Steve Treseler Music

The Living Jazz Tradition

The Living Jazz TraditionThe Living Jazz Tradition: A Creative Guide to Improvisation and Harmony

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Newcomers to improvisation are regularly buried in a confusing jumble of scales, chords, patterns, and licks. There is another way.

If you want to explore creative approaches to music, internalize harmony, and play creative solos on jazz repertoire, The Living Jazz Tradition is for you.

The early chapters focus on playing by ear, developing a strong time-feel, melodic improvisation over a drone, thematic development, and free improvisation. The chapters progress through a comprehensive guide to jazz harmony with hundreds of musical examples, integrated repertoire, and creative assignments. The book includes mp3 downloads of drum grooves, drones, and rhythm section play along tracks.

What readers are saying:


“The Living Jazz Tradition has been the best thing for me and my students…I am hearing consistent and measurable progress and the students are so inspired that they can’t wait to come to class and share what they have found out about their own playing. . .I can’t imagine teaching improvisation any other way.”

– Chris Bruya, Director of Jazz Studies at Central Washington University

The Living Jazz Tradition and it is excellent, one of the best I’ve seen. Very clearly paced and well thought out. The focus on musical imagination, ear training, and theory as part of the same whole is spot on and sadly missing in so many other books in the genre. Really great work, thank you!”

 Simon Henneman, guitar

“I own quite a number of improvisation studies books which are really good, but find Steve’s the most user friendly and, for me at least, the most effective. If you want to learn to improvise in a holistic manner, rather than by learning a mountain of theory first, I think it would be tough to find a better resource than The Living Jazz Tradition.”

Bob Merrill, saxophone

“The approach to the text is radically different than anything I have read before. I have read many jazz improvisation texts. Treseler writes it in a very easy to understand way, but is expressing complex concepts. Then there are various “woodshed” spots where it gives you good ways to practice the material in a practical and useful way.

I am enjoying bridging much better understandings from concepts which were confusing that I learned in school. Steve Treseler has really done a service to jazz education with this book! I look forward to using this with future students.”

Andre Acevedo, D.M.A

“I bought this book about a year and a half ago to use for my private students, and it’s become an integral part of my teaching. By far the best book I’ve ever used for teaching jazz improvisation.”

James Myles, saxophone

“Steve Treseler has produced a truly brilliant book. . .He has found a way to explain a tremendous amount of information in a very accessible way.” Read more from the foreword

– Wayne Horvitz, Renowned composer, piano and keyboards with Bill Frisell and John Zorn, Professor of Composition at Cornish College of the Arts

“The Living Jazz Tradition is tremendously informative about conventional and abstract topics of jazz. I recommend it highly.”

– Jerry Bergonzi, Acclaimed saxophonist and author, faculty at New England Conservatory of Music

“I’m very impressed with Steve’s book. His approach is so practical and common sense—a perfect way for musicians of all levels to enjoy the art of improvising in life and music. I look forward to using it with my students. Steve’s approach offers a fresh direction, which inspires individuality.”

– Dick Oatts, Renowned saxophonist, Professor and Artistic Director of Jazz Studies at Temple University

The Living Jazz Tradition has been used in jazz courses at:

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