesn’t matter what level you’re at because it’s easy to find something to explore and work on. This book helped my personal playing grow when I first played through it.

    Description :

    Endorsed by Kenny Barron, Jamey Aebersold, Richie Beirach, and more, this book presents all the information a student of jazz piano needs in an easy-to-understand, yet thorough, manner. For intermediate to advanced pianists, written by one of the acknowledged masters of jazz piano playing.

    Full Book Review and Other Notes:

    buy pdf versionbuy coil binding versionvideos


    Volume 2 has 14 jazz piano exercises and tricks of the trade, and quite a bit of it is Calypso jazz piano related material, including some Monty Alexander and Michel Camilo style grooves. Jazz piano education is through the ears, but books like this can help.

    buy pdf versionbuy coil binding version

    Volume 3 contains 12 jazz piano exercises and explorations by the acclaimed jazz piano educator, pianist, author, and recording artist Tim Richards.

    Tim wrote the well known “Exploring Jazz Piano” and “Improvising Blues Piano” books and has several others to his name.

    buy pdf versionbuy coil binding version

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    Who Can Study Mark Levine’s Jazz Piano Book

    The Jazz Piano Book is not for beginners. If you know nothing about harmony and jazz piano, this book is not for you. If you have done classical piano studies, the topics you should know before tackling this book are:

    You should also have at least an initial knowledge of superior harmony, i.e. 9th, 11th, 13th chords , because the Jazz Piano Book offers many voicings but does not explain how 9th, 11th, 13th chords originate or even when they can be used. The lack of a part dedicated to functional harmony is perhaps the greatest limitation of this book.

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